Sunday, September 23, 2012

Center for Young Adults Be'ersheva

JDC's Centers for Young Adults offer immigrant and disadvantaged young adults the skills and information on which to build productive adult lives.  Services include counseling regarding higher education and vocational training; employment readiness; and life skills, such as financial literacy. Centers help participants make decisions in critical areas spanning army, family, education and employment, easing the youth to adulthood transition and preventing chronic unemployment and poverty later in life.  Community-building and leadership opportunities allow young adults to give back.

Location: Startup Center, 16 Hashalom St. Beer Sheva
Contact Person: Yiffat Hillel, CYA southern coordinator,
Amitzur, Yohann, Director of Parliament

There were 8 CYAs in the South. In the last year we opened three new ones: Eilat, Rahat and Mitzpe Ramon.
Eilat: 50% of the population is young (same as Rahat), and it has the highest percentage of single-parent women in the country, low salaries. 65% earn minimum wage. Eilat receives half a million young people every year, mostly for the hotel/tourism industry. There’s real need to open a Center there. It’s located at the High-Max between the two halves of the city. There’s a lot of motivation to work, the team is very positive, the Eilat mayor is very supportive and there’s huge potential. There was a concept to open a Center in Akaba, maybe to go international.

The Negev suffers from negative migration, a lot of quality young people are leaving.

It takes on average 6-7 years for a Beduin to finish a BA. Lots of dropouts. Lots of obstacles.

The guiding logic is local because that’s the emphasis of the municipalities. But we’re also developing a regional perspective, for education and employment. Regional employment is critical because it also serves the Centers. The Directors work also intuitively because they know what’s important, they create cooperation opportunities.

Industrial zones are regional, not local.
The IDF training bases are moving South; the Southern mayors can't deal with this challenge on their own: absorbing families, finding employment for spouses, creating social/communal agendas.
The cities are small, no bigger than 20,000 each in the South. It’s not the mass numbers in the Center even if the geographic size is bigger.
There’s some great culture even though people don’t really think about culture in the South – there’s a great theater group in Dimona, but someone from Beersheva won't go to Dimona for the theater. They’ll go to Tel Aviv. You need to create a feeling of belonging. Only Dimonaim go to the Dimona theater.

The training bases (Ba’hdim) will have fully moved South by 2018. There is a GOI decision to set up 10 new towns in the South. It’s not clear who will benefit or suffer from this. There's no planning. The CYAs are therefore critical in this discussion and the Parliaments are the focus. The Arad Parliament invited the 10-Town plan to a discussion, and other community leaders participated. It empowered the youth, and gave them positive community activist roles.

How do you solve employment problems:
on an individual level – training, courses, referrals
interaction with the local authority, bringing companies and employers
both the above with additional value, creating a venue for synergy

CYA is grappling with the employment issue:
There's a municipal employment forum in Beersheva, trying to find solutions. There's a supply of jobs but not enough demand because lots of those who finish university don’t even look for a job, they just assume there aren’t any.


Emphasize the community aspect and not just the employment. Social engagement on a deep and meaningful level will help you find a job better when you live here and have roots.

Cooperating with the municipality and employers on placement. There's actually a good supply of jobs but a poor image, as if it’s harder than reality. Be’ersheva isn’t seen by most people as a place in which you can succeed. It’s starting to change but very slowly. The university here is a bubble, so when you finish studying you won't have been very involved in the city life. If during your studies you lived in the good neighborhoods (Chet, Tet) you’re much more likely to stay. But if you lived in Gimel or Daled you won't. In the good neighborhoods, you’ll see good infrastructure, education, community. According to the research, only one in ten of students who come to Be’ersheva to study will even contemplate staying. Of them, 80% are already from the Negev.

We meet with the Parliament taskforce discussing the new proposed civilian airport at Nevatim. They had a public meeting with 200 participants, put forward an agenda. The top concern here is jobs; the claim is that a regional airport will create 10,000 jobs. We turned to the mayors, created a lobbying focus, we did a campaign “let the Negev take off.” The emphasis was to put employment at the focus of the discussion on the airport. We don’t have any political strength or experience but we have an opportunity to talk from the heart and the head, people listen. We have tools in the Parliament. Creating an infrastructure, speaking with the mayors, employers, Knesset and GOI representatives. 

There's nowhere else where we can do this. [You can see the enthusiasm, the self-respect, the positive image]

No comments:

Post a Comment