News of establishing the new Technology Center in the city of Sderot, Israel, reached government ministries and Minister of Economy Orna Barbivai, who this week (Tuesday) graced the Qualitest launch ceremony with her presence. The Minister of Economy was joined by Nitzan Mamrod, head of the Vocational Training Division in the Labor branch.
Speakers at the event were Mayor Alon Davidi, Shai Liberman, Managing Director of Qualitest Israel and Eastern Europe, and Orit Shalev, Technological Planning Department Director in the IT Division of Bank Hapoalim, which is a Qualitest customer and attaches considerable importance to supporting the outlying areas of Israel.
Other event participants included Ronen Yochpaz, Development Department Director in Bank Hapoalim’s IT Division, Qualitest Israel’s executive management, and dozens of employees who will now work in the new Technology Center.
The launch event marked the connection between the business sector, local authorities and government ministries, whose mutual support led to the unprecedented success of the high-tech training program led by Qualitest and the Municipality and to the establishment of the Technology Center. “We have not gathered here to celebrate the establishment of a building,” said Liberman at the event, “but to celebrate the success of a life-changing initiative for the residents of Sderot, motivated professionals who today are full-fledged Qualitest employees.”
Liberman: “At the height of the Corona crisis and with the rise of unemployment, we decided not to stand idly by, but to take social responsibility and take advantage of the crisis to bring about significant change and create stable sources of employment. We were happy to find a real partnership with the Municipality and the Ministry of Economy, and we have established a high-tech training program that turned out to be a tremendous success. More than 300 people completed the training and most of them were taken on by the company. We are expected to recruit another 800 employees in the coming months and I am sure that many of them will come from here. This is just the beginning; it has been proven that the city has wonderful potential for high-tech, and we are here to stay.”
“I was also born in the periphery, to a large family,” said Minister Barbivai, “and the opportunity I got in the army to realize my potential should not be random. People born in the outlying areas have the same right as everyone else to realize themselves. This project is a story of people and partnerships, four facets that came together – the municipal leadership, the international company Qualitest, the Ministry of Economy, and Bank Hapoalim which provides the project with certainty. And so, instead of the children of the periphery wasting four hours traveling to the center, the center has come to the periphery and gives recognition to the tremendous human potential that exists here.”
“When the old municipal offices were still in this building, I told Shai, the Managing Director of Qualitest, that my dream was to have a software tester sitting in my office a year from then,” Mayor Alon Davidi recalls wistfully, “and look what’s happening here now, dozens of testers. It’s quite a revolution.
“Now I meet residents who want to enter the training program and work in high-tech. Your arrival in Sderot set the wheel in motion, and thanks to you, the other floors are also being filled with high-tech companies, a technology incubator is being established, interest and demand are growing in the city. I appreciate the seriousness with which you acted and I salute you. And to you, Honorable Minister, whose attentive Ministry has helped so much, I extend my wish that you continue to do many more good things for the State of Israel.”
Orit Shalev: “Bank Hapoalim is happy about the expansion of activity in technological fields, through the creation of employment opportunities for high-tech workers in the outlying areas. We see great importance in creating jobs for high-tech workers outside the center of the country and creating a positive impact on society and the economy in the Sderot area. The Technology Division at Bank Hapoalim adopts innovative technologies and work methods which are also applied in this activity in Sderot. We welcome the initiative and are glad of the partnership with the Ministry of Economy, the Municipality of Sderot and Qualitest.”