EL SALVADOR: New coworking center at Don Bosco University aims to be learning center for technical small business training
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco University recently launched a new Coworking Center UDB in collaboration with the El Salvador government, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the National Commission for Micro and Small Enterprises. This new physical space aims to promote innovation in micro and small businesses related to the production of fabrics, ceramics and typical sweets.
The initiative is part of the project “Promotion of National Movement – A People, a Product of El Salvador,”which is working toward the development of the local food industry in the micro regions of the Valley del Rio Jiboa and Ilobasco. The new co-working center will help facilitate technical and scientific training of multidisciplinary teams in the areas of research, design, promotion, distribution and marketing of products. It will also provide an area for consulting and teamwork to improve production along with forums for innovation in business.
The new center will be headquartered at the Don Bosco University Center for Industry and Industrial Design, a modern infrastructure that provides technology transfer services for the national industry and is equipped with all the technical and audiovisual resources needed for this project. Multidisciplinary groups participating in this initiative will be working with students taking courses in industrial design, graphic design, marketing and industrial engineering.
Thanks to this new space, Don Bosco University students will have the opportunity to develop and enhance their know-how and skills and put their knowledge regarding innovations in craftsmanship into practice. The goal is that the practical, aesthetic, functional and material improvements made will make new products more competitive in the market. Most important, students will be able to expand their learning within business with this hands-on experience while they work to address the real challenges that arise from the productive processes of micro and small businesses.
Don Bosco University provides opportunities for advanced education and employment for disadvantaged youth in El Salvador. Approximately 6,000 students are enrolled at the university, which maintains a strong link to the local employment sector through research, technology transfer programs, continuing education courses and consultancy services. Degree programs include engineering, social sciences, humanities, economics, technology and aeronautics.
“Education is a path out of poverty,” says Father Mark Hyde, executive director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Youth who access Salesian programs are given an educational foundation, skill training and life and social skills to help them excel in the workforce. They are then able to break the cycle of poverty and become contributing members of their communities.”
Close to 35 percent of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank. Youth in El Salvador are confronted not only with poverty, but with instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. Despite ranking high for economic indicators, the need for practical education in the country is more important than ever with 12 percent of youth ages 15 to 24 unemployed and 41 percent underemployed.
El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in Central America, along with Honduras and Guatemala. The murder rate in El Salvador rose more than 44 percent in the beginning months of 2014 when compared to the same time last year. Gang violence is a leading cause of violence in the country and it’s estimated that some 60,000 young people have gang affiliation. Gang involvement often offers a sense of family and belonging that counters the lack of education and employment opportunities offered in the country.
World Bank – El Salvador