Thursday, May 23, 2024

Israel Launches Eastech: High-Tech Campus to Boost Arab Workforce Participation

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Noah Fisher
After serving as a lead author in leading magazines, Noah Fisher planned to launch its own venture as DailyResearchEditor. With a decade-long work experience in the media and passion in technology and gadgets, he founded this website. Fisher now enjoys writing on research-based topics. When he’s not hunched over the keyboard, Fisher spends his time engulfed in critical matters of the society.
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In a bid to enhance the participation of the Arab population in the workforce and foster economic growth, Israel has unveiled a cutting-edge industrial business campus named Eastech in East Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood. The complex, inaugurated on Monday, aims to attract high-tech companies to operate in the area, creating employment opportunities for programmers and tech professionals from the Palestinian community.

Eastech, a high-tech haven backed by a NIS 10 million ($2.8 million) investment from the Jerusalem municipality, the Jerusalem and Heritage Ministry, and the government, will offer Israeli and international high-tech firms free access to its workspaces. This strategic initiative endeavors to bridge the employment and income gaps between Jewish and Arab Israelis while bolstering the Arab community’s presence in the thriving tech sector.

The newly launched campus boasts 1,000 square meters of office space equipped with 120 workstations, meeting rooms, a training room, and various other service facilities. The innovative complex comes with a unique condition: high-tech companies must employ workers from East Jerusalem in relevant fields to benefit from the free workspaces. Plans for expansion are already underway, with preparations to add an additional floor once the current one is fully staffed.

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Several prominent companies, including Ness Technologies, Natural Intelligence, Techlinic, and Quantum Vision, have already begun operations at Eastech. Approximately 20 local programmers are already employed in the complex by these tech companies, with the potential to create job opportunities for a total of 250 programmers and tech professionals.

Despite previous government initiatives to bridge the employment and income gaps, the participation rates of the Arab population in Israel’s tech job market remain relatively low. The tech sector is hailed as the driving force of the nation’s economy, generating around 25% of the country’s total income tax revenue and comprising about 13% of the workforce. However, government data indicates that while Arab Israelis constitute roughly 20% of the population, only 2% of Arab men and 1% of Arab women are currently employed in the tech industry.

The launch of Eastech is a pivotal step in a larger-scale project called “Silicon Wadi,” initially announced by the city’s municipality in 2020. The ambitious urban renewal plan for the Wadi Joz neighborhood includes the construction of 200,000 square meters of high-tech office and workspace, requiring an investment of NIS 200 million ($56 million).

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As Eastech takes center stage as the first initiative under “Silicon Wadi,” the endeavor holds the promise of transforming the economic landscape and providing significant opportunities for the Arab community in the tech-driven Israeli economy.

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