The Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh offers many training programs as part of its committment to promoting mutual understanding between the Protestant & Catholic peoples of Northern Ireland and strengthening the economic development of the island of Ireland.
We manage both the Walsh Visa Program on behalf of the US State Department and Wider Horizons Program programs under the auspices of the International Fund for Ireland .
To date, the Ireland Institute has developed and delivered quality job-training programs to over 1,500 unemployed adults from Northern Ireland and Ireland. They participate in a rigorous program that involves work training, post-secondary education, personal and professional development classes, educational travel, social activities, and interaction with the Greater Pittsburgh community.
Utilizing its network of over 600 businesses, the Ireland Institute has delivered customized on-the-job training experiences in information technology, entrepreneurial development, retail sales, electronics, software systems, data processing, hotel management, tourism, culinary arts, financial services, telemarketing, community care and industrial training. Enriched with new skills and exposure to American business practices, participants return to Northern Ireland and Ireland better prepared to access employment opportunities. Eighty-five per cent of former Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh participants are currently employed in Northern Ireland and Ireland. Another seven percent are pursuing higher education opportunities.
The Ireland Institute recognizes that a key to promoting peace and stability in Northern Ireland is the coming together of the Catholic and Protestant communities. Consequently, the Institute has developed a mutual understanding component that is an integral part of all programs.
Through a pro-active process of communication and conflict management training, the program participants find themselves better equipped to understand the cultural traditions and diversity within Northern Ireland and Ireland. The number of cross community friendships that have endured long after the participants have returned home is evidence of the impact of the mutual understanding program.