M S International, Inc. & The American India Foundation (Aif) Sponsor Program to Train Unemployed Youth in India

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M S International, Inc. (MSI), in conjunction with the American India Foundation (AIF), is pleased to announce the launch of the Market Aligned Skills Training Program (MAST) Ateli Center in Northern India.

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We are very excited about the MAST center and hope to replicate the model to other locations in India. It is our way of partnering with the stone industry to give opportunities to those in need and help improve India’s economy with more skilled workers.

M S International, Inc. (MSI), in conjunction with the American India Foundation (AIF), is pleased to announce the launch of the Market Aligned Skills Training Program (MAST) Ateli Center in Northern India. This Center will train disadvantaged youth with skills that will help them gain employment in their local economies. The Center is located in the region of India where MSI sources the majority of its slate and sandstone products.

MSI, a leading US distributor of countertops, flooring, wall tile, and hardscaping materials, has partnered with the American Indian Foundation (AIF), an organization dedicated to catalyzing social and economic change in India. Working with AIF, MSI sponsored this program that will provide underprivileged youth in India with skills and training necessary for formal employment opportunities. This program will not only train underprivileged youth, but it will provide much needed capable workers to India. It is estimated that by 2022, India will face a demand of 500 million skilled workers.

The new Market Aligned Skills Training (MAST) center, serving the Ateli and Kund areas of Northern India, will feature basic life skill development and practical courses that will range from two to three months. The program aims to provide skills to youth upon which they can sustain a livelihood. The center will focus on skills to help find employment as electricians, auto mechanics, or in information technology.

The goal of the MAST program is to impart new skills and upgrade the existing skills of youth while simultaneously creating vital links between the local employer base and disadvantaged young people. The program has been working closely with the local area industries to understand the key requirements of employers in Ateli and Kund, thereby bridging the gap between the supply and demand sides of the job market.

MSI, along with its supply chain partners in the region, provided the funding for the program. MSI hopes to expand its MAST program throughout other rural natural stone sourcing areas across India with the help of its supply chain partners.

Rupesh Shah, President of MSI, states, “We are very excited about the MAST center and hope to replicate the model to other locations in India. It is our way of partnering with the stone industry to give opportunities to those in need and help improve India’s economy with more skilled workers.”

On August 17th, 2013, AIF held an inauguration ceremony at the MAST Center in Ateli. The chief guest was Anita Yadav, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, who thanked MSI and AIF for starting the MAST program in the area. Hanumant Rawat, Director of Livelihoods at AIF, said, “We are grateful to MSI for their generous support in helping AIF implement the MAST program in Ateli and Kund area where youth require skill training for various employability options that are emerging in close by areas.”

Founded in 1975, MSI is a leading nationwide distributor of flooring, countertop, wall-tile and hardscaping products. Headquartered in Orange, California, MSI also maintains 18 distribution centers across the United States and Canada. MSI's product line includes natural stone products imported from over 36 countries on six continents. In addition, MSI carries an extensive offering of porcelain tile, ceramic, glass and quartz products. The company maintains an inventory of over 50 million square feet. For more information on MSI, visit msistone.com.

The American India Foundation is committed to catalyzing social and economic change in India and building a lasting bridge between the United States and India through high-impact interventions in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development. Working closely with local communities, AIF partners with NGOs to develop and test innovative solutions and with governments to create and scale sustainable impact. Founded in 2001 at the initiative of President Bill Clinton, AIF has impacted the lives of more than 1.7 million of India’s poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018. AIF’s Market Aligned Skills Training (MAST) program has trained over 105,000 youth across 20 states in India to date. Learn more at http://www.AIF.org.

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