Joji Ilagan Care Center Foundation, Inc.

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Joji Ilagan Care Center Foundation, Inc.

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JOJI: One cant Beat this traning pioneer









AS FAR as I can remember, I can't think of anyone else in the Philippine south who has given so much to solving the problem of joblessness and giving hope to hundreds of thousands of young Filipinos dreaming of a better tomorrow.

It’s rare to find someone who is keen on knowing exactly the kinds of manpower that industries and business establishments need to fit into specific jobs that have to be filled in this country or overseas.

The hospitality industry covering such businesses as hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, etc. have specific job positions that can’t be filled by just anyone unless they have gone into intensive weeks or months of training.

Jobs for waiters, cooks, chambermaids, bartenders, hotel managers, restaurant managers, etc, aren’t the types of jobs you can be trained for in just any ordinary college or university (although there days, many have started to offer these courses, too).

But one can’t beat the pioneer herself, Joji Ilagan Bian, who started her Joji Ilagan Career Center way back in the early 80’s at her original site along Anda street and has expanded tremendously over the years to what it is today.

Joji has gone a long way since the 80’s to much bigger training school building on Chavez street, a fast-rising call center and a pre-school along A. Mabini street near corner Torres, and a new, larger 4-storey building along De Jesus near Rizal St. extension.

Everyone knows this business of training people is a family affair in the Bian family, but one can’t blame people for getting the impression that Joji has done all these things single-handedly. Perhaps it might be George Bian’s idea, but a lot of people are impressed by that special training school for welders that was set up here in Davao with help from TESDA, of course, but the success of this welder training program has still the mark of Joji, whether you like it or not.

            When my editors at Asiaweek Hong Kong selected Joji as one of my profile subjects from all over the country to interview for that international news magazine several years ago, they noted that she was doing some kind of pioneering work that would eventually make its mark in the country.

            And in her own quiet way, Joji has exactly done that – preparing young people for thousands of job opportunities available to those with the right kind of training, not those with just a college diploma.

            If Joji has been given many awards for what she has accomplished in this country over the years, we won’t be surprised. But it won’t be surprising either if she is awarded by Malacañang for her contribution to the country’s effort to provide one million jobs for jobless Filipinos.

            For, in her own little, but indefatigable, way, that’s exactly what she has done and continues to do.