US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Andrew Schofer visited Lahore and Faisalabad from June 2 through June 4 to underscore the United State’s partnership with the people of Punjab through initiatives related to education, cultural preservation, and economic development.
DCM Schofer and US Mission Pakistan’s partner University of Education (UoE) Faisalabad kicked off a Career Expo that welcomed over 400 English language students and professionals. The participants included US government-sponsored English Works! program alumni, university students, and members of the business community at a career expo.
The English for Workforce Development in Pakistan, popularly known as English Works, helps unemployed or under-employed youth, ages 17-25, improve their English language skills while learning entrepreneurial and technical skills needed to increase their employability. “English language skills open doors of opportunity. Whether in business or our personal lives, English connects us to our international community.” said DCM Schofer.
Over 30,000 Pakistani students have graduated from US government-sponsored English language programs. At present, the US Mission in Pakistan sponsors English language programs in seven cities across Punjab, including Lahore, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Multan, Vehari, and DG Khan. DCM Schofer added that, “We all know that Punjab has immense economic potential. Empowering Punjab’s economy will not only help the local population, but it will also have a positive spillover impact on the wider Pakistani economy.”
While in Lahore, Deputy Chief of Mission Andrew Schofer met with leaders at NETSOL Technologies to discuss Pakistan’s digital ecosystem and highlight areas where the US Mission can partner with the private sector for innovative digital solutions. He also toured the Sunehri Mosque and Wazir Khan Chowk and Mosque, cultural landmarks that have been conserved through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP).
Founded in 2001, AFCP preserves historical and cultural treasures under threat from environmental pressure or lack of resources. In Pakistan, AFCP has invested more than $7.6 million in 32 cultural preservation projects. The latest project is an almost $1 million restoration project of seven sites at the Lahore Fort.