Empowering young Filipinos to build careers for themselves

By Charles E. Buban Philippine Daily Inquirer January 16,2019
Empowering young Filipinos to build careers for themselves

The pioneer batch of Hyundai Dream Center Philippines graduates from Courses 1 and 2 proudly display their certificates alongside Hari VP for After-Sales Richard Gapasin (2nd row, 3rd from left), Plan International Sponsorship manager Mike Reynaldo (4th from left), Plan International senior program manager Natividad Silorio (5th from left), Hari COO and CFO Ladislao Avila, Jr. (6th from left), and Plan International Program Technical manager Emilio Paz (third row, extreme right).

There’s always an opportunity that awaits the 2.6 million out-of-school youths aged 16 to 24 years old in the Philippines, but many are living in poverty, are financially unstable, and some have to deal with family issues and other seemingly insurmountable obstacles in pursuing their goals.

Somehow, fate smiled on Dominic Lorenzo Paunilian and 44 of his fellow trainees that made up the first batch of scholars of the newly-formed Hyundai Dream Center Philippines (HDCP).

Their graduation was held last Nov. 29.

Paunilian’s dream was to be able to inspire change and opportunity within his family, as well as his community.

A dedicated and studious learner, Paunilian finished top of his intensive training class in Hyundai automotive technology that started in March 2018.

“The HDCP symbolizes not just our commitment to contribute to human capital development in the automotive industry, but our dream of improving the lives of Filipinos as well. We are especially proud that our partners could meet the first batch of scholars and witness their progress firsthand,” said Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc (Hari) president and CEO during the center’s inauguration held last April.

Agudo described HDCP as the fruit of the partnership among Hari, Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), and global humanitarian organization Plan International.

Very special

Hari COO and CFO Ladislao Avila, Jr. said during the graduation ceremony that the company celebrated something very special: “The fulfillment of our shared vision for the Dream Center: Inspiring Dreams, Empowering Abilities. Forty five young people—38 men and seven women—will soon fulfill their own dreams and begin careers as People of Hyundai.”

The Dream Center, located at the 10-hectare Hyundai Logistics Center in Calamba, Laguna, aims to elevate the level of vocational-technical skills in the Philippine automotive industry by providing bright, young Filipinos with training scholarships on vehicle repair and maintenance.

HDCP is the latest addition to Dream Centers being built in select parts of the world (Ghana in Africa, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Vietnam), in collaboration with local vocational schools over the past five years.

Agudo is happy to share that this is the first time Hyundai Motor Group in South Korea, partnered with a local distributor (Hari) to design and implement the training courses for the center.

Comprehensive training

At HDCP, the graduates underwent a comprehensive training on Hyundai vehicle repair and maintenance.

Hari and Plan International collaborated on the design and implementation of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-certified training courses adapted to the diverse educational backgrounds of the 45 pioneering scholars.

Each course aims to develop the scholars’ understanding of Hyundai vehicles’ state-of-the-art technology, proper handling of equipment, and safety procedures and best practices in the workplace.

Among the 45 graduates, three were recognized for their exemplary performance in written and practical exams and in their conduct throughout training.

Paunilian is joined by Montemar Joson and Eric Jayson Cornico, who placed second and third, respectively.

Additionally, all scholars will undergo two months of on-the-job training within the Hyundai dealership network on top of studying for six months.

Graduates like Paunilian will now have the opportunity to secure employment with a Hyundai dealership as Hyundai certified technicians or apprentice technicians.

Agudo said that “When Hari, HMC, and Plan International joined forces to build the HDCP, we wanted to empower deserving young Filipinos to build careers for themselves and lift the bar of the country’s automotive industry.

“It brings us great pride to see that the Dream Center has given these youths the skills and expertise they need to accomplish this.

“These pioneer graduates are now part of our after-sales teams at selected dealerships as general job and preventive maintenance technicians, with the potential to sustain our award-winning service performance.”

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