TTi Global of Rochester Hills opens auto service center in Afghanistan

Lori Blaker, President/CEO of TTi Global announced the opening of the firm’s first retail automotive service center and training center in Kabul. The firm has plans of opening additional facilities in Kabul and other major cities throughout Afghanistan.

For the past four years, Blaker 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. 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,” said 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 percent 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.

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