From October 2014 – March 2015, MSELECT opened and oversaw 6 “Centers of Opportunity” (COOs) in Erbil, Baghdad, Najaf and Basra. Sponsored by the USAID Foras project, these training and capacity building centers offered daily courses in online job search skills, resume writing, interview skills, workplace ethics and distance learning opportunities. In addition, 60 courses in specialized vocational skills were given in Human Resources, Retail Sales, Basic Security Guard, Hospitality and Customer Service.
Nearly two dozen trainers in 4 cities were employed during this 6-month period, and trainees were drawn from local job-seekers, recent college graduates and internally displaced Iraqis (IDPs) who were fleeing conflict zones in other parts of the country. All courses were offered free of charge, and for IDPs refreshments and transportation to the training facilities were also provided. In total, more than 11,000 Iraq-wide were trained in job-seeking and vocational skills over the course of this project.
Photo on the right: USAID Foras COO Training in Baghdad - March 2015