Employers around the world are experiencing critical shortages of skilled technical workers. And many communities are suffering from widening income inequalities due in part to skill set disparities. Cummins is addressing the skills gap through TEC: Technical Education for Communities.Cummins – along with Schneider Electric and Ege University – recently entered into a partnership agreement for the TEC program in Izmir, Turkey to support scholarships for students, and lab and equipment purchases to launch the new Mechatronics program at Ege. This is part of a broader coalition to support TEC in Izmir that includes local development agency IZKA and a number of local industry partners.“Industry, government and civil society have a stake in global education,” said Mark Levett, Vice President Corporate Responsibility, Cummins Inc |Energie Power Ltd. and CEO of the Cummins Foundation. “The newly established coalition in Turkey will provide skills training and access to well-paying jobs for program enrollees, including quality jobs for underrepresented groups such as women.”TEC is a global initiative that targets the technical skills gap through local vocational education programs. TEC delivers a standardized education platform to help education partners develop market-relevant curriculum, teacher training, career guidance and the practical experience needed by students. Currently, Cummins has TEC sites in Morocco, Nigeria, India and China, and is exploring expansion in South America, Australia and the Middle East.Recruitment of female students is a focus at TEC’s Turkey site. With Cummins’ assistance, the Mechatronics program was recently awarded a female student quota from the government – the first of its kind in Turkey. YOK, Turkey’s Council of Higher Education, approved a quota of 50 percent at Ege University in May.The quota will ensure a pipeline of female students into the TEC program in Izmir. There are few prior instances of granted quotas for higher education programs in Turkey, and this approval marks both an achievement for TEC and a step toward societal change.All partners participated in a signing ceremony at Ege University on Sept. 29, 2014. Representatives from Cummins, Schneider Electric and IZKA spoke during the event. New female students who received scholarships were also recognized for their work.For more information, visit Cummins’ Technical Education for Communities online and follow them on Twitter @CumminsTEC.