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USAID Does $300K Workforce Study — For Serbia

From CNS News:

U.S. Ready to Spend Up to $300,000 for ‘Workforce Development’– In Serbia

By Jon Street | April 8, 2013

(CNSNews.com) – The U.S. State Department, through the Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced that it will award up to $300,000 for “workforce development” in Serbia.

The Republic of Serbia is in southeastern Europe, north of Greece and surrounded by Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Macedonia. It has a population of 7.26 million.

“Currently, there is a mismatch between private sector needs and the capacity of the existing workforce, which continues to contribute to the high unemployment rate, especially among youth,” said USAID in a March 29 announcement.

“Therefore, USAID/Serbia has identified workforce development as a means to address the broader problem of unemployment,” reads the announcement.

Huh. Well, we guess that means we don’t have any "mismatch between our private sector needs and our existing workforce." Or we would be using that money here at home.

Even though we do have 89 million people who have dropped out of the workforce. Which just happens to be more than ten times the entire population of Serbia. (Serbia’s population is 7.2 million.)

The current national unemployment rate in Serbia is 25 percent, although the unemployment rate among youth is nearly 50 percent nationwide, according to USAID. Many communities, the agency added, are experiencing levels of unemployment far higher than 50 percent.

They probably just don’t seasonally adjust their unemployment rate. They might even count people who have given up looking for work as ‘unemployed.’ Heck, they might even count the disabled.

The USAID is soliciting proposals, “Concept Papers for specific activities related to workforce development (WFD) in Serbia,” reads the announcement. “USAID/Serbia is interested in addressing workforce development challenges in ways that advance the respective interests and objectives of both USAID/Serbia and the private sector.”

“The estimated dollar range of requested USAID funding cannot exceed 300,000 USD,” states the agency. The proposals must also include private-sector matching of funds with the government requests on “a 1:1 basis and preferably at a significantly greater level.”

The agency added that it is seeking to accelerate the transition of the Serbian economy and support the European Union integration process by seeking to engage private sector partners with the public sector.

Huh. We ought to try that in the US sometime.

The USAID noted the impact the global economic and financial crisis has had on the country in recent years.

“Serbia’s continued constraints to growth include an unacceptably high rate of long-term unemployment; a substantial share of the economy under state ownership; a large current account deficit; poor growth in output from the manufacturing sector; and, a high level of foreign debt among private companies and households,” said the USAID.

And we certainly can’t stand by and let any of that continue. We have got to to help them out somehow.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “USAID Does $300K Workforce Study — For Serbia”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    My money and a gurgling sound

  2. preparing4theworst says:

    For that same $300,000 I could send my daughter to vet school (debt free) and have enough to help her set up a practice and keep it going until it is established with employees…

  3. preparing4theworst says:

    For that same $300,000 I could send my daughter to vet school (debt free) and have enough to help her set up a practice and keep it going until it is established with employees…now thats a workforce development

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