A photo of USAID–Lower Mekong Initiative Connecting the Mekong through Education and Training (USAID–LMI COMET)


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.

As the implementor of the USAID–Lower Mekong Initiative Connecting the Mekong through Education and Training (USAID–LMI COMET) project, EDC developed the MekongSkills2Work Network model to bridge the education to employment gap by working with youth, universities, vocational institutions, and industry partners in STEM fields in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam to equip youth and instructors with market-driven skills; connect education, business, and government; and incubate technology-based learning innovations.

Key Activities

The activities of the USAID–LMI 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–LMI 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

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