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Private Sector Commitments Will Provide Digital Skills to Seven Million Women and Girls
Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) launched the IPEF Upskilling Initiative, a public-private endeavor to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth by providing primarily women and girls in IPEF emerging economies and middle-income partners access to training and education in digital skills. Initial countries taking part in the Initiative include Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
“We are committed to offering tangible and concrete benefits to the partner countries participating in IPEF, and these private sector commitments are a tremendous opportunity for us to bring millions of women and girls into the middle class,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The Upskilling Initiative not only demonstrates the United States’ commitment to creating a more vibrant and competitive Indo-Pacific region, but also our intention of sending a strong signal to IPEF partners that we, along with some of America’s leading private sector companies, want to build lasting relationships and provide concrete benefits to participants in the framework.”
“As we continue to work together to build a more inclusive, sustainable economic recovery, and as we discuss innovative ways to do trade under the IPEF, we must prioritize lifelong learning for our women,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “We must equip them with relevant skills to help them thrive in the digital and green economies of the future. Trade can be an important tool to advance these goals and that is why this initiative is so important.”
This Initiative reflects the deep and abiding support of both the U.S. government and its private sector to the long-term economic development of the IPEF partners. In doing so, it bolsters U.S. private sector engagement in one of the most economically dynamic regions of the world in ways that will benefit workers and companies in both the United States and the IPEF partner countries. Fourteen U.S. companies – Amazon and Amazon Web Services, American Tower, Apple, Cisco, Dell Technologies, Edelman Global Advisory (EGA), Google, HP, IBM, MasterCard, Microsoft, PayPal, Salesforce, and Visa – will each provide 500,000 or more upskilling opportunities that use digital tools for primarily women and girls in IPEF emerging economies and middle-income partners by 2032.
Some of the opportunities provided by the U.S. companies may include:
“Amazon is deeply invested in working with its customers, partners, and governments in driving digital transformation by supporting the development of digital skills, especially for underrepresented communities,” said David Zapolsky, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Amazon. “We are pleased to support the Department of Commerce’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework’s goal of providing more women in the region with access to digital training that will help them climb the economic ladder through increased career opportunities in growing fields such as data science, cloud computing, cybersecurity and e-commerce.”
“At Apple, we believe education is a great force for equity, and that educating women and girls is a key to unlock a more just and equitable world,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “We’re proud to support this initiative by providing new opportunities to build digital skills, and to play a supporting role in the urgent, global mission to help all people access a quality education.”
“We are pleased to join Secretary Raimondo and the Department of Commerce’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity to bring digital upskilling opportunities to women and girls,” said American Tower President and CEO Tom Bartlett. “Strengthening the communities in which we operate around the globe is woven into the fabric of our company, and as we strive to enable a more connected world, we will continue to make a tangible impact through our Digital Communities program.”
“Cisco is proud to support the U.S. Department of Commerce’s IPEF Upskilling Initiative with the expertise and resources of our Cisco Networking Academy program,” said Cisco Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins. “While we know that opportunity is unevenly distributed throughout the world, human potential is not. This partnership will empower women in the Indo-Pacific region with critical digital skills and create new career possibilities in meaningful, high-paying jobs that power the digital economy.”
“Now more than ever, technology skills are critical for full participation in our society and economy,” said Dell Technologies Co-COO Chuck Whitten. “We are proud to participate in the IPEF Upskilling Initiative and do our part to equip more girls around the world with access to technology and future job skills.”
“As economies around the world are digitizing at accelerated rates, we are seeing digital transformation reshape industries and provide a variety of opportunities for the workforce,” said Edelman Global Advisory (EGA) Managing Partner and CEO, Deborah Lehr. “Small businesses, especially those owned by women, are an essential driver of economic growth globally. The Department of Commerce’s commitment to ensuring women across the Indo-Pacific region are provided digital upskilling opportunities is critically important to the economic growth of the region. Edelman Global Advisory is honored to support Secretary Raimondo and the Department of Commerce in its efforts to empower women through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Upskilling Initiative.”
“As digital technologies transform economies, it’s important that the growth is inclusive and benefits everyone,” said Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai. “Google is proud to join this effort to bring digital skills training to women and women-led small businesses across the Indo-Pacific region. Through our Google Career Certificate scholarships, Google.org grants, cloud computing training and more, we’re committed to helping more people access the opportunities digital technologies create.”
“Digital equity is a cornerstone of economic opportunity and social progress,” said Enrique Lores, HP CEO and President. “The IPEF initiative will help women and girls gain access to the skills they need to reach their full potential and we are proud to support this important work. HP is committed to accelerating digital equity for 150 million people by 2030.”
“IBM is proud to partner with the public and nonprofit sectors to train one million women and girls in the Asia-Pacific Region over the next five years. This commitment from IBM will support the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and its focus on economic growth, equity, and partnerships in the region,” said Arvind Krishna, Chairman and CEO of IBM. “Today’s announcement reinforces IBM’s commitment to skill 30 million people globally by 2030 as we look to close the skills gap and expand access to STEM education and career training for people of all backgrounds.”
“To achieve a sustainable, inclusive digital economy, we need to start by closing the digital divide and ensure access to the right connections, resources and training,” said MasterCard CEO Michael Miebach. “Our partnership with the Commerce Department’s digital upskilling initiatives will do just that, drawing on resources and programs we’ve built across the globe. Providing meaningful skills to women and girls across the Indo-Pacific will give them the foundation to prosper, making them meaningful contributors to their communities and local economies.”
“The sustainable and inclusive growth of the Indo-Pacific region requires that more people know how to use the technology that powers the global economy,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft President and Vice Chair. “That’s why Microsoft and LinkedIn have committed to providing digital skilling opportunities to at least 1.8 million women and girls by 2025 as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce initiative.”
“We are proud to partner with the U.S. Department of Commerce to help provide digital skilling opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Marc Benioff, Chair and Co-CEO, Salesforce. “At Salesforce, we believe in building a workforce that better represents society and creates pathways to social mobility. Through Trailhead, our free online learning platform, and other workforce development initiatives we are committed to empowering people from every background with the skills they need to build careers and thrive in the digital economy.”
“Visa believes that everyone, everywhere should have access to the digital economy,” said Visa Inc. Chairman and CEO Alfred F. Kelly Jr. “Visa is proud to join this initiative and provide women and girls in the Indo-Pacific with digital financial education and skills training, so that no one is left behind in the digital age.”
To implement the Initiative, the U.S. Department of Commerce is partnering with The Asia Foundation, a non-profit international development organization with deep expertise in supporting good governance, women’s empowerment, and inclusive economic growth throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
“The Asia Foundation is proud to join with the U.S. Department of Commerce and leading U.S. corporations in undertaking this large-scale, multi-faceted upskilling initiative,” said President and CEO of The Asia Foundation David A. Arnold. “By working together with government agencies, NGOs, educational institutions, and leading women’s organizations across Asia and the Pacific, I am confident we can not only spark a digital-led recovery, but greatly expand economic opportunities for women and close the gender digital divide. We welcome the role that IPEF will play in shaping more robust, fair, and resilient economies across the region.”
View the IPEF Upskilling Initiative fact sheet here. To stay updated on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework visit www.commerce.gov or https://ustr.gov/ipef.
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