Ambassador Blome Remarks for Education for Employment (EFE)’s Graduation Ceremony

Good evening everyone; I am delighted to participate in this graduation ceremony, celebrating the 132 Tunisian youth who have been trained and placed in jobs through the U.S. embassy’s Education for Employment project.  I would like to thank the Interim Minister of Vocational Training and Employment, Tawfik Rajhi, Maitre Donia Ellouz and the entire Education for Employment team, our employer partners, and most of all, our newly employed graduates!

The United States has long been a strong supporter of Tunisia’s economic growth; in fact, it has committed recently to provide through USAID to Tunisia an additional billion dinars to strengthen its economic development.  The U.S. embassy is particularly focused on youth employment, and we recognize that an inclusive workforce – with women, youth, and citizens from every region of the country – is essential for Tunisia to thrive.

We also recognize that job creation is crucial to Tunisia’s stability and democracy.

The Education for Employment project is a concrete example of the United States’ ongoing commitment to support Tunisia’s economic development.  I commend EFE for delivering training to produce graduates with the necessary skills to get jobs in education, health care, finance, textiles, and other sectors.

I would like to tell you about one of those graduates—Ms. Fatma Hamdi whom I just met before the program started.   Fatma enrolled in EFE’s program and she will tell us shortly about her experience.  There are people like Fatma all over this country, who have the education and desire to work—but only need the opportunity.  The U.S. Embassy is proud to stand with EFE and our employer partners to help match skilled Tunisians with those opportunities.

I would like to congratulate today’s graduates for their ambition, and for turning their hard work into real jobs.  You are the future of Tunisia, and I am proud that we could play a role in helping you get here today.  Thank you.