Major Boost for Career Skills at Goldcorp El Morro
September in the Americas means back to school for most students. Goldcorp believes education is an important key that will unlock doors of opportunity and create lasting positive benefits in the communities where we live and work. In this final article of our educational series, we feature a technical program to create lifetime opportunities in Chile and beyond. To read previous stories in this series, click here.
After two years of planning, a new Industrial Mechanics program at Alto del Carmen Technical High School officially launched on July 29, 2015 by the Mayor of Alto del Carmen and Goldcorp El Morro. This unique course is open to the 15,000 young people enrolled in schools in the Atacama region of Huasco Province in northern Chile.
The new Industrial Mechanics program is a collaborative project between Goldcorp, local government and community groups, to empower students to major in skills and expertise for diverse jobs in global industries. Goldcorp’s US $420,000 donation funded technical support, infrastructure improvements and the initial purchase of specialized equipment. The ongoing operational funding and maintenance support will be provided by the high school and the local government. Seventeen youth have enrolled in the inaugural course, with projections for 80 graduates by 2018.
"Seeing the pride and satisfaction on the children's faces, seeing that this is a dream come true for them, fills me with satisfaction,” said Carmen Bou, Mayor of Alto del Carmen.
Life Changing & Lasting
“I think the tools that Goldcorp El Morro delivered will give the students of Alto del Carmen a tremendous opportunity to continue perfecting their abilities and skills in their own municipality and will enable them to continue to higher education in the future,” says Pilar Soto Rivas, Atacama's Regional Secretary of the Ministry of Education.
Early in 2014, extensive renovations and preparations began at the high school, including curriculum design, teacher recruitment and converting classrooms into workshops fitted with industrial power capacity, mechanical instruments and equipment ranging from milling and drilling machines to lathes, hydraulic presses and welding stations.
Horacio Bruna, Goldcorp's Executive Director in Chile, says the program will produce sustainable benefits, from current and future employment opportunities, to enhanced quality of life for individuals and families. "This is a contribution not just to the mining industry, but to industry in general in the Atacama Region,” says Bruna. “This initiative has been carried out together with the local community. They decided how they wanted to implement it and we did it together.”
High school director Miguel Tapia Huerta sees the optimism firsthand. "This is a dream because the students in this community didn't have a great outlook. There wasn't any other field of study at the school and that was what the community wanted."
Goldcorp works with the communities at each of our operations to identify needs and set goals that will help communities to optimize potential - through education, training, job creation and infrastructure that enhances socio-economic sustainability. In 2014, Goldcorp contributed approximately $62 million to communities near our operations, of which $2.6 million was directed toward educational initiatives and $14 million to support community development. To learn more, visit our 2014 Sustainability Report.