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Millennium Challenge Corporation; United States of America

MCC Partnerships Spur Progress in Georgia

MCA-Georgia

Far left: MCC VP Cynthia Huger. Far right: Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze.

As part of MCC’s second compact with the Government of Georgia, we are engaging with partners from the public and private sectors to enhance the quality of education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields in Georgia, as well as increase women’s participation in STEM professions to boost incomes and lead the country to a more stable and prosperous future.

Last week, MCC Vice President Cynthia Huger traveled to Tbilisi to review the programs underway as part of the compact, meet with Georgian officials and program beneficiaries in the country and cement new partnerships that will secure the sustainability of the benefits brought by the programs underway.

VP Huger met with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, to thank him for his support of the compact and discuss the work that still remains under the grant. The Government of Georgia has been a strong partner over the past decade, collaboratively working with MCC to deliver over a half billion dollars of MCC-funded projects through two compacts with the country.

MCC’s second compact with the country is focused on education, and the STEM Higher Education Project, through a partnership between the Government of Georgia and San Diego State University (SDSU), has been a key part of those efforts. The partnership brings a U.S. university to Georgia to partner with Georgian public universities in offering U.S. bachelor’s degree programs in the STEM fields and providing capacity enhancement for Georgian public universities so they can reach international standards and acquire international program accreditation.

The program has successfully enrolled three groups of Georgian students into SDSU-Georgia degree programs, with the first graduates from the four-year program expected in the summer of 2019. Partner universities are making progress towards accreditation, with the first degree programs to apply in 2019. VP Huger visited the an electrical engineering lab at Tbilisi State University (TSU), and the construction site of a new five story building at Ilia State University (ISU), both funded by the compact. She later had the chance to have lunch with SDSU-Georgia students and faculty.

MCA-Georgia

Students at SDSU Labs in Tbilisi State University

The Georgian Railway College received a grant via MCC’s compact and is part of a program to improve the linkage between market-demanded skills and the supply of Georgians with technical skills relevant to the local economy. The grant has been used to establish vocational education programs to create a qualified workforce for the growing railway industry in Georgia. MCC’s $2.3 million investment is matched by $2.2 million from the college, and the combined funds were used to rehabilitate a dilapidated training building at the college, develop curriculum for higher-level training courses and teaching modules, train teachers and upgrade laboratories. VP Huger had a chance to visit the Railway College and stress the importance of recruiting women into their degree programs to ensure both men and women benefit from the grant.

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Vp Huger conducts a trial run on a simulator at the Georgian Railway College

During VP Huger’s visit to the country, MCC also partnered with the UN Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, the U.S. Department of State, Google, Microsoft and Intel to sponsor the Women in Science (WiSci) camp. The innovative camp brought girls from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the United States together to build skills in leadership and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). VP Huger had a chance to meet with counselors from the U.S. attending the camp, as well as several campers.

At the closing ceremony of the WiSci camp, VP Huger announced that MCC had signed an agreement with the State Department to continue working together in support of future WiSci camps, ensuring more girls all over the globe have the opportunity to learn from industry experts and benefit from the innovative, cross-cultural environment that WiSci camps provide. In her remarks she underscored MCC’s broad efforts towards advancing women’s economic empowerment. “WiSci camps like this one are an important way to close the gender gap and provide hands-on experience to girls seeking to go into STEAM fields,” said VP Huger.

MCC

VP Huger delivers remarks as the closing ceremony of the WiSci camp in Tbilisi, Georgia.

In our Georgia compact, and we are proud to support the economic empowerment of women in the country by opening up new opportunities in STEM. When young people are given the tools they need to succeed, their lives, along with the future of their countries, can be transformed.

Our new partnership with the State Department is just one more way MCC is leveraging partnerships in the public and private sector to increase the impact our programs can have to spur economic growth and reduce poverty. If your organization is interested in partnering with MCC, check out our Partner with Us page.