Although the ICT sector holds high potential for the Moldovan economy, it faces a lack of skilled labor due to the country’s high rate of emigration and the need for adaptation to the rapid development of global technology. A regional study conducted by the Tekwill project shows that the regional offices of local ICT companies stagnate due to a limited number of potential employees. Moreover, the share of students studying IT in regional universities varies from 2.8% in Comrat, the capital of the autonomous region of Gagauzia, to 5.3% in Balti, the second largest city situated in the northern side of the country. These figures seem insignificant, considering the annual national average of young people admitted to IT and related fields in universities.
On March 25, during a working visit to Comrat, the U.S. Ambassador Kent D. Logsdon discussed about the IT workforce development opportunities of the region with the Rector of the State University of Comrat, Serghei Zaharia, the Governor of ATU Gagauzia, Irina Vlah but also with the head of the USAID Mission to Moldova, Scott Hocklander and the Senior Project Coordinator, Tekwill, Ana Chirița. The visit took place on the site that within a month will host a branch of the Center of Excellence in IT “Tekwill” in Comrat. With an area of over 300 square meters, the hub will include conference rooms, meetings, offices, a lounge area, etc., and will host community events aimed to encourage the use of technology, entrepreneurship programs, training and skills development initiatives aligned to the needs of the private sector, as well as training courses for children, students, teachers, academia or entrepreneurs in the region.
The cost of creating the hub amounts to about $ 350,000 and is a partnership between local public authorities, Invest Gagauzia, the University of Comrat and the Tekwill project. The office will serve as a temporary location for the center, until it will be relocated to a permanent establishment within the premises of the State University of Comrat, becoming part of a large regional IT Digital Hub project.
The first positive results in stimulating the development of information technology in the region are witnessed via the Tekwill project educational programs that have already tipped the scales for enrolling students into IT-related courses, thus providing them with better career opportunities, regardless of their location. In the coming years, “Tekwill Comrat” aims to become a catalyst for the progress of the region, by implementing several local projects, which will expand development opportunities, creating the premises for connecting talent and human potential to the possibilities offered by national and local IT companies