The ExcelHT program began in 2009. The program was developed as a response to the fact that of the 85,000 engineers employed in Israeli high-tech companies, less than 1,500 are Arab engineers (most of whom are employed at a significantly lower wage than their Jewish counterparts).

ExcelHT is an integrative, tri-annual program aimed at facilitating the successful vocational integration of Arab Israelis into quality positions in Israel’s high-tech industry. The program includes vocational technology training, soft skills workshops, leadership workshops, mentoring and placement services. Relevant employers are engaged in this program; program graduates benefit from our support and guidance for three years. The success of the program is evident in the fact the 94% (194) of its graduates in 2016 were successfully placed within the high-tech industry, earning average salaries of over NIS 12,000.

The target audience of the project includes Israeli Arabs who have completed or are pursuing an academic degree in relevant fields, and who are unemployed or employed in jobs not in their field of training. our goals are, to

  • Reduce the disparity in economic development and skilled employment between Jews and Arabs.
  • Increase the rate of Arab workers who are successful professionals with prestigious and well-paid careers.
  • Facilitate entry into the high-tech industry for Arab workers with relevant academic education.
  • Raise employers’ awareness of the importance of diversity and providing effective tools for diversification.

Our program operates under the following model, developed by itworks:

1. Recruitment: Eligible Participants will be recruited to the program utilizing digital media, and through student associations, as well as through personal referrals from program

2. Improving employability:

  • Vocational tech training in software and programming (40-50 hrs.) such as Python or Angular, giving candidates a professional advantage in the workforce. The training is meant to bridge over a skill gap created by lack of or low work experience.
  • Soft skills and empowerment workshops such as career planning, as well as meetings with role models in high tech (80 hours).
  • English lessons to improve the participants’ technical and business English skills, an absolute necessity in today’s global markets (50 hours).

3.Opening doors with relevant employers: itworks partner employers’ network includes over 130 companies. We maintain a dynamic relationship with our network to optimize the quantity and quality of employment opportunities for our participants. We actively engage employers in events such orientation days, diversity workshops and more.

4. On-Site seminars: The program will include visits to leading companies where seminars will take place with the participants and company senior personnel. From past experience, these seminars are tremendously effective in enabling the participants to “taste” the work environment and for the employers’ HR staff to get to know the participants, facilitating job placements there (five seminars at five different companies).

5.Mentoring and counseling: each participant receives personal, career building counseling from our team for up to 3 years after finding employment. Our mentoring program offers participants professional networking provided by a hi tech mentor

6.Job placement: according to an external evaluation under the Ministry of the Economy, itworks reaches a stunning 94% (194) placement rate for the target population.

for more information, Tal Morris: tal@itworks.org.il