U.S. company launches tech careers in Costa Rica

Girl standing behind desk and woman seated at desk (Courtesy of Intel)
Keisy Valeshka Dermitt Hurguson is one of dozens of students in Costa Rica receiving technology and language training through the Skills 4 Life program, which is supported by Intel. (Courtesy of Intel)

Students in Costa Rica are learning the science, technology and English language skills needed to excel at international companies.

U.S. tech firm Intel’s cooperation with the Skills 4 Life program helped train more than 160 students from Costa Rica’s Limón province in 2021. Approximately 170 kilometers east of San José on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, Limón is home to many people of Indigenous and African descent who are underrepresented in higher education.

Skills 4 Life provides participants science, technology, engineering and math training, and connects students with internships at international companies.

Instructor speaking to students seated in classroom (Courtesy of Intel)
Students at a technical high school in Costa Rica’s Limón province learn skills needed to work at multinational companies. (Courtesy of Intel)

Intel’s efforts to promote workplace diversity earned the California-based company the 2022 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) for inclusive economic growth. The State Department’s ACE awards recognize U.S. companies that promote high standards in their work around the world.

Intel is incorporating American values and best practices into their foreign operations, the U.S. Embassy in San José said, nominating the company for an ACE award in August.

Intel’s Skills 4 Life partnership advances the multinational microchip manufacturer’s 25-year investment in Costa Rica. In 2020, Intel announced plans to invest $600 million to expand its computer chip manufacturing in the country, which has revitalized Costa Rica’s tech sector and provided more than 3,800 direct jobs and employment for more than 6,000 contractors. Intel also has prioritized diversity and inclusion in their hiring in Costa Rica.

6 students holding boxes (Courtesy of Intel)
Intel donated computers to students participating in Skills 4 Life training at UNED (Distance Education University) facilities in Shiroles, Costa Rica. (Courtesy of Intel)

“Embracing diverse talents, beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences is a cornerstone of our values and key to our long-term success,” said Navid Shahriari, a senior vice president at Intel.

Timothy Scott Hall, Intel Costa Rica’s manager of government affairs, said in a December 2021 video that Skills 4 Life has helped numerous students from outside Costa Rica’s capital city learn skills for tech careers.

“It is surprising to see what we have achieved by positively impacting dozens of students, mainly from areas outside the greater metropolitan area,” Hall said in Spanish. The company hopes to expand cooperation with Skills 4 Life to benefit more students, he added.

The 2022 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence also was awarded to a small company and a multinational enterprise for responsible business operations, and to a company for climate resilience.