Investing in Saudi: First Graduating Class of GE -TVTC Joint Technical Training Program Strengthens Kingdom’s Energy Talent Pool
Dammam, SAUDI ARABIA; May 5, 2011 – Further expanding its local training commitment to Saudi Arabia GE (NYSE:GE) announced the graduation of the first class of a joint program between GE and the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). The GE Joint Technical Program (GE JTP) is designed to enhance Saudi technical skills in key areas of maintenance and repair of gas turbines, electrical motors and generators. The graduation ceremony was attended by officials from TVTC and GE, as well as representatives from leading Saudi energy companies.
The over 30 Saudi graduates of GE JTP will join GE in Saudi Arabia as full-time employees working at the soon-to-be inaugurated GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam. The pioneering GE JTP program with TVTC was launched last year to support the Kingdom’s expanding power infrastructure. Participants in this program were selected from among high performing graduates from Saudi Arabia’s top technical colleges including Al Ahsa College of Technology and Dammam College of Technology.
Speaking at the graduation, H.E. Dr. Ali bin Nasser Al-Ghafis Governor of TVTC, said: “The successful graduation of the first class under the GE JTP agreement reflects our strategy of building partnerships with the private sector, and with GE, a global industry leader, to implement programs that will support the Kingdom in meeting its needs for trained professionals and technicians. This is particularly critical in the Energy sector which plays such a vital role in the development of our economy. We are proud to see these young Saudis receive their diplomas and this is an important step forward for Saudi Arabia in fulfilling its ambition of becoming a knowledge-based economy.”
Joseph Anis, President and CEO, GE Energy in the Middle East congratulated the students on their successful graduation. He added, “To support Saudi Arabia’s economic expansion, it is important to empower the youth of the Kingdom by providing promising career opportunities. By establishing joint programs with premiere national institutions such as TVTC, GE is working to ensure that the best minds are creating the right solutions for Saudi Arabia, while sharing GE’s culture of excellence and innovation. This tailored training program, offering advanced technical training, reflects the strong relationship, forged over the last eight decades, between GE and Saudi Arabia, and further attests to our commitment to meet our customers’ needs and support the Kingdom towards a knowledge-based economy.”
At the core of its regional training activities, GE announced an additional US$20 million investment to add an advanced training center at the GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam. The new facility will bring GE’s overall investment in the technology center to approximately US$100 million, and underscores GE’s commitment to nurture and develop local Saudi technical talent. GE expects to grow to over 1,000 employees for the new facility, more than 50 percent of which will be Saudi graduates of leading Saudi universities and technical programs such as the joint GE JTP program.
With nearly 80 years of experience in Saudi Arabia and over 800 employees in the Kingdom, GE has expanded its energy presence in the Kingdom through public-private partnerships and a strong footprint of facilities providing service repair support and customer training centers in power, water and oil and gas. GE has also established the GE Saudi Water and Process Technology Center and a manufacturing facility for heat exchangers in association with Ali A. Tamimi & Co. As part of its commitment to knowledge sharing, GE has established the GE Energy Fuel Research Center at the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals as well as several leadership development and cooperative learning programs with leading institutions.
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About the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation
The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) is a government organization under the umbrella of the Saudi Ministry of Labor. Established in 1979 under the Royal Decree No. 30/m, TVTC began to develop its programs to upgrade Saudi’s labor force so as to meet the needs of the labor market. Currently, TVTC has 37 Technical Colleges, 65 Vocational Centers and 16 Girls Training Centers. It also supervises private training centers and accredits their certificates. Annually, an average 16,000 students graduate.
Located in the heart of the oil, gas and petrochemical industries in Saudi Arabia, the Eastern Province TVTC Council oversees four Technical Colleges, seven Training Centers and one Girls Training Center. The number of trainees stand at 17,000. The Eastern Province TVTC Council is also in charge of six strategic partnership programs. For more information, please visit http://www.tvtc.gov.sa /English
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