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Women's employment project gets NIS 3 million boost

February 1, 2007. Jerusalem Post: Avi Krawitz

A program to advance skills of women entering the job market received an investment of NIS 3 million Thursday as it kicked off its second year of activity in Israel.

Microsoft Israel partnered with the Israel Employment Services (IES), the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO) and the IDB Group's Tapuach Foundation for the Advancement of Information in Israel in the program aimed at boosting the employment of women.

"Our statistics show that 57 percent of job seekers are women with a high percentage coming from the periphery and which have been unemployed for a long time," said Esther Dominisini, director-general of the IES. "This project answers the need and makes possible for women to return to the work place with a higher degree of knowledge and ability."

Some 1,400 women job seekers from 30 periphery towns will participate in the program this year taking computer courses and intense workshops including 90 hours of computer training relevant to the work place and giving skills to search for employment.

The project was launched in Israel in 2006 as part of Microsoft's "Unlimited Potential" global program to train communities to use technology.

The project now runs in 45 different countries at an approximate investment of $1 billion, Microsoft said. The Israel program has forecast to train 6,000 women over a number of years, approximately one-third of which, it said, would be single mothers.

"The use of technology in the job market presents new opportunities for all workers to reach their potential," said Danny Yamin, CEO of Microsoft Israel. "This project shows how a partnership between technology companies and the government can reduce gaps and widen technology channels to all social sectors in Israel."

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