Our highly engaged and productive week with the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) Team in El Salvador included review of documents we prepared for them in order to provide frameworks in setting up Industry Advisory Boards, Externship Programs, Faculty Development and Training in 21st Century Pedagogy as well as an extensive chart of internationally recognized certificates in many of the designated subsector categories of IT businesses in El Salvador.
Based on a rigorous selection process, RTI selected its first priority sector to be in IT, in Spanish – TIC (Information Technology and Communication). In a breakfast meeting with the IT industry association, CASA-TIC, our TA3 team led a highly engaged discussion about developing a more formal partnership between IT businesses and Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s). Members of CASA-TIC committed to joining the IT Industry Advisory Board (IAB) requested a Resource Guide be developed by our team to guide them in the formation and practice of the IAB.
A similar rigorous process was undertaken by RTI to select HEI’s with the leadership, depth of resources and willingness to commit to being Anchor and Associate HEI’s on the IT Industry Advisory Board. During a luncheon at the Crown Plaza Hotel, our TA3 team made a presentation to the Presidents of six HEI’s where they announced the Anchor HEI and the five other universities that remain committed as Associate members of the IAB. This was followed up by a TA3 team visit with the Anchor University Francisco Gavidia (UFG) to meet with President Mario Ruiz and the faculty from the Department of Educational Technology.
A Resource Guide is being developed that will serve the formation of IAB’s in six sectors. The next sector on the horizon will be Advanced Manufacturing, likely to be followed by Energy & Energy Efficiency, Food Processing/ Agribusiness, Logistics, and Health products and services.
The hybrid IAB model being developed merges Sector Partnerships and Centers of Excellence into something RTI is calling HEI/Industry Cluster Partnerships, forming the nexus of this USAID Partnership for Economic Growth initiative.
– Project Director, Burke Murphy