Sri Lanka and U.S. Governments Launch YouLead! Youth Employment Program

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 19, 2017
Public Affairs Section
Tel: +94 (1) 249-8100, Fax: +94 (1) 244-9070, Email:

The Governments of Sri Lanka and the United States launched the YouLead! initiative on October 19, a 1.8 billion rupee program funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support youth employability, vocational skills development, and entrepreneurship.  U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap and Minister Chandima Weerakkody joined for the inauguration ceremony at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo.

U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap said, “The future of Sri Lanka depends on young people gaining the skills and knowledge that will power the country’s prosperity.”  Ambassador Keshap emphasized the significance of public-private partnerships, stating, “by deploying the resources and knowledge of government and business, YouLead! aligns global best-practice tools and training with in-demand jobs.”

USAID and a coalition of partners from the Government of Sri Lanka, the private sector, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions will collaborate over the next four-years to help young Sri Lankans become more competitive in the labor market.

Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) will administer the USAID-funded YouLead! program, and International Executive Service Corps (IESC) will implement the program.  VEGA is a consortium of 28 member NGOs that bring together highly skilled volunteers with people around the globe seeking opportunities for self-reliance.  IESC is an organization that has worked with hundreds of private enterprises in Sri Lanka since 1965. Under YouLead!, IESC will partner with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce, Arizona State University, Global Communities, Skills for Life, and Verité Research.

Last updated: October 22, 2020

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