MEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2012) - A new $5.9 million, five-year initiative between The MasterCard Foundation and Talloires Network will strengthen the ability of universities to prepare young people for employment. This five-year initiative - called Youth Economic Participation Initiative (YEPI) - will develop innovative youth employment models that can be scaled by other universities, donors and organizations.
"Around the world, colleges and universities play a crucial role in preparing students to become successful employees and entrepreneurs. This initiative is based on the conviction that institutions of higher education have both a great opportunity and a great responsibility to contribute to the economic development of their own communities," said Mark Gearan, chair of the Talloires Network Steering Committee and president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Through a global, competitive process, Talloires Network, a global association of colleges and universities, will identify innovative university projects that address barriers to employment or entrepreneurship, collaborate with public and private sectors, and engage students and alumni in design and implementation. Talloires will award 'demonstration' grants to selected projects, and will track and evaluate the projects for three years. These grants will enable universities to strengthen linkages between their institutions, young people, their communities and markets. Lessons and best-practices from the demonstration projects will be used to develop new employment models that will be shared with the higher education sector.
"Young people are seeking education that is relevant to their communities and prepares them for jobs," said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. "This initiative draws on the intellectual space of universities, and partnerships with the public and private sector to launch young people into meaningful employment."
YEPI will also establish a community of practice within Talloires Network to facilitate sharing of knowledge on the role of higher education institutions in promoting the economic participation of young people.
"Talloires Network members are already pioneering efforts to elevate their students' employability and their job-creating skills," noted Talloires Network Executive Director Rob Hollister. "This initiative will accelerate and grow this trend."
The Talloires Network is currently inviting Expressions of Interest from universities in the following regions: West Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, North Africa, South Asia, South East Asia, Central Asia and Latin America. Submissions will be due December 10, 2012. More information is available at www.tufts.edu/talloiresnetwork/yepi.
The Talloires Network
The Talloires Network is a coalition of over 250 leading institutions in 62 countries that are moving beyond the ivory tower to tackle pressing societal problems. As the primary global alliance committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education, the Talloires Network mobilizes its members to improve community conditions and, in the process, to educate students to be leaders for change. It envisions a world where the majority of universities around the globe actively collaborate with the communities where they are located to achieve positive impacts and academic excellence. The network grew out of a 2005 conference convened by Tufts University at its center in Talloires, France, and the network's secretariat is based within Tufts' School of Arts and Sciences.
The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity. Through collaboration with committed partners in 49 countries, the Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper. An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, it was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company's initial public offering in 2006. For more information, visit www.mastercardfdn.org.