Business is booming in Asia’s Lower Mekong region, and young people with strong technical, work readiness, and industrial skills are in high demand. However, local labor assessments have shown that university graduates lack critical industry, communication, and workplace skills, hampering their ability to support the region’s rapidly expanding economies.

To bridge this gap, EDC is the implementing contractor for the USAID Connecting the Mekong through Education and Training (USAID COMET) project. USAID COMET is linking the private sector, job seekers, and schools to equip young people in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam with the in-demand skills they need to seize emerging job opportunities. The project has three main approaches: create partnerships across all education and industry sectors, make evidence-based decisions to foster employment, and leverage technology and innovation in the classroom.

Key Activities

The activities of the USAID COMET program include the following:

  • Conduct annual labor market assessment
  • Improve youth employment with market-driven skills
  • Promote gender-balanced employment in key growth sectors
  • Increase technology-based learning solutions in universities and technical colleges
  • Strengthen links between businesses and education and training institutions through work-based learning

To learn more about USAID COMET's activities, read the following:


  • From 2015–2017, reached over 44,551 students with innovative work-readiness programs
  • In 2017, trained 580 instructors to become leaders in workforce development, 329 percent over target reach
  • Overseeing 203 workforce development initiatives across the 5 countries

Learn More

USAID Connecting the Mekong through Education and Training (COMET)
U.S. Agency for International Development

Google; Cisco; Intel; Mahidol University, Thailand; University of Yangon, Myanmar; Institute of Technology of Cambodia; Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam; Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Laos