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Robin Dauma (holding microphone in first photo) shared explanations about the success of KTECH, founded by Kids to Love, with educators and tech professionals in Slovenia and Bulgaria. The visit was affiliated with Global Ties Alabama. CONTRIBUTED

Dauma reps Global Ties Alabama in KTECH talks in Slovenia, Bulgaria

MADISON – As a representative of the KTECH initiative and Global Ties Alabama, Robin Dauma traveled to Slovenia and Bulgaria to discuss careers in advanced manufacturing.

“I had the privilege of participating in the Youth Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative or YTILI, a program for reciprocal exchange,” KTECH Recruitment Specialist Robin Dauma said. Dauma attended at the invitation of Kristiyan Mihaylov, who was the YTILI Fellow that was partnered with KTECH in spring 2023.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to represent KTECH and Global Ties Alabama and to continue helping Kristiyan achieve his dream of providing workforce development and training opportunities for his fellow Bulgarians,” Dauma said.

KTECH, a workforce training initiative, has established itself as a leader in Alabama’s advanced manufacturing industry; Kids to Love originated KTECH. Global Ties Alabama promotes international relationships with citizen diplomacy to enrich Alabama’s education, commerce and global awareness; GTA is a non-profit partner of U.S. Department of State.

Mihaylov co-founded PARA or Professional Association of Robotics, Automation and Innovation, an organization based in Sofia, Bulgaria. PARA’s mission is to connect entities interested in innovations in robotics and automation, showcase success stories and attract partnerships and capital necessary for (growth), Dauma said.

During Dauma’s time in Bulgaria and Slovenia, Mihaylov arranged meetings with several local organizations and individuals in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. “We were honored guests at opening-day ceremonies for Svetlina SoftUni School, the first vocational high school in Bulgaria ‘for digital science, programming, design and digital business,’” Dauma said.

Local business leaders in Bulgaria welcomed Dauma’s group for tours of various facilities and the industrial zone in Ploniv, a nearby town with a burgeoning industrial center.

“The last two days of my time in Sofia were spent at Sofia Tech Park. The park’s operating director met with us and gave a tour of the potential class space. I was interviewed for a podcast,” Dauma said.

“Kristiyan organized a Robotics Forum on my final day in Sofia. Many organizations and companies participated, (with) a student robotics grant competition,” Dauma said.

At that grant competition, Dauma was a keynote speaker and explained KTECH’s mission and the procedures and strategy that the KTECH staff applies to implement initiative programs.

After leaving Sofia, Dauma participated in the YTILI Alumni Summit in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Dauma described her visit’s last segment as “an incredible experience. Around 90 YTILI fellows (past and present) joined about 10 hosts from the United States for the conference,” she said.

A private school licensed by the Alabama Community College System, KTECH won the award for Alabama Automotive Manufacturer’s Association Service Provider in 2021. KTECH offers interactive instruction for students to earn certifications in robotics, soldering, modeling/design software and Mechatronics.

Formerly, Dauma taught honors and advanced-placement English at Bob Jones High School and sponsored students’ technical organizations.

For more information, visit goktech.org or globaltiesalabama.org.

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