(November 22, 2012) Three hundred forty-two individuals, all desiring to acquire skills to improve their employability, enrolled in short-term technical-vocational (tech-voc) courses conducted by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Tacurong in partnership with Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
                Each participant enrolled in any of the following eight Practical Skills & Development Trainings: Dressmaking, Massage Therapy NC II, Hair Science & Beauty Culture, Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) NC II, Electrical Installation & Maintenance NC II, Hollow Blocks-Making & Tiles-Setting, Souvenir Items -Making, and Packaging & Labeling cum Good Manufacturing Practices.
                Electrical Installation & Maintenance recorded the highest number of enrollees at 66 followed by Hair Science & Beauty Culture with 62. SMAW has 54 enrollees while Massage Therapy has 53.
                Community Training and Employment Coordinator Josephine Ubaldo said that they had set limited quotas for each course but there was an influx of walk-in enrollees during the launching program on November 20, 2012 at the Tacurong Pilot elementary School Gym.
                “We did not expect the huge turnout of trainees because we were supposed to accept a maximum of 30 enrollees per course”, Ubaldo said. “We stretched our quotas but not to the extent that we would be sacrificing the quality of the training”.
                During the launching program, Mayor Montilla was happy to note the increase in the number of enrollees compared to the last skills training the LGU conducted last summer in which the number of trainees did not reach the 150 mark.
                “Based on the big number of enrollees this time, we can really see the significance of the skills training program for the unemployed adults and the out of school youth” Mayor Montilla said. “We also decided to add more courses so that our constituents can have a wide array of choices. “Last summer, we only offered four courses; we doubled the number this time”, the ebullient mayor added.
The mayor also shared to the participants the story of Aileen Apostol, one of the beneficiaries of the massage therapy training last year, who is already earning as much as P1, 000.00 a day. Edna is now employed by LGU-financed Massage Clinic and also doing home massage services.
“Aileen is now enjoying the comfort of life because of the skill she got from our Massage Therapy Training. I want more Aileens to come out from your batch”, Mayor Montilla said.
City Councilors Rodrigo Jamorabon, Psyche Sucaldito and Benjamin Fajardo also delivered their messages of support to the skills training program of the city. Jamorabon, in his message to the enrollees, said that “the city government is not spending money in you but investing in your future instead. We know that once you are employed or start your own business out of the skills you will get from the trainings, you will bring comfortable life to your families”.
DOST Provincial Director Szalina Mercado, who will also serve as trainer in the Packaging & Labeling Course, said that “Tacurong is very lucky to have a development-oriented mayor who is truthfully looking after the welfare of her constituents”.
TESDA Provincial Director Reynaldo Bernal also commended the efforts of the LGU in “aggressively pushing for the conduct of various skills training program in Tacurong”. He gave his commitment to assist the graduates through facilitating the granting of National Certificates or NC.
“We laud the LGU’s initiative of bringing these tech-voc courses especially for those who do not have access to established training centers”, Bernal said. (Allan Freno)