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A visit to Chernivtsi, only 200 km away from Iasi, is a must

A visit to Chernivtsi (Cernauti, Ukraine, a former Romanian region) should be mandatory in the agenda of every HR manager, delivery manager, site manager in the ITC companies in Iasi and not only, writes Dan Zaharia for Outsourcing Today's Opinion section.

2015-11-03 16:57:48 - by Dan Zaharia

Before the development of the Economic Mission Cernauti 2015, I knew little of the talent pool in the region of Chernivtsi, that has a total population of about 2 million people and about the office market in Kiev.

The annual pipeline of talent is of around 400-500 graduates, that are relevant for the ITC industry:
• University of Bucovina – Faculty of Computer and Technology Systems
• The Public University of Economy and Finance Bucovina – Accounting Economy Departament, specialty – Computer Science
• Polytechnic College Cernauti – Development Department – specialized software development
• The Institute of Commerce and Economy Cernauti – KNTEU – Faculty of Business and Information Technology – Faculty of Economic Cybernetics and Software Engineering
• The Industrial College Cernauti – Software Development, programmer
• National Technical University "Kharkiv Institutul Politehnic" Cernauti – Faculty of Engineering, Computers.
• Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science

I discovered an effervescent city with polite people, with a historical center mostly rebuilt (dubbed "The Small Vienna"), which has been attested for over 600 years in the same document as the city of Iasi, boasting a building of the National University, that can stand its ground architecturally next to the big universities of Western Europe.

A relevant example for the regional IT industry is Horizont Business Hub, a concept of office-sharing in the center of the city, which hosts on a surface of 400 square meters around 80 start-ups and self-employed entrepreneurs, as well as many specialized conferences.

A market research offered generously by Mr. George Zvirid reveals a timestamp of the ITC community in the region, a community that is formed of 43 companies and 700 members that is only at the beginning, exactly like the ITC community in Iasi was 7-10 years ago.

I see many opportunities for the ITC industry in Romania correlated with this community situated only 200km away from Iasi:
• common conferences of the ITC industry in Iasi and Cernauti
• a better presence of the universities in Iasi that have foreign languages specializations (English, German)
• job fairs at Chernivtsi, because presently over 50% of the graduates are oriented towards other big cities in Ukraine (Lvov, Kiev) or Poland (Cracow)
• raising of the awareness of the city Iasi in the ITC students and employees community

So, following this economic mission, a few what-if questions remain:
1. What if we can attract annually 100-200 new IT employees from the Chernivtsi region towards Iasi?
2. What if we can attract 40-50 students from there towards the specialty faculties in Iasi?
3. What if we can easily externalize the operations towards the ITC companies in Chernivtsi?

Of course, it will not be easy: what is needed is a rethinking of the attraction sphere of the city Iasi, adapting the legislation in the work field, to obtain faster residency and labor rights in ITC, ambassadors of the industry and the academic environment in Iasi.

Probably those who know me well will see and promptly support my future initiatives to obtain concrete answers to these questions.

Dan Zaharia is senior leasing consultant at Extind.

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