USAID AND THE MINISTRY OF LABOR AND SOCIAL ISSUES UNVEIL THREE MODEL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE CENTERS IN SYUNIK MARZ
Syunik Marz - On April 1, 2011, the First Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Issues Ara Petrosyan and USAID Armenia Acting Program Officer William Penoyar welcomed local job seekers and employers at ribbon cutting events in Sissian and Goris. The two ceremonies marked a new step in delivering labor market programs to Syunik marz communities through the Model Employment Service Centers, renovated and refurbished by the USAID-funded Pension and Labor Market Reform Project (PALM). Another employment center was unveiled by PALM in Meghri, Syunik, on March 31, 2011.
Over the last three years, USAID has assisted the State Employment Services Agency of Armenia in training Agency and regional employment service center staff to better address labor market gaps by providing integrated public employment and job matching services.
Based on December 2010 data, Syunik has the second highest unemployment rate in Armenia. The three centers in Sissian, Goris and Meghri needed support and proper infrastructure to offer employment services to customers. To address this need, from October 2010 to February 2011, USAID/PALM installed new doors and windows, replaced the floor, painted walls, improved the electric wiring, and renovated restrooms at the centers. The project also constructed a cold water system and procured furniture.
“As model offices, these centers are customer-service orientated and will introduce an array of programs to help employers and job seekers in the three cities,” the Deputy Minister said. Programs will include labor market research, forecasting of in-demand jobs, and job matching services for vulnerable populations. "This is a new step in enhancing the skills and competitiveness of the local workforce in Syunik,” he added, “We hope more centers will pick up the trend to provide better services to their communities.”