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100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund Announces New Strategic Partner


WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The U.S. Department of State and Partners of the Americas are pleased to welcome Cementos Progreso to the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund.

The 100,00 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the Department of State’s signature hemispheric-wide education initiative in the Western Hemisphere region.  Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has become the central trusted mechanism for leveraging the power of both private and public sectors, as well as the higher education community in the United States and rest of the hemisphere to expand academic mobility, increase student exchange and training programs, and serve business needs for workforce development.

The new commitment by Cementos Progreso, along with funds from the U.S. Department of State, will allow the Innovation Fund to launch a new grant competition in Spring 2019 to stimulate and support new higher education partnerships between the U.S. and Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

This new Innovation Fund grant competition will provide partnership opportunities for universities and colleges in the United States with higher education institutions (HEIs) in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  This future Innovation Fund competition will be open to HEIs in the United States to work with HEIs in these countries to propose new short-term exchange and training programs that create opportunities for students to work in teams, gain technical and linguistic skills, and solve real-world problems in various fields of study.

The announcement of the commitment by Cementos Progreso to the 100K Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund will take place at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., with Partners of the Americas, along with leaders from private sector and academic networks.   Since its inception in January 2014 through March 2018, the Innovation Fund has awarded 198 grants to teams 362 higher education institutions from 25 countries and 42 U.S. states.  Partnerships resulting from Innovation Fund grants build bridges of connectivity and opportunity in the Americas.

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The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund is the public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, Partners of the Americas, NAFSA, corporations, and foundations working together to stimulate new higher education partnerships between the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere.

The central, trusted mechanism to support this hemispheric-wide education initiative of the Bureau of the Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of State is the Innovation Fund, that builds bridges of connectivity, enhances institutional capacity, increases student exchanges, and strengthens regional education cooperation throughout the Americas.

Since its inception in January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 198 grants to more than 360 teams of universities and colleges in 25 countries and in 42 U.S. states. Currently, over 1,800 higher education institutions have joined the Innovation Network— with 1,000 universities and colleges in the United States.

The mission of Partners of the Americas is to connect people and organizations across borders to serve and to change lives through lasting partnerships. These partnerships create opportunity, foster understanding, and solve real-life problems. Inspired by President Kennedy and founded in 1964, under the Alliance for Progress, Partners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C.  Learn more at www.partners.net or via Twitter @partnersamerica.

With 10,000 members worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest non-profit professional association dedicated to international education program and policy.  Learn more: www.nafsa.org and www.connectingourworld.org or via Twitter @NAFSA and @ConnectOurWorld.

Cementos Progreso is a Guatemalan company that has been in operations for 120 years.  Throughout its history it has striven to be an excellent corporate citizen aiming at capturing economic, social and environmental values to achieve sustainability, through the implementation of a set of strong values and principles.  Cementos Progreso is characterized by its modern industrial process, its high environmental standards and the respect towards the communities in which it operates.  It has been recognized as one of the best places to work in Guatemala and Central America by the Best Place to Work Institute, as one of the 128 most ethical companies in the world by the Ethisphere Institute and as a company of excellence on workplace health and safety by the British Safety Council.  Cementos Progreso has contributed to the social and economic development of Guatemala through its corporate social responsibility commitment, its philanthropic work and the production of quality and innovative products and building solutions.  The Company considers the human element key for achieving sustainable development.  Therefore it is only fitting that Cementos Progreso would contribute to the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, and by doing so, support the creation of more capacity that would allow Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to thrive and be more prosperous societies.  Additional information on Cementos Progreso is available at www.cementosprogreso.com.

Press Contact: Rachel Falek, rfalek@partners.net.