USAID Jordan, through its Local Enterprise Support Project (LENS) held a graduation ceremony for 20 women plumbers under its new initiative to support females working in non-traditional sectors.
The graduation event was held to acknowledge the successful completion of an extensive training program for 20 women plumbers in Zarqa from November 2016 to April 2017.
All women plumbers had been previously trained and certified by the Vocational Training Corporation (VTC) as a part of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Zarqa water network rehabilitation program. Following their certification as plumbers, many women expressed an interest in establishing businesses in different aspects of the plumbing sector, but lacked the appropriate skill set to do so.
USAID LENS designed and delivered an extensive training program, covering several soft skills, business registration, legal awareness and support, creative thinking for business, the integration and use of technology in business management, financial literacy and access to information and finance. The training was concluded in an intensive 12-day Start-Your-Business training program.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, USAID LENS Chief of Party Rashad Bibars said, “Tapping into women’s non-traditional sectors is a great step towards promoting a diverse workforce and reducing the skills shortage in many fields often dominated by men. This initiative has great potential to increase the women’s revenue and generate income for families in local communities, while also creating job opportunities and fostering local economic development”.
“Everything we learned throughout the training is vital for our growth and survival in the market” said Ra’eda Zorqan, one of the participants in the training. Mariam Matlaq, another participant added “Not only do we feel ready to start our careers as women plumbers after gaining the skills required to start a business, but we also feel more confident and proud of ourselves for what we are doing”.
The group of women is now exploring the potential for collaboration with 3oun, an app that helps people access qualified household service providers, such as plumbers, electricians and painters. This will allow them to reach a bigger market and will help them create multiple streams of income.
The United States government, through USAID, has provided foreign assistance from the American people to Jordan for more than 60 years.