Jacobs Engineering has donated USD10,000 to KEITECH Educational Foundation to help fund its student-trainees’ tuition and fees. KEITECH is a technical-vocational school established in 2009 by geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in partnership with the local government of Kananga in Leyte and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). It aims to address the high poverty incidence and unemployment rate in the municipality by enabling qualified youth to acquire top skills that are locally and globally in-demand.
Jacobs Engineering previously played a pivotal role in helping EDC restore and build a better facility when the geothermal company’s Mahanagdong B power plant in Leyte was badly hit by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake in 2017. “The successful Mahanagdong project delivery was underpinned by the positive working relationship between the two companies with shared safety and sustainability values and a commitment to work towards a zero-carbon future. We are pleased to partner with EDC, which is one of the world leaders in geothermal energy,” said Aaron Hochwimmer, Jacobs Engineering’s Director of Operations–Power.
“Our team was delighted to recognize KEITECH and to leave an enduring legacy with the community. The fundamental lessons on values that KEITECH teaches are also fundamentals for us in Jacobs and we think that they were instrumental to the success of our project with EDC,” he added.
KEITECH’s 10-month training program is tailor-fit to the most in-demand jobs today in construction, metals and engineering, and hotel and restaurant services. Each KEITECH student receives a full scholarship including uniforms, shoes, safety gears, and school supplies, and is given accommodations and meals for the duration of their training. All graduates have achieved a 100% passing rate in TESDA’s National Certification exam.
“We express our deepest gratitude to Jacobs Engineering Group not only for their generous donation to KEITECH but more importantly, for being EDC’s partner that seeks to elevate its beneficiaries,” said James Arnold Villaroman, former business unit head of EDC’s Leyte Geothermal Facility and current head of the company’s Long-term Strategy Group.
“The financial assistance that Jacobs Engineering has provided to the student trainees of KEITECH is another proof of how it strives to ignite economic prosperity among impoverished communities through education, which we in EDC also believe is the greatest equalizer. As EDC and the rest of the Lopez group embark on our new chosen path of fostering collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future, we are honored to have like-minded partners like Jacobs,” Villaroman added.
EDC’s Leyte geothermal facility has been supplying power to the province of Leyte and the rest of the Visayas region for almost 40 years. The company’s over 1,205-megawatt total installed geothermal capacity accounts for 62% of the country’s generated renewable energy and is responsible for putting EDC and the Philippines on the map as the world’s third largest geothermal producer.