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  • Alexis Laura Feliciano

AMDev launches second Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Belmont Softgel Pharma

(L-R) Wrianele Abuel, Head and Dean of Unilab Pharma Academy; Engr. Limuel Razo, Corporate Vice-President of Unilab Manufacturing Network; Catherine Racho, AMDev Deputy Chief of Party; Lilibeth Aristorenas, Executive Director of the Unilab Foundation, Inc.; Jennifer Crow, Acting Deputy Mission Director of USAID Philippines; Elenita Ordonio, Director of the Department of Trade and Industry-Pampanga; Juliette Feliciano, Regional Operations Division Chief of TESDA Region III; Edith Hernandez, OIC Supervising PSD TESDA Pampanga; and Col. Alan Romero, Medical Corps-Commanding Officer, Basa Air Base Hospital

The Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev) launched its second Advanced Manufacturing Institute (AMI) at the Belmont Softgel Pharma in Floridablanca, Pampanga, last September 27, 2023. The unveiling of the AMI marker was led by Jennifer Crow, Acting Deputy Mission Director of USAID Philippines and Lilibeth Aristorenas, Executive Director of the Unilab Foundation.

The AMIs are among AMDev’s program goals, and the establishment of these AMIs across the country is envisioned to improve the competencies of the target manufacturing workforce that will prepare them for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This will be through aligning the education and training provided by the HEIs and TESDA with the industry requirements.

This forms part of AMDev’s overall goal of producing a highly skilled and adaptive workforce through better-defined and harmonized skills and qualification descriptors, competency and training standards.

“By design, AMDev aims to enhance the Philippines’ education and manufacturing sectors in its flagship initiatives – the establishment of the Advance Manufacturing Skills Council (AMSC) and the Advance Manufacturing Institute.” Ms. Crow said in her message at the launch.

Ms. Aristorenas highlighted that one of AMDev’s targets is to provide better manufacturing career pathways and earning opportunities for the workforce through its training programs.

“By providing the tools for continuous learning and skill development, we are not only shaping the future of manufacturing but also opening the way for a brighter future for our workforce.” She said. “This will benefit our economically disadvantaged segment of the population as they are those who cannot afford a college education.”

The Belmont Advanced Manufacturing Institute is the second AMI launched within AMDev’s first year, preceded by the first AMI inaugurated at the Unilab Pharma Campus in Biñan, Laguna in March this year.

“I am proud to share that the first Advanced Manufacturing Institute in Amherst together with the four Model companies, and the Alliance partners have trained more than 400 operators and technicians in relevant advanced manufacturing competencies exceeding the project’s target for this year,” Ms. Crow added.

Engr. Limuel Razo, Corporate Vice President of the Unilab Manufacturing Network, is hopeful that the success of the Unilab Pharma Academy in Region IV-A and the collaborative effort between partner agencies be replicated in the other regions in the Philippines, following the inauguration of the second AMI.

“We’ve created [Unilab] Pharma Academy because we wanted to have the best pharmaceutical operators and engineers.” He said, addressing Alliance partners and government partners in Region III. “Today, we launched the second Advanced Manufacturing Institute here in Belmont. We are excited about the possibility because we know that Region III is an industrial powerhouse. We’ll be working with Bayan Academy to try to get the manufacturing industry board and manufacturing companies to go through our course offerings. And I’m sure that just as what those people in Region 4A have learned, people in this Region will do so as well. Again, the overall objective is to raise the bar, upskill, and reskill our [manufacturing] workforce.”

After the launch, the Alliance partners and guests were toured around the Hands Dirty Facility within the premises, showcasing the equipment commonly used in pharmaceutical manufacturing and those that are also used across other manufacturing sectors. The equipment will be used for training programs which combine both theoretical and practical applications for maximum training outcomes. The Hands Dirty Facility is a permanent feature of the Advanced Manufacturing Institutes.


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