InteRDom’s Internships Coordinator and Corporate Relations, Reyna Rodriguez, participated in the evaluation of the Sur Futuro’s Foundation project “Enter Connected: Young Entrepreneurs for the Labor World” (Entra Conectado: Jóvenes Emprendedores para el Mundo del Trabajo)”.
“Enter Connected” is a training and job placement project in which 428 young people from the Southern Region of the Dominican Republic participated, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, theInternational Youth Foundation (IYF) and FOMIN (Multilateral Investment Fund). The objective of this initiative is to promote life and work skills, basic competencies, information and communication technologies, as well as technical training in areas currently in demand by the country’s productive sectors. (Source: www.surfuturo.org/saladeprensa/index.htm)
The event began with the welcoming remarks by the president and founder of the Sur Futuro Foundation, Mrs. Melba Segura de Grullón, who summarized the poject’s achievements and the lesson’s learned. Furthermore, some of the program’s young beneficiaries offered their testimony.
The project duration was 6 months, of which the last month and a half was dedicated to carrying out work placement internships. 150 Dominican companies hosted young people in their internship programs. The majority of those who were admitted as interns managed to stay as permanent employees in those companies. After finishing the program, 41% managed to enter the labor market generating revenues between RD$4,000 to RD$25,000 Dominican pesos, either by working in companies or on their own projects (entrepreneurs).
According to the testimony of the participants, the courses that they valued the most were those of skills for life and emotional intelligence. Jairo Polo, a young beneficiary by the program, pointed out that “before I was a sugarcane cutter,” after the program he has started his own business selling chemical products and he is even in charge of two employees. For some, the internship practice conducted through the “Enter Connected” project was their first work experience.
To run the work placement project they established a partnership with the Youth and Employment Program of the Ministry of Labor, which provided a stipend for the transportation of the participants to the training centers. They determined that the process of finding employment in the Dominican Republic takes from 6 months to 1 year.
The training area was run in partnership with the Loyola Polytechnic Institute (localted in San Cristobal province) and the Azua Polytechnic Institute where they established Labor Intermediation Offices.
To develop the entrepreneurs’ projects they pursued the assistance of college students from 3 main largest universities: UASD (Autonomus University of Santo Domingo), University for the Action, Education al Culture (UNAPEC) and the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM), as part of these students’ internships.
The event was attended by Karen Richard, representing the National Congress, who promoted the law regulating internships in the Dominican Republic.
Results in numbers:
A sample of 91 young people was taken to present the following indicators:
*Population: Youth between 17 to 29 year olds, largely school dropouts, which is the population that has less access to work.
*Origin: 62% rural areas and 38% urban areas. San Cristóbal, Azua, Bohechío, Padre Las Casas and Tamayo.
*58% were between 20 and 24 year olds.
*Gender: 52% female, 48% male.
*Marital Status: At the beginning of the project 83.3% were single.
*The unemployment rate was higher for women (17.3%) than for men (13.3%)
*66.6% of young people under 20 years are employed. Of these, 7 were working at the start of the training and 29 were placed at the end of the training.
*85% of young people considered that they have a brighter future after completing the Entra Conectado program.
According to Susana Doñé, Community Manager of the Sur Futuro Foundation, “the main challenge was to obtain the commitment of young people in order to break the cycle of poverty in which they are,” “…the idea is to seek comprehensive solutions that contribute to generate income for poor families.”
InteRDom supports this and other projects to promote the best employment practices, and to achieve the inclusion of young Dominicans in the labor market. InteRDom’s participation in the meeting strengthens the partnership between Sur Futuro and Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD/FUNGLODE) and promotes a culture of global internships: sharing best practices to benefit various groups, both Dominican and from all over the world.