Most retail businesses in Honduras enjoy two seasons of high traffic and sales: Christmas and Mother’s Day. To meet their seasonal demands, these businesses require strategies for training and hiring large numbers of new employees. Recognizing this need, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Empleando Futuros (Employing Futures) project in Honduras saw an opportunity to train and place at-risk youth into jobs during these important seasons.
Grupo Monge, a regional retailer in Central America, typically hires over 200 new salespeople each “high traffic” season for their Gallo Mas Gallo stores in Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Working together, Empleando Futuros and Grupo Monge staff developed a plan to train 90 youth from marginalized communities to help meet the company’s labor needs while supporting the project’s ambitious job insertion plan. On June 26, 2019, Grupo Monge and Empleando Futuros signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize their partnership.
The partnership is an example of how the private sector can work within the technical and vocational training system in Honduras. When projects and the private sector carry out recruitment together, they ensure that the youth selected for employment meet the required job profile while also meeting the programs’ beneficiary requirements; in the case of Empleando Futuros, that’s youth who are primarily from marginalized communities who are neither working nor studying and can support retailers with their seasonal needs. Grupo Monge provides space for training and technical support while Empleando Futuros provides the training and workshops in life skills, basic labor competencies, mentoring, customer service, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a capstone module. All youth who successfully complete the program will be offered at least two months of employment with the opportunity for a permanent job based on their performance and Grupo Monge’s needs. The first 50 youth to participate in the program began training in both Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula in late August 2019 and will transition to employment by November 2019.
Empleando Futuros has signed several similar MOUs with Honduran businesses to train and employ youth. This tailor-made approach to training ensures work opportunities for youth who need them and a more highly qualified workforce for companies like Grupo Monge.