News Release

ERC, ACE Teach Entrepreneurship

Bacolod City, located on Negros Island, Philippines, is not only known for its sugar industry but for its resilient, smiling people.

Dubbed as the ‘City of Smiles,’ Bacolod City witnessed a crisis in the sugar industry in the 1980's but  the new ‘Negrense’ rose out of this difficulty-- resilient and happy despite their adversity. The same resilience is also reflected in the lives of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


This resilience has allowed members of the Church (Mormons) to fight poverty and become self-reliant. Employment resource service centers (ERCs) were established in major cities in the country to help its members and others become more self-reliant by helping them find a job or establish their own businesses.


Employment  Resource Centers (ERC) started this program on March 5, 1996 through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed between the Department of Labor and Employment and the Church.  Presently, there are several operating regional Employment Resource Centers (ERC) and satellite offices nationwide. Companies interested in hiring personnel in different areas may contact any  regional center for more information.

The ERC partnered with the Academy for Creating Enterprise (ACE), a private organization providing entrepreneurial education to Filipino returned missionaries.  On July 12, 2012, 48 members from three different stakes(dioceses) in Bacolod City gathered at the Galo Stake Center to receive their certificates from the five-day seminar offered by ACE.

Anthony John M. Balledos, manager of the Employment Resource Center (ERC) in Cebu spoke to the students and encouraged them to “take good care of your business because this very business will take care of you and your family.”

Employment Resource Service Centers provide a place where people can receive job training, learn to enhance their résumé and find job opportunities. There are 259 centers around the world. The centers offer free career workshops for returned missionaries to help them make the transition from volunteer service into full-time employment. The Employment Resource Centers also offer computer classes and both basic and conversational English workshops.

Jonith Blancaver, an ACE alumnus and CEO of Home Suite Home Travel & Tours, was the speaker of the closing ceremonies. He counseled the graduates to, “find your passion and start your business with something that you love to do.” He also urged the graduates to “produce a product that already has a market.” 

The Academy for Creating Enterprise (ACE) provides entrepreneurial education and ongoing support to returned missionaries of the Church in developing nations. In areas where traditional job opportunities are scarce or nonexistent, they teach students how to develop and launch their own businesses. Through this newly-acquired self-reliance, their students are able to stay in their home countries, provide for the needs of their families, strenghten their Church units, and contribute to their communities. The Academy has been a beacon of hope and strength for over a decade in the Philippines, where they have helped students start more than 500 businesses and create thousands of jobs. During the past two years the Academy has achieved similar success in Mexico and Brazil.

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