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  • Reina Manongsong

Unilab Foundation, USAID conduct local benchmarking with AMDev Model Companies

Updated: May 3, 2023


The Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev) members touring the manufacturing facility of Western Digital at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan, Laguna
The Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev) members touring the manufacturing facility Ionics EMS, Inc. in Calamba, Laguna. 24 March 2023. Photo courtesy of Ionics EMS, Inc.

MANDALUYONG CITY—The Unilab Foundation, Inc. (ULF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev) Program, benchmarked three companies from the electronics industry, including two AMDev model companies on March 24, 2023.


The $10.6-million AMDev Program is set to establish an Advanced Manufacturing Skills Council (AMSC) and multiple Advanced Manufacturing Institutes (AMIs) across the country that will develop a pipeline of highly skilled and adaptive workforce that meets the evolving requirements of advanced manufacturing through streamlined standards for skills, qualifications descriptors, competency, and training for incoming and existing workforce.


The benchmarking activity provided the Alliance Partners with a deeper understanding of the local electronics manufacturing set-up, and an opportunity to see up close and the production facilities and technologies of Western Digital Philippines and Fastech Synergy Philippines, Inc., which qualified them as models of Advanced Manufacturing, plus Ionics EMS.


It is important for PMT members and Alliance Partners to get exposed to and have a better understanding of Advanced Manufacturing. This will provide insights on how different companies implement workforce development interventions, and will positively impact the AMDev Program implementation,” said AMDev Chief of Party (COP) Dr. Danilo Lachica.


The Alliance Partners, joined by key United States government and USAID Officials, toured the Western Digital’s factory at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan, Fastech’s factory at the Light Industry and Science Park (LISP 1) in Cabuyao, and the Ionics facility in Carmelray II in Calamba.

Western Digital Human Resources Senior Manager Conrad Artagame led the tour of their Innovation room, Agile room, and production area and Senior Director Gil Paolo De Guzman shared insights and experiences from Western Digitals’ successful accreditation as a World Economic Forum (WEF) Lighthouse.



The Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Development Alliance (AMDev) members touring the manufacturing facility of Western Digital at the Laguna Technopark in Biñan, Laguna. 24 March 2023. Photo courtesy of Western Digital


Western Digital Philippines is the first, and currently the only, manufacturing company in the Philippines that has been awarded a ‘Lighthouse’ status and admitted into the WEF Global Lighthouse Network—a community of manufacturers showing leadership in the use of advanced manufacturing technologies to transform factories, value chains, and business models for compelling financial and operational returns.


In Fastech, Managing Director Primo Mateo, Jr. led the tour of their production facility while Vice President for Human Resources Arlene Saudi shared how they are implementing scholarship programs and operationalizing an industry-academe linkage that supports their manufacturing operations. At present, Fastech maintains connections with 20 schools all over the country and provides internships for senior high school and college students and supports engineering research by allowing use of their facilities and technologies.


The benchmarking participants also had a chance to visit the Ionics EMS, Inc., a local electronics manufacturing services provider with product design capability, and tour their enterprise room and see the production line in their factory located at Carmelrey Industrial Park (CIP) 2 in Calamba, Laguna.


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