Building Futures for Sicilian Youth: TED-ED’s Mission Possible

In a world where competition is fierce and opportunities scarce, there’s a beacon for thousands of young people: professional training. Transitioning from school to the workforce can be daunting, often marked by a lack of opportunities and fierce competition. Yet, there’s an ever-evolving market hungering for skills that only proper training can provide.

For over three decades, the TED Formazione Association has been that guiding star in Sicily. Born in 1992, this dynamic institution now caters to over a thousand students across provinces like Palermo and Trapani. Initially focused on computer training as a partner of the Sicilian Department of Land and Environment, starting in 2009, first with the support of the Pietro Piazza Institute, and later on its own, it began its adventure in the world of Vocational Education and Training courses, which are the great opportunity offered today by the Sicilian Region for young people who really want to prepare for the competitive job market.

With nine active centers across Sicily, including Monreale, Palermo, Carini, Belmonte Mezzagno, Misilmeri and Castelvetrano, TED Formazione is about to launch its tenth and eleventh branches in Palermo and Alcamo respectively.

And next year, they will be breaching regional boundaries, opening centers in Calabria, Bergamo, and Turin.

Under the steadfast leadership of its President, Giuseppe Pipitone, and Director Tony Marfia, the association offers a vast array of specialized courses. Whether it’s cooking, confectionery, mechanics, makeup, or even electrical engineering and plumbing, they’ve got it covered.

Innovation is a cornerstone in the association’s vision: the Graphic Operator course, inaugurated just three years ago, reflects the focus on the most sought-after professions in the modern market. Within this pathway, students can choose from the digital professions of photography and video game developer, opening them up to a future in creative and technology careers.

At the heart of their mission is training students for the real world.

They’ve even recently launched a groundbreaking initiative in Misilmeri – a student-run educational restaurant.

Here, under expert guidance, students get hands-on experience in both culinary arts and business management.

Their reach doesn’t end in Sicily. Their partnerships extend beyond, with recent paid summer internships allowing students to work in Veneto’s five-star establishments.

The association itself is a reservoir of skills and expertise: there are about 80 people already employed on a permanent basis, including teachers, school assistants and administrative staff; another 150 people teach specific subjects annually.

The staff can boast renowned regional and national instructors. Among the many are, for example, Giovanni Catalano, of the Oscar pastry shop; Giuseppe Vitrano, owner of the pizzeria “La Botte”; Fabrizio and Gabriele Di Cara, owners of the restaurant “I mandarini”; and there are also excellent chefs such as Davide Pedullà, Tony Figarotta and Francesco Cangemi. They are all true professionals in their field, ready to share their knowledge directly into the classroom.

But they’re not stopping there. Their gaze is fixed on the horizon, with ambitions of launching courses in the United States. Given the increasing demand for Italian cuisine in America, TED Formazione’s trainees have the potential to become true ambassadors of “Made in Sicily” on a global stage.

This is a golden ticket for the young people, allowing them to step into a market brimming with unparalleled professional opportunities.

Catch TED Formazione at the Sicily Show, organized by IoComproSiciliano, at Nexxt Expo from October 19-22 in Los Angeles. Don’t miss it!