Known for its bountiful harvest of varieties of vegetables, Pangasinan is being envisioned to produce a crop of quality graduates, too, by making free technical-vocational education or tech-voc available.
In his recent visit to the province, Director General Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) made sure that deserving youth get a chance at tech-voc by distributing scholarship vouchers.
Villanueva did this during the half-time break of a basketball match between TESDA Uno Specialistas, composed of tech-voc students and local officials, and team Trabaho, where he belongs together with several legends of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
"The exhibition game is called Shoot for your Dreams, and it could not be a more apt description of what we desire for the youth of this province," he said.
"To land in their dream job, the youth has to invest in the right skills," he added.
For Pangasinan, TESDA has allotted P109.382 million for a total of 12,832 scholarship slots for this year.
There are various courses to choose from, but TESDA has mapped out those that will result in higher employability for the graduates based on the industries present in a particular area.
The third biggest province in the country, Pangasinan is known as among the top producers of vegetables.
During his visit on March 12, Villanueva's first stop was at the popular vegetables trading post (Bagsakan) in Villasis town, where the "Ooh My Gulay" cook fest took place.
Moving to Urdaneta City, he played in the exhibition match and then faced the media in a news conference to promote the tech-voc programs.
To help bridge the graduates with potential employers, a job fair was also organized by TESDA in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, Professional Regulation Commission and the Public Employment Service Office of the city. END