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Special Latin America Opportunity for U.S. Companies

On April 21st at the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, President Bush announced the Inter-American E-Business Fellowship program. The U.S. Department of Commerce is currently recruiting small, medium and large U.S. companies to take part in this program by hosting and training Latin American business professionals in American methods of innovation and management through the use of information technology. Twenty fellows, drawn broadly from the region, will participate in the pilot program, which is anticipated to begin in September 2001.

Program Overview
The training program will be divided into three sections: an orientation, a company fellowship, and a wrap-up session. Fellows will begin the program by participating in a one-week orientation program led by Commerce Department officials in Washington, D.C. Seminars on the use of IT and e-commerce in supply chain management, business roundtables, and trade shows would be the main activities of this training module. Fellows would then spend four weeks in a pre-selected U.S. company, experiencing first-hand how firms use IT to improve their business operations. The program will conclude with a two day wrap-up session in Washington, D.C., so that they may share their experiences and offer suggestions for future programs.

Fellowship Funding
The Commerce Department will cover the majority of program costs for all fellows, including round-trip airfare to the United States, all U.S. domestic air travel to original fellowship site, housing, per diem for meals and incidentals, and interpreters to travel with each group for the first week of training. U.S. host organizations will cover the following:

• Local transportation to and from work
• Any equipment or supplies necessary for the fellowships
• Interpreters if necessary at the host company site
• Basic insurance coverage, including health and accident insurance (approximately $100)

The fellow’s employer will continue to pay his/her salary during the program.

Profile of an Inter-American E-business Fellow
Fellowship candidates will be Latin American mid-level business executives, who are seeking to gain a deeper understanding of how U.S. companies use information technology to improve the efficiency of their business processes. Candidates will be identified from a broad range of manufacturing and service sectors, and will have varying degrees of IT knowledge. All candidates will be a position in their companies to recommend and/or implement IT-related changes to methods of supply chain management or back-end operations.

The Commerce Department will work to develop mutually beneficial matches between Latin American fellows and participating U.S. companies. Host companies will provide the Commerce Department with profiles detailing their preferred candidate type. U.S. host companies will be able to review and select a fellow from a short list of at least 3-5 candidates based on the profile provided. Host companies can conduct interviews with the candidates if desired. Companies may nominate an individual for participation in the program as long as that person is not employed by the company or its subsidiaries. However, the individual would have to file an application, pass an interview, and be selected as a program candidate.

Profile of a "host company"
Ideal companies would be from traditional manufacturing, services, or high-tech sectors, and would have experience in using IT to improve efficiency and productivity in their businesses, looking particularly at improving supply chain management and back-end operations. For example:

• Manufacturers that use IT to streamline and improve the productivity of design, distribution, or accounting processes allowing them to save time and resources that are better used to increase both their market visibility and customer base.
• Companies that have established Internet-based supply management and procurement systems to allow their employees to place and review orders, and their suppliers to confirm and send counter proposals, online;
• Firms that have used innovative technologies to produce multimedia products or provide design, testing or research services.

Benefits to U.S. Host Company
Sponsoring U.S. firms will benefit by establishing relationships with key managers in related industries who can assist their U.S. sponsors in doing business in the Latin American region. In addition, participating U.S. companies will have an opportunity to demonstrate their products and services to potential Latin American business partners and/or customers.

The Inter-American E-business Fellowship program is modeled after Commerce’s SABIT (Special American Business Internship Training) Program. By providing hands-on management training for 2,500 executives, SABIT has helped forge business partnerships between U.S. companies and companies in the former Soviet Union. These business partnerships have facilitated almost $300 million worth of U.S. exports and have assisted in reducing non-tariff trade barriers for U.S. companies. A recent independent survey demonstrated that 66 percent of SABIT alumni reported having entered into a business relationship with a U.S. firm because of their SABIT training. Furthermore, almost 70 percent of SABIT alumni have assisted their U.S. host companies in areas such as market access, certification, customs, taxation, shipments, contacts, marketing data or information related to the business environment.

For further information...
Please contact the Department of Commerce at ebusiness fellowship@ita.doc.gov, or call Maria Cameron at 202-482-0621 or Margaret Almazan at 202-482-4325.

“We will also sponsor the creation of a new Inter-American E-Business Fellowship Program. This will give young professionals from throughout the Americas the opportunity to learn about information technology by spending time with U.S. companies. And it will empower them with the skills and background to bring the benefits of these technologies to their own societies.”
President George W. Bush
Summit of the Americas
April 21, 2001

The U.S. Department of Commerce has launched a training program for Latin American and Caribbean information technology (IT) managers called the E-Business Fellowship Program. This initiative builds on President Bush’s interest in expanding educational exchanges that help develop human capital in the Hemisphere and furthers Summit themes of creating prosperity and realizing human potential. It also responds to the Free Trade Area of the Americas’ (FTAA) call to expand the benefits of electronic commerce to the region. The program will assist economic restructuring in Latin America and the Caribbean by introducing business executives to U.S. methods of innovation and management, and by creating a cadre of influential executives who are predisposed to doing business with the United States. It will also promote Hemispheric economic integration, a common business culture, and cutting edge business practices that will enhance the FTAA’s competitiveness in domestic and global markets. This program provides both the U.S. host organizations and the trainees with a unique opportunity to develop and maintain business partnerships that are the key to success in today’s global market.

Selection of a U.S. Host Company

U.S. hosts will be competitively selected by an ITA panel using the following selection criteria;

•the ability to provide a one-month fellowship opportunity which incorporates the program’s goal of providing Latin American business professionals with practical, on-the-job, non-academic, non-classroom training in American methods of innovation and management through the use of information technology;

•the presentation of a realistic work plan describing, in detail, the training program to be provided (see questionnaire); and

•interest in doing business in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean..

Selecting an E-Business Fellows

Staff from the e-business fellowship program will work with you to identify candidates. Based on company responses to the attached questionnaire, we will conduct a targeted recruitment of applicants for the fellowship program. Commerce Department staff will review the applications and conduct interviews of the top candidates. We would then forward the applications and interview notes from a number of applicants to you for review. If desired, you may conduct phone interviews with these candidates. You notify us of your choice.

Minimum requirements for all fellowship candidates are 3 years management experience, demonstrated leadership ability, and an entrepreneurial spirit. You tell us in the attached questionnaire if you have any additional requirements and what type of training you could offer. Once a U.S. host company has selected a fellow, the company and the Commerce Department will conclude a Memorandum of Understanding that clearly sets out the requirements and responsibilities of the U.S. host and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Designing a Training Program for the Business Executives:

Participating U.S. firms must demonstrate a commitment to the intent and goals of the program and must provide the intern(s) with hands-on, non-academic, executive training designed to maximize their exposure to the uses of information technology to improve efficiency and productivity in their businesses. We would expect that the training program could, for example, focus on:

• the use of IT to streamline and improve the productivity of design, marketing distribution, or accounting processes;
• internet-based supply management and procurement systems
• technologies to produce multimedia products or provide design, testing or research services.

A training program could focus on one particular application of information technology, or the fellow could be rotated through several different areas of a company in order to obtain a broad exposure to the uses of information technology.

Other Important Information

Housing: We expect that the host company will ensure that suitable housing is arranged prior to arrival within the designated lodging budget. Payment for housing will be made through the Department of Commerce’s travel agency.

Insurance: The U.S. host firm must arrange to provide the intern(s) with appropriate health insurance coverage. The policy must include an accident and comprehensive medical insurance program, as well as coverage for emergency medical evacuation, accidental death, and repatriation. Once the host company has made a selection, we will provide a list of list of insurance carriers specializing in short_term coverage for international visitors. We estimate that costs for this would be approximately $100.00.

Visa: U.S. host companies sponsor their e-business fellows on B-1 Business Visas which do not allow for either the receipt of honorariums or the earning of a salary. Once the host company selects a candidate, it will need to offer a letter of invitation in order for the fellow to obtain the visa. Please note that the issuance of U.S. visas is a Department of State, not a Department of Commerce, responsibility. Therefore, the Commerce Department must accept the State Department’s decision on a denied visa as final. The Fellow’s home companies are responsible for payment of any fees associated with visas.

NOTE: Under the terms of the Inter-America e-business program, fellows must depart from the United States at the end of the training period, and may not be employed by the U.S. host company in the United States. However, subsequent to the completion of the program, the host companies may employ fellow directly, or through joint ventures, in the fellow’s home country.

Please return this questionnaire within two weeks of receipt. If you have any questions, please email us at ebusiness fellowship@ita.doc.gov, or call Maria Cameron at 202-482-0621 or Margaret Almazan at 202-482-4325.


Name of Company

Fellowship Coordinator


Work telephone _____________________________Fax:_________________________

Work address
(Street, building)

(City, State, Zip Code)


Location of Proposed Training if different from location of fellowship coordinator:

How many fellows would you like to engage? If more than one, do you anticipate providing the same training to all? If not, please fill out separate questionnaires for each placement.

Description of the unit/division in which you propose to place fellow, highlighting the e-business activities to which a fellow would be exposed. Please note what areas of work it is involved in, how it is structured and /or types of goods and services it provides.


Fellowship candidates will be mid-level executives who are in positions in their companies to recommend and/or implement IT-related changes to business processes, information management or marketing, design or supply-chain methods. All candidates will have a minimum of 3 years managerial experience, demonstrated leadership ability and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Please provide a general description of the fellow your company would like to host.

Please specify preferences regarding the size and nature (i.e. sectoral preference, type of work being performed, etc.,) of the organization at which the fellow (s) is/are presently employed;

Please specify any preferences regarding occupational/professional/technical background (including number of years and areas of experience required) and whether or not the fellow(s) would need prior working knowledge of any particular software or systems.

Please specify any other minimum or preferred qualifications for a candidate to be considered for a fellowship in your company

Please specify if you have any additional requirements, including the need for the fellow(s) to sign a non-disclosure statement. Please note that it may be the responsibility of the host company to work out such requirements with the fellow during the interview and selection process.

Do you have a preference for a country or region of Latin America and the Caribbean where the intern(s) is/are employed;

Is your company willing to host a non-English speaking candidate? Could you accommodate a Portuguese or Spanish speaker? (Please note, if an interpreter is needed, the host-company is responsible for this cost.)

Do you know of any potential candidates that you believe meets these qualifications? (Note: if you already have a candidate(s) in mind through your company’s contacts in Latin America, you can nominate them for program as long as they are not employed by your company or its subsidiaries. The individual would have to submit an application and be interviewed by a program representative. Upon completion of the application and interview, program officials in Washington will determine whether or not the candidate qualifies as a fellow and will inform the U.S. company of its decision.). If yes, please identify the candidate, his/her company and contact information.


Please describe the components of the proposed training activities in as much detail as possible, preferably on a week-by-week basis.

Please note: ITA will make every effort to match a fellowship candidate as closely as possible with the profile provided by the U.S. host, but can not guarantee candidates would match the profile exactly. ITA officials will work with the company fellowship coordinator, ideally providing them with several candidates to review and interview if desired.
Responses can be emailed to the Department at ebusiness fellowship@ita.doc.gov or mailed to:
Inter-American E-Businsess Fellowship Program
c/o Maria Cameron
Room 3024
U.S. Department of Commerce
14th and Constitution, NW
Washington, D.C. 20230

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