Two US congressmen have signed a memorandum of understanding with officials for Ireland, Northern Ireland and America to cement a strategic educational and training alliance between institutions on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Louth-Meath Education & Training Board (LMETB), the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, Catalyst Connection, and the Portview Trade Centre in Belfast were all party to the agreement, which was signed by Democrat Mike Doyle and Republican Mike Kelly, US Representatives for Pennsylvania.
The deal is aimed at promoting the exchange of knowledge, information, training opportunities and the effective translation of integrated advanced manufacturing skills across Ireland and the US to facilitate economic opportunities and development between the two countries.
Martin O’Brien, CEO of LMETB, who has been a driving force in establishing the alliance, said: “The LMETB’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre of Excellence here in Dundalk, has made a major contribution to the provision of training, supports and services to companies all across Ireland, helping to ensure that these companies have a talent pipeline of highly skilled current and future employees in high value employment.”
He continued: “It is precisely this type of partnership approach with thought leading organisations in both Northern Ireland and the US that allows us to continue knowledge and network sharing, enabling businesses of all sizes to become leaders in advanced manufacturing and to compete and thrive in the global economy.”
Jim Lamb, president of the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh, which provides quality programmes designed to facilitate and coordinate the establishment of strategic educational alliances between Ireland, Northern Ireland and the US said “Our goal at IIP is to provide strategic partnerships with educational institutions, governmental bodies and strategically aligned community organisations to develop far reaching global education networks, promote international understanding and ultimately enhance economic development.
“For this reason, we are delighted to be a partner in the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding as it opens up a wide range of training, internships and trade opportunities to businesses and current and future workforces in Northern Ireland, Ireland and the USA.
“It also allows the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh to continue its role of over 30 years in supporting the Peace and Political Processes on the Island of Ireland.
Petra Mitchell, president and CEO of Catalyst Connection, added: “We are very pleased to be working with educational partners in Ireland to share best practices in career exploration, apprenticeships, and upskilling advanced manufacturing workers, for the benefit of families and communities in both South Western Pennsylvania and in Ireland.”