USAID Opens HUBIT!, First-ever Support Center for Young People with Disabilities

HubIT Opening
HubIT Beneficiaries and the team with the U.S Ambassador

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Today, March 7, 2018, USAID’s Social Inclusion though Technology project (SIT) held its closing event and officially inaugurated HUBIT! — the first center in Macedonia and in the region that will offer services to youth with disabilities and help them prepare for careers in IT as well as provide services to companies to help them increase the accessibility of their services and products. HUBIT! was established through SIT and was awarded a grant from the European Union Smart Start Project.

SIT has been fostering social inclusion of young people with disabilities in the workforce by integrating them in the fastest growing sector in the country — information technology. The project was implemented by iVote Foundation in cooperation with Open the Windows and the Association of Students and Youth with Disabilities in Macedonia.

In his remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Jess L. Baily said, “In a short span of 18 months, the project has helped 137 young people successfully complete trainings that will make their more employable; 27 young people with disabilities complete all courses offered including IT-focused courses; 13 youth get internships; and 6 young people receive employment. The highlight of this project is its sustainability — even after USAID ends the project, young people with disabilities can continue to turn to HUBIT!.”

Minister of Labor and Social Policy Mila Carovska noted, “I welcome projects that strengthen the employment potential of people with disabilities and the companies that employ them. The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy will be providing additional support for the creation of jobs for people with disabilities in 2018, and we are also working on opening two employment centers for people with disabilities.”

USAID’s Social Inclusion through Technology is a one-and-half year project that has developed an online learning platform with 20 fully accessible trainings for business acumen, soft skills and basic information technologies, and combined these trainings with mentorship and practical experience for youth with disabilities in selected IT companies. So far, Arslamina, ASSECCO, CEFE Macedonia, DNS Produkcija, iVote, New Moment, Securicom, Sport Life, Tinex, and TV PROTEL have opened their doors for internships and employment for youth with disabilities. Companies interested in partnering with HUBIT! should contact Marija Armenski at marija.armenski@ivotefoundation.org.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

This year, USAID is marking its 25th anniversary in Macedonia. The American people, through USAID, have invested more than $610 million in the country since 1993. USAID is working with the people of Macedonia to create jobs, strengthen democratic institutions and practices, enhance integrated education, and prepare students for the modern workforce. These initiatives, in partnership with the people of Macedonia, aim to improve the quality of life for all of Macedonia’s citizens. For more information, please visit http://macedonia.usaid.gov and USAID’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/USAIDMacedonia.

 

Last updated: August 24, 2018

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