Behind the Story: Israeli Arab Tech Expansion Prompted by JDC Partnership

A New York Times story published on January 9 highlights the growing inclusion of Israeli Arabs in the tech industry and job market in Israel.'Israel, with a population of about eight million, has long been a global leader in high technology. But the country's Palestinian Arab minority, which makes up about a fifth of the population and includes the Bedouins of the arid south, one of the poorest and most neglected sectors of Israeli society, has been largely left out,' the piece said, setting the context for the increasing numbers now being employed in Israel.But what you may not know is that JDC - in partnership with the Israeli government, local NGOs, and Israeli Arab leaders - created the pilot program, Excel HT, that was developed to enable Arab programmers, engineers, and graduates in high tech to become part of Israel's rapidly growing tech space.

January 13, 2016

A New York Times story published on January 9 highlights the growing inclusion of Israeli Arabs in the tech industry and job market in Israel.’Israel, with a population of about eight million, has long been a global leader in high technology. But the country’s Palestinian Arab minority, which makes up about a fifth of the population and includes the Bedouins of the arid south, one of the poorest and most neglected sectors of Israeli society, has been largely left out,’ the piece said, setting the context for the increasing numbers now being employed in Israel.But what you may not know is that JDC – in partnership with the Israeli government, local NGOs, and Israeli Arab leaders – created the pilot program, Excel HT, that was developed to enable Arab programmers, engineers, and graduates in high tech to become part of Israel’s rapidly growing tech space.

JDC was a 50-50 funding partner of Excel HT with the Government of Israel.As part of JDC’s work in Israel designed to empower its most vulnerable citizens, Excel HT solidified relationships with major tech companies located within the country: SAP, AMDOCS, General Electric, Microsoft, Proctor and Gamble, Coca-Cola, Cisco, Intel and more, all of them seeking best-in-class talent and employees.What were the results of this innovative program? They’re staggering: 98 percent of program graduates have secured employment, with 86 percent of those employed retaining full-time positions and 50 percent of this group consisting of women.Before the program launched, JDC pinpointed its research, identifying the challenges facing Israeli Arabs. Additionally, JDC was able to leverage its longstanding connections across different sectors of Israeli society and deploy the Excel HT model.

JDC’s work in the employment arena has also improved the job prospects of Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox Jews), Ethiopian-Israelis, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups. To date, tens of thousands of people who fall into these groups are now gainfully employed, positively impacting Israeli society and economy.Excel HT and these other pilots wouldn’t have been successful without JDC’s spirit of collaboration and its strong partnerships throughout Israeli society, all focused on one goal: inclusive employment.

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