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 currently manage the J1 Summer Work Travel, J1 Intern/J1 Work and Travel Pilot Program for Ireland, and J1 Trainee Programs. In the past we have managed 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. In 2010 and 2011 we managed the successful Carbon Zero Northern Ireland Program.
To date, the Ireland Institute has developed and delivered quality job-training programs to over 2,000 unemployed adults from Northern Ireland, Ireland and other countries. They have participated in rigorous programs that involves work training, post-secondary education, personal and professional development classes, educational travel, social activities, and interaction with the Greater Pittsburgh and other local US communities.
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, Ireland and other countries throughout the world. 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.