The opportunity to integrate into the digital industry is still limited for disadvantaged young adults from the geographic and socio-economic periphery, and that is a challenge for many countries and many communities. These young adults are challenged by hardships stemming from social and geographical factors; lack of practical knowledge and professional work experience, absence of connections and networking opportunities, long commute between work and home and low self-esteem and self-confidence and lack of resources and official reaction.

The modern workplace all around the world is changing rapidly due to a confluence of factors: technological advances, globalization, and the millennial generation entering the workforce. These changes have created the future work world in which compounding factors such as geographical location or access to clients are negated – allowing us to work anywhere and at any time. 

Go Local is a program that combines the high-tech world with the local community in the Negev. The program trains young women and men to work in high-tech, with the aim of strengthening the young community in the Negev. The program fosters entrepreneurship while providing the necessary knowledge, tools and social-occupational networks for success in the modern world, such as employment through the marketplace. The program is supported by Israeli professionals living in Israel and in Silicon Valley, whose goal is to promote employment solutions for young people.

itworks decade long experience shows that offering robust training in high-demand professions and quality job placement, combined with ongoing relationships with leading high-tech employers, can help disadvantaged communities and young adults launch successful careers. In order to provide disadvantaged young adults with rich professional experience and connections to global customers, itworks US established a Social Impact Agency (social business) that offers world-class web services leveraging freelance portals and online work.

By empowering, training and guiding young adults to achieve professional and personal growth, become self- sufficient and leaders in their own communities, we maximize the community’s potential for sustainable economic development and create a tangible vision for success to younger generations and their communities. The program was successfully launched in 2017 in Dimona and Yeruham and won the WeWork Creator Award. In 2018 we would like to operate two additional groups of the program, including 20 participants each.

Target Audience

Non-degreed and degreed young adults (aged 20-35), living in the southern periphery of Israel, with basic or intermediate technical skills, some proficiency in English and a strong motivation for personal success. Acceptance into the program is contingent on a written exam and personal interview.

Program Goals

At least 75% of the participants will successfully complete the program and at least 80% of the above will be integrated into employment in the field within a year, whether in the classic format, placement in a high-tech company, or working from home.

Implementation

The program uses an integrated approach to learning and working in the modern workplace. It’s designed as a cohort- style program that includes intensive technical boot- camp and apprenticeship in which fellows practice and apply skills acquired on client- based projects. The program takes place 2.5 days/week-2 full days (8hrs) are dedicated to technical learning and hands-on practice and a half day (4hrs) focuses on additional professional skills, such as technical English course, work preparedness workshops and community building events. The program is currently deployed in Yerucham, in the northern Negev Desert, with participants from Dimona, Mitzpe Ramon, Yerucham and Be’er Sheva.

 Phase 1: Boot- camp (200 – 350 hours, 3-5 months)

In this intensive, hands- on learning program, we teach fellows industry in-demand digital skills, such as: Web Development, Digital Marketing or User Experience (UX) Design. Frontal classes by professional instructors are provided in remote areas in coordination with local municipal offices. Upon completion of the program’s first phase, fellows participate in a Hackathon giving back to their community by providing digital services to local organizations or small businesses and practicing the technical skills they’ve learned. Mentors and experts from leading Hi-Tech companies guide and support our fellows in this learning process. The support team consists of program managers, developers, designers and UX/UI experts to help our fellows acquire real-world work experience.

 Phase 2: Apprenticeship (100 – 200 hours, 3-5 months)

We offer apprenticeship to our fellows through our Social Impact agency. During the apprenticeship, fellows work alongside designers and developers on real projects. Our experience demonstrates that by incorporating professional experience into the training programs, fellows gain real-world work experience in project planning, management skills and network building. Additionally, we prepare our fellows to find jobs by providing them with professional support that includes teaching them interviewing skills and soft skills employers are looking for. Phase two incorporates mentoring and coaching on various topics such as overcoming personal or social constraints, guidance on different career paths, support to independent workers and entrepreneurs and employment opportunities in Hi-Tech roles with major companies.

 

For more information, please contact Chen Rokach: chenr@itworks.org.il