Washington, D.C. — At its quarterly meeting today, the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation Board of Directors approved a five-year, $140 million compact with Georgia to increase the quality of human capital by investing in science and technology education and workforce development.
“One of the key ingredients to economic growth is equipping citizens with the education and skills they need to succeed in a modernizing economy,” MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes said. “This compact will strengthen teaching, learning and educational institutions in Georgia so that students can learn skills that are directly matched to industries driving growth. A better-educated workforce will accelerate economic growth, stimulate job creation, reinforce democratic participation, and better position Georgia to be a strong trade partner of the United States.”
MCC's Board selected Georgia as eligible to develop a second compact in January 2011; the country successfully completed a five-year, $395.3 million compact in April 2011. At today’s meeting, the Board discussed the importance of Georgia maintaining its commitment to good governance throughout its partnership with MCC.
For its subsequent compact, the Government of Georgia conducted an analysis that identified the quality of human capital as a binding constraint to economic growth, particularly acute in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
To improve the quality of education in these fields and increase earning potential, the proposed compact will make strategic investments from the start of a student’s general education to graduation from technical training and advanced degree programs, including a focus on increasing women’s participation in STEM professions.
The compact, expected to be signed during the summer of 2013, consists of three projects:
- The Improving General Education Quality Project seeks to improve the quality of general education through rehabilitation of deteriorating schools, training for educators and school managers and support for education assessments.
- The Industry-Led Skills and Workforce Development Project aims to improve the link between market-demanded skills and the supply of Georgians with those technical skills.
- The STEM Higher Education Project proposes to attract one or more American university partners to modernize science, technology, engineering, and math education by offering high-quality degree programs that boost productivity and growth and increase employment opportunities.
The Board also received an update and discussed results, risks and lessons from MCC compacts closing out this year in Lesotho, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, and Tanzania. MCC expects more than 12 million people to benefit from these five completed compacts, which have invested more than $2.5 billion in 20 major agriculture, education, energy, health, property rights, private sector development, roads, and water and sanitation projects.