ORTs mission is to work for the advancement of Jewish and other people through training and education; to provide communities wherever they are, with the skills and knowledge necessary to cope with the complexities and uncertainties of their environment; to foster economic self-sufficiency, mobility and a sense of identity through use of state-of-the-art technology. Through International Cooperation programmes, ORT supports non-sectarian economic and social development in under-developed parts of the world, with vocational training and the provision of technical assistance. ORT is one of the largest non-governmental education and training organizations in the world with activitiesin more than 100 countries past and present with current operations in Israel, the CIS and Baltic States, LatinAmerica, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. It is a non-profit, not-political organization that meets the educational, and manpower training needs ofcontemporary society with more than 3,000,000 graduates worldwide since its inception. ORT was founded inSt Petersburg in Tsarist Russia in 1880 to provide employable skills for Russias impoverished Jewish people. Sincethat time, the skills taught by ORT have evolved in step with technology. ORT has consultative status for information and education purposes with UNESCO, and observer status atthe ILO (International Labour Organization). ORT is a founding member of ICVA (International Council ofVoluntary Agencies). The aim of ORTs educational programmes, throughout the world, is to give its students the best possible grounding for theirfuture. This preparation includes education to help them become citizens who will make a positive contributionto their society, focused training to enable them to undertake worthwhile and fulfilling careers, and for its Jewishstudents the knowledge that will give them an understanding and appreciation of their heritage.