In December 2015, the Salesian run Teresa Gerini Vocational Training Center in Rome, Italy opened the first agricultural machinery laboratory for professional training. Source: AFDJ eNews
The new laboratory is part of TechPro2, a leading technical training project aimed at providing a skilled workforce of highly qualified personnel for the automotive and agricultural vehicles’ industry.
Started in 2008, the TechPro2 project is a collaboration between Salesian missionaries, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and CNH Industrial, an Italian company that designs, produces and sells agricultural and construction equipment.
The new laboratory is the first of its kind and was made possible through a partnership with New Holland Agriculture, a leading global manufacturer of agricultural machinery.
The Teresa Gerini Vocational Training Center is now able to offer a specialist training course for 20 students who have already completed a three-year certificate.
Students enrolled in the course will spend half their time taking courses at the training center and half their time gaining experience at companies in the New Holland dealer network or within the CNH Industrial group.
Graduates of the program will be highly skilled technicians who will be able to meet the demands of the labor market.
Both Fiat Chrysler and CNH Industrial require a specialized workforce to provide service in
dealerships and authorized service companies. This project is a win-win for both the companies and the students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are able to access technical training and gain the skills necessary to find and retain long term livable wage employment.
At the end of 2013 in Italy alone, 885 students completed the course in institutions offering the project. More than 45% of the graduates found employment directly after graduation, a significant feat given the current state of Italy’s economy.