By Mike Baños
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has hailed the Toyota Cagayan de Oro Socio-Economic and Environmental Development , Inc. (TCO SEED) as a benchmark for excellence, collaboration and the future of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET).
The opening of the Body Painting/Finishing NC1 Assessment Center marked a significant achievement for TCO-SEED, as it further strengthens the institution’s commitment to providing quality technical education and skills training to its students. With the center’s opening, students will now have access to industry-standard training and assessment facilities that will help them develop the necessary skills to become competent professionals in the automotive industry.
The Body Painting/Finishing NC1 Assessment Center is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, including spray booths, sanding booths, and a fully equipped paint mixing room. The center’s facilities will provide students with hands-on experience in preparing, painting, and finishing automotive bodies, as well as assessing their performance in accordance with industry standards.
“Today, the heart of every TESDAn is beaming with excitement as we witness the ribbon cutting of the TCO SEED AC on Automotive Body Painting/Furnishing NC I as this will significantly boost the efforts of the Agency in professionalizing skilled workers in the automotive sector, and demonstrating TVET excellence with global standards,” said TESDA Misamis Oriental Provincial Director Marigold Cherie R. Garrido during the facility’s launching program on March 23.
Leaders from Toyota Cagayan de Oro; Barangays Kauswagan, Bulua and Gusa; TESDA; USAID; the Department of Education (DepEd); CASA dealers; and car insurance companies graced the event.
“The TCO SEED Assessment Center is an epitome of cooperation, collaboration between the government and the industry,” Garrido noted. “We hope that this collaboration will continue as we build more competent and world class human resource for TVET development. We are grateful for TCO SEED for pursuing the Assessment Center as the only AC in the entire country.”
TCO SEED is a TESDA accredited Training and Assessment Center owned and operated by Toyota Cagayan de Oro which is envisioned to be a globally engaged skills training institute for the Philippine Automotive industry in Northern Mindanao.
TCO SEED has attained an 80% employment rate for its over 300 trainees since it was established in February, 2017.
It has been cited by TESDA as a National Kabalikat 2022 awardee in recognition of its economic and industry contributions over 2018-2021 and welcomes 2023 as the first and only Automotive Painting/Finishing Assessment Center NC1; and as a recipient of the Grant for Work Readiness and Continuing Education Training Program for Out-of-School Youth, under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Opportunity 2.0 program.
TCO SEED has been awarded grants for Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. TCO SEED currently offers Skills Training in Automotive Servicing Level 1 and Level 2 (NC1 &2) and Assessment in Automotive Painting Level 1(NC1) with flexible schedules: day class (8:00am-5:00pm) and night class (5:30pm-9:00pm). This will provide more flexibility for students for their preferred schedule, as well as accommodate professionals who wish to further their knowledge and skills.
“Through this program, we are empowering people, transforming their lives to becoming empowered individuals by professionalizing their competencies in Automotive Body Painting,” Garrido said. “For an individual aiming to get a job locally and abroad, the NC can take him/her places and a higher level of opportunities. The NC is their passport towards getting employed.”
“We also commend the collaboration between TCO SEED and the EDC on Opportunity 2.0 program. Indeed, we are now fusing our forces and resources to be able to make sense in what we are doing for human resource development,” she added.
TCO First Vice President Dr. Nancy U. Ramirez said the company actually celebrated three events during the TCO SEED launch.
“We are cutting the ribbon for our TCO SEED Automotive Painting Assessment Center, the first and only one in the country as a Technical-Vocational Institute (TVI) accredited by TESDA. We are also receiving the USAID grant for TCO SEED in two locations: TCO and Toyota Iligan City. Not the least, we are re-introducing Toyota’s Kasosyo sa Pag-asenso Lite Ace for various business transportation needs in three variants: Pick-up, Cargo, and Panel Van.”
Garrido cited how TESDA has embedded in its training regulations the 21st century skills to develop the life skills of the trainees and ascertain work readiness.
“The future of work impacts TVET future. TVET must consider its future now. TESDA is spearheading the skills mapping in partnership with the industry sector and development institutions to project future skills requirements. This is to ensure responsive TVET programs in anticipation of the skills future requirements e.g. self-driving cars, electric cars,” she noted.
“We are excited as well for the possible creation of an industry board for the automotive sector which we will name as the Misamis Oriental Transportation Sector Industry Board,” she added.
In his closing remarks, TCO Senior Vice President Dr. Johnny U. Lu acknowledged the invaluable contributions of TESDA and USAID to the successful implementation of TCO SEED, and partnership with car dealerships, automotive learning institutions, and insurance firms.
“May we continue to work hand-in-hand as we further utilize the automotive skills of the learners we will be producing in our technical institution while maintaining a healthy competition running our respective businesses.”
He also thanked the barangay councils of Kauswagan, Bulua and Gusa for their support in promoting TCO SEED’s programs to further reach more training beneficiaries in their respective communities.
The Thai philosopher Buddhadasa once said “The entire cosmos is a cooperative. The sun, the moon, and the stars live together as a cooperative. The same is true for humans and animals, trees, and the Earth. When we realize that the world is a mutual, interdependent, cooperative enterprise – then we can build a noble environment. If our lives are not based on this truth, then our lives are not based on this truth, then we shall perish.”
“After this ceremony, we will each go to our respective work or whatever engagements we have. But this does not mean that after today we are no longer linked to each other,” Garrido said. “ It is that empathy for others would bind us all even if we are not in the same room. We are bound together to work as one for the common good, and that is for the good of our skilled workers for their economic capacity.”