Ephraim, UT: December 15, 2015 – Snow College was one of only five colleges in the U.S. to be selected to receive the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant. Awarding of the grants took place at The White House in Washington D.C. with Vice President Joe Biden speaking at the event.
“We have to invest in the greatest natural resource we all have – in our people…this investment in our young minds is critically important,” Vice President Biden stated at the event. “It rests on exposure… exposure to culture, language, and politics of other countries. That’s how we’re going to build the closest ties that will cement the economic growth and stability of this hemisphere.”
The goal of 100,000 Strong in the Americas, an education initiative, is aimed at enhancing global competitiveness, increasing prosperity, and preparing a more globally competent workforce. It is a collaboration by The White House, U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA) Association of International Educators. The current competition, ‘SENA Tech Challenge 2015’, is supported by partners Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) and CAF-Development Bank of Latin America. SENA is a Colombian public institution providing free vocational and technical training to around 9 million Colombians annually. The funds awarded from the competition are to be used in creating more study abroad opportunities for students throughout North, Central, and South America, giving these students the chance to learn more about the people and industries that they may not be exposed to in their home countries.
Snow College is honored to be a part of this program and the opportunities it provides for these students. Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Steve Hood said, “We are constantly looking for international experiences for our students and for bringing international students and faculty to Snow College. The 100,000 Strong in the Americas program provides us with an exciting exchange program with our partners in Colombia and enables our students to learn more about other cultures and peoples. This is a win for Snow College students and for our Colombian partners.”
The award amount totals $40,000 plus additional matching contributions from Snow College and business located near the SENA school in Medellin, Colombia that Snow College will be partnering with on the project. The funds will be used to increase students’ intercultural awareness and competence through global engagement opportunities. Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) students will develop content-specific lesson plans and curriculum in collaboration with SENA faculty to help SENA students with their English language skills. While Colombian students and faculty will share ideas about how to better apply skills in the fields of agribusiness and construction management. SENA students will also meet virtually with Snow College Students enrolled in the TESL program. In addition group of students from Snow College will travel to South America and 2 Colombian students that will be selected to attend Snow College for one semester. It is expected that approximately 61 students throughout the U.S. and Colombia will study abroad during the yearlong implementation, with sustained exchange and growth in subsequent years, as a result of the five grants awarded.
“These awards will provide global workforce skills to economically deserving students at community colleges and ‘apprentices’ at Colombia’s excellent national system of training, SENA,” said Steve Vetter, President and CEO of Partners of the Americas. “Not only are such skills vital for prosperity in a post-conflict Colombia, but this represents a bold step by SENA with the CAF to increase study abroad to and from Colombia, which is now on a path to fast growth. It is a good time for U.S. students to study in Colombia and Colombians in the U.S.”
ABOUT SNOW COLLEGE
Snow College is located in Ephraim, Utah in the Sanpete Valley at the base of the Wasatch Mountain range. Snow College is the one of eight, state-funded institutions of higher learning in Utah. Founded in 1888, it serves over 4,500 students from across the United States and the world. Learn more about all Snow College has to offer online at http://www.snow.edu.
The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is a public-private collaboration of the
White House, U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas, and NAFSA: Association of
International Educators announced by Secretary of State John Kerry in January 2014. Since then, 70 Innovation Fund grants have been awarded to teams of 153 higher education institutions from 19 countries in the Western Hemisphere.
The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964 under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, DC. Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.
With nearly 10,000 members, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education. Learn more at
www.nafsa.org and www.connectingourworld.org and on Twitter at @NAFSA and
SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje), or the National Training Service, is a Colombian public institution that provides free vocational and technical training to around 9 million Colombians annually. It is the country’s largest public institution, with full national coverage through 117 industry-specific training centers and an extensive online platform. SENA aims to develop and expand a technically skilled workforce to respond to the needs of Colombian national development and an increasingly international economy. SENA’s training centers, the heart of SENA instruction, act as a specialized technology hub to train students in particular industries relevant for their regions and the nation’s economic development. The centers provide hands-on professional experience and reflect the realities of the industry, from functioning hotels and call centers to working farms to active forensic analysis laboratories. SENA students, referred to as apprentices, graduate with practical, transferable knowledge and skills ready for application in the Colombian economy and, as SENA builds its international partnerships in industries, across the globe.
CAF Development Bank of Latin America is a multilateral institution created in 1970 currently comprising 19 countries –17 from Latin America and the Caribbean, and Spain and Portugal –as well as 14 private banks in the region. It promotes sustainable development through its lending and support in the technical and financial structuring of projects in the public and private sectors of Latin America. It is also well known for its work in equity and social inclusion, environment, workforce development, and climate change, among other areas.
Follow the Innovation Fund and the overall initiative on Twitter with the hashtag #100KStrongAmericas.