Oil palm developer Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL) and NGO Building Markets have partnered to bring occupational skills training to the rural Liberian areas of Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties. Building Markets is providing training to local residents to equip them to take advantage of employment opportunities with GVL or other extractive firms and large companies, or within these companies’ supply chains.
The training partnership initially will include local programs for media personnel and carpenters, but may be expanded in the future depending on needs of the company and budget approvals. Building Markets implements these programs as part of its Humanity United-funded Supplier Diversity Project (SDP). SDP aims to decrease the potential for violence in communities where extractive firms operate by providing the skills necessary to integrate small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individuals into extractive supply chains.
Building Markets creates jobs and sustains peace by working across sectors with both large and small companies, as well as the Liberian government, UN agencies and international organizations, to support local businesses, build and strengthen local supply chains, and ensure monies spent in Liberia stay in Liberia. Building Markets began working in Liberia in 2011 and also implements the USAID Sustainable Marketplace Initiative Liberia (SMI-L).
Operating in Liberia since 2010, GVL currently employs approximately 4,000 Liberians in a range of career fields across Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties. The company is currently looking to expand its operations based on community invitations to develop land through productive agriculture to ensure Liberian food security, poverty reduction, rural economic growth and development, to include improvements in infrastructure, education and healthcare to the communities and lift the overall standard of living. In doing so, GVL expects to provide between 35,000 to 40,000 direct jobs; support Liberian smallholders in developing up to 100,000 acres of oil palm; build manufacturing and value-added industries; and create a vibrant and substantial new economic sector for Liberians.