Dreamers help revitalize city of Gyumri with technology – Armenian Weekly

Dreamers help revitalize city of Gyumri with technology – Armenian Weekly

It was over 33 years ago that a devastating earthquake shattered Armenia’s second largest city, Gyumri. Since then, the city has been recovering, albeit very slowly. One of its great advantages has been the creation of the Gyumri IT Center (GITC) in 2005, initiated and financed by the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR). The goal of GITC was to develop and support a qualified labor force for the IT industry in Armenia which would encourage businesses already functioning in Yerevan to gradually open branches in Gyumri.

“This program would empower young talented people from Gyumri with technological abilities” so that this skilled labor force would attract businesses to follow. And most of all, these young skilled people would have a decent job and stop looking to other countries for employment benefits. They would stay in their homeland and work for its brighter future.

Now 16 years later, Gyumri has become the second hub of IT in Armenia with more than 30 high-tech companies headquartered there. GITC is not only helping Gyumri today, but it is also providing high-quality training to talented youth all across the homeland. In 2021, it opened a branch in Yerevan. GITC graduates are almost 100 percent employed with some getting jobs even before they graduate.

“As members of the FAR Board of Directors, one of the most critical roles we serve is to nurture and guide promising programs to advance and build a better life for the next generation of Armenians. From a pioneering idea 16 years ago, GITC has already impacted the lives of thousands of young Armenians who have acquired high level technological skills and good paying jobs in Armenia as a result of advanced training at GITC,” says Dennis Tarzian, FAR board member and one of the founders of GITC. 

GITC executive director Amalya Yeghoyan

Interestingly, the majority of GITC’s decision-making managers are women, including executive director Amalya Yeghoyan, who revealed in a telephone interview that GITC “is becoming a partner of the biggest technological companies like DISQO, SmartClick, etc…in scaling high quality training in the most advanced sectors of IT across all of Armenia and thus, securing employment.”

“We are very proud of Amalya and her growth as a leader who continually seeks new ways to partner with other tech companies and leading universities to ensure that GITC’s curriculum is evolving alongside the rapid changes in the technology sector,” continued Tarzian. 

The next vision for GITC leaders is to make Armenia “a regional hub” for high quality IT training. A program has already begun to train a group of high schoolers in engineering disciplines with amazing results.

Yeghoyan’s goal has always been to teach young people “how to fish, not receive fish for eating.” A graduate of Gyumri’s Pedagogical University majoring in English, her goal in the tech sphere was not to be proficient in the technical aspects of the industry, but instead “to be a good manager.”

Becoming GITC Executive Director in Gyumri in 2010, she was mentoring 50 percent male students, and 50 percent female. She proudly said that in the world Armenia has the highest percentage of females …….

Source: https://armenianweekly.com/2022/01/12/dreamers-help-revitalize-city-of-gyumri-with-technology/