TTi Global Opens Their First Retail Automotive Service Center and Training Center in Afghanistan
Rochester Hills, Michigan - July 20, 2016 -
For the past four years, Lori Blaker President/CEO of TTi Global has been laying the ground work to open the company’s first for-profit automotive service and training center in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2012, Lori Blaker was a part of the first ever US Department of Commerce trade mission to Afghanistan which lead directly to the company’s current venture.
The idea of establishing the retail Automotive Service Center and Training Center came to Blaker while participating on the mission. Blaker could see the critical need to train young people in automotive repair, since there is a lack of automotive service centers in Afghanistan and vehicles routinely breakdown because of the harsh environment.
Working with a very small grant from USAID/ABADE (Assistance in Building Afghanistan by Developing Enterprises) and with individuals in both Washington DC and in Afghanistan, and her own personal funds Blaker was able to secure the resources needed to open the first center. The training center will hire and train local Afghan men and women as training instructors, course developers and administrative personnel.
“There is a desperate need for skilled trades in Afghanistan,” stated Blaker. “Most skilled trade workers are brought in from other countries and they earn the income. The local people continue to suffer from lack of employment. When I viewed the situation, I saw no reason why the local people couldn’t be trained to do all of those skilled trade jobs. Half of the population is under the age of 25 and there is over a 50% unemployment rate.” Through her knowledge of workforce development, Blaker will be helping to create scores of jobs and build a service industry in this war-torn country.
Blaker went through many obstacles to establishing the center. It took nearly two years to find an appropriate location. Then the building needed modification to meet the company’s requirements. Additional delays were experienced in the shipment of tools and equipment and getting various materials through customs.
“ The idea is to train young people in automotive repair. Trainees will be mostly all young men, as it is still not culturally acceptable for women to do this type of work,” explains Blaker “So we are working with and training young women, in how to manage the business. People will train with us in various aspects of the business, gain real working knowledge by working in the service center, and then hopefully will go out and either establish their own business or continue to work for ours as we grow. The goal is to open multiple facilities throughout Kabul and other major cities in Afghanistan.”
Utilizing her own resources and knowledge of workforce development and combining them with a USAID/ ABADE grant, Blaker has succeeded in creating the establishment of an Automotive Service Center and Training Center, against-all-odds in one of the world’s harshest economies. This for-profit business will create job growth in a country that is suffering from lack of industry and commerce and high unemployment.
About Lori Blaker
Lori Blaker has a long list of professional accomplishments. Recently Blaker was named to Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women. In 2015, Blaker was the recipient of the Jeffrey Berry Award, the highest award given by Walsh College and received “CEO of CEO” award presented by the BEST of #michbusiness. She has received the "Enterprising Women of the Year Award" from the prestigious Enterprising Women magazine and the “Leader of Leaders” Leadership Award from Leadership Oakland. Previously Blaker was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Ernst & Young. TTi Global has consistently ranked among the "Top 25 Woman-Run Businesses in the USA" as recognized by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council.
About TTI Global
TTi Global provides staffing, learning, research and consulting solutions to industries across various sectors with automotive as a core focus. TTi Global oversees operations on five continents with offices spanning the globe, which include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, Venezuela, UK and most recently Afghanistan. www. tti-global.com
With a staff of over 2000 employees in international operations, they offer a wide range of services, tailor made to drive business goals, including business consulting, research, staffing, workforce development and learning solutions. TTi Global world headquarters are located in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Contact Melinda Curtis 248-884-7960