Recently, community leaders from Yekepa Township and a few citizens were given a tour of the ArcelorMittal Liberia Training Academy (AMLTA; formerly the VTC) to get a feel for the high-quality training facilities and educational resources available there.
Incredulous but enthusiastic about what they saw, community residents and leaders thanked the management as they toured the various departments and heard from trainers about the machines’ uses and the goods they produce.
As part of his introduction to the academy and its offerings, AMLTA Manager Dawie Loots noted that the facility is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery across all departments, which is being used to train young Liberians in their chosen professions to an international standard.
After giving the group a tour of the facilities, Loots led a discussion about how AMLTA is making a difference in the lives of Liberia’s youth, who he believes will play a pivotal part in the country’s economic future.
Successful participants of the ArcelorMittal Liberia bulk recruitment exercise held in Bassa, Bong, and Nimba Counties a few months ago will receive training at the AMLTA in the operations of the concentrate facility under construction, he said.
Furthermore, Loots revealed that an advanced level of Electronics would be taught, and that a 14-classroom building would soon be on the ground to accommodate additional individuals.
He stressed that the chance is not for him or AML, but for Liberia and Liberians, and he urged community leaders and residents to encourage their children to enroll at the academy to prepare for a better future.
Residents of Yekepa released separate comments in which they praised AML and the training school and voiced disappointment that some local youth were less interested in learning skills that could help them find better jobs and live better lives.
One local resident, Madam Ida Jensen, whose son attended the academy, stated that her son has become a capable and helpful member of the family since graduating.
Moses Guannu, Chairman of Yekepa Township, was impressed by the high-tech equipment in the facility and asked the AML Management to provide them with additional information about the AMLTA so that they, in their roles as community leaders, could spread the word about what a fantastic place it is.
Mr. Edmund Gbah, AML’s Community Relations Supervisor in Yekepa, recently reminded local community leaders and citizens that the academy’s training opportunities are for Liberia, not AML.
Mr. Gbah addressed the subject of testing and evaluation, saying that it is impossible for any educational institution to accept students without first assessing their skills. He assured them that if they put in the effort in class, they will do as well as every other applicant who wants to attend the institution.
Furthermore, Community Relations Manager Vaanii Kiazolu praised the academy’s administration for inviting locals to tour the facilities and encouraged parents to take advantage of the opportunity to educate their children through open dialogue with their children.
Mr. Kiazolu echoed Mr. Gbah’s concerns that many young people are unprepared for the test because they would rather have “Free goods” than earn them through hard labor.