MULTAN-United States Consul General in Lahore, Elizabeth Kennedy Trudeau, on Saturday awarded graduation certificates to 40 female trainees who have received skills training under the USAID Punjab Youth Workforce Development (PYWD) Project.

Present at the event were USAID Provincial Director for Punjab, Lea Swanson; General Manager Operations, Technical Education and Vocational Authority (TEVTA), Brigadier (r) Muhammad Maqsood, and President of the Multan Chamber of Commerce, Malik Israr Ahmed Awan.

The event commemorated the success of the first class of trainees to graduate from the USAID-funded project, having completed six months of training in market-driven trades. The training sessions were designed and implemented in collaboration with TEVTA.

"I congratulate all of our graduating trainees who have chosen to take this journey with us.

We commend your dedication and look forward to your successes. As self-reliant and economically empowered young women, you will be contributing to the sustainable livelihood of your families and communities. I am confident your contributions will be significant in the coming years," commented Consul General Trudeau.

PYWD is investing in youth by providing them with entrepreneurship and employment skills and opportunities. This three-year program complements the Government of Punjab's policy to provide skill development opportunities for youth.

The project is training and facilitating employment opportunities for 10,000 youth between the ages of 16 and 29 -- 35 percent of whom are female -- in the southern Punjab districts of Multan, Lodhran, Bahawalpur, and Muzaffargarh.

She also attended a graduation ceremony honouring over 300 students from the US Department of State-funded English Access Micro-scholarship (Access) Program. The Access Program provides English language and leadership training to high school students over a two-year period. The US Embassy currently supports 4,000 Access students in Pakistan; over 13,000 students in Pakistan have graduated from the program.