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Press Releases 2008

US Government partners with Brandix to train 600 workers for new jobs in Batticaloa District

Ashroff Omar, CEO of Brandix Lanka Limited, and Rebecca Cohn, USAID Mission Director celebrate the beginning of the Apparel Sector Training Partnership, which will train 600 workers for jobs at the new Brandix factory in Batticaloa District.

Ashroff Omar, CEO of Brandix Lanka Limited, and Rebecca Cohn, USAID Mission Director celebrate the beginning of the Apparel Sector Training Partnership, which will train 600 workers for jobs at the new Brandix factory in Batticaloa District.

Colombo, December 10, 2008: USAID and Brandix Lanka Limited are working together to train 600 people for employment at a new Brandix apparel factory in Batticaloa District. 

Under the Apparel Sector Training Partnership, USAID’s grant of $100,000 will provide a monthly stipend and a meal allowance for the workers during eight weeks of pre-training.  Brandix, the largest apparel exporter in Sri Lanka, has committed $500,000 to fund all of the training costs, plus the monthly stipend during an additional six months of on-the-job training.

“We believe that providing job skills training and giving new workers experience will help people from this conflict-affected area rebuild their lives through steady employment,” said USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn.  “By leveraging our resources and expertise, Brandix and USAID have created an exciting model that will provide an economic benefit to the region and allow Brandix to maintain its competitive position in the global apparel market by providing the company with the skilled workforce it needs.” 

Graduates of the Apparel Sector Training Partnership program will be eligible for permanent employment with Brandix.  While local average incomes are only $26 per month, graduates will earn at least $85 per month.  This trained workforce will provide the company with a prepared labor pool.  The first group of 70 workers trained under this partnership will start pre-training December 1, 2008 and advance to on-the-job training by February 1, 2009. 

“Brandix is committed to taking bold action to generate gainful employment in the Eastern province to enable a wider segment of the population to benefit from the growth of the apparel industry,” said Brandix CEO Ashroff Omar.  “We believe it should be the duty of the corporate sector to help reduce the vast disparity in the per capita income of the East in comparison to the rest of the country.  We are proud to partner with USAID in such sustainable initiatives.”