“Trakia Economic Zone is one of the economic centers in Bulgaria, it is something unique, without exaggeration”. This was what Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev said at the opening of the Vocational Training Center in Industrial Zone Rakovski, part of the Trakia Economic Zone. The Deputy Prime Minister specified why TEZ is a unique project: “First in size: nearly 11 million square meters of space and over 2 billion euros in investment since its launching 23 years ago. There are 180 companies represented here, such as non-random companies – electronics, production of automotive components, aircraft parts, etc. The Zone is also unique with the model of cooperation between business and municipalities. In addition to being proud of this economic center, we do something else, we try to learn from the experience here to some extent even to copy everything that has happened.”
The Deputy Prime Minister added that several state agencies are preparing a law on industrial zones. This will ease and shorten the procedures for entrepreneurs.
It is precisely in the aid of investors that the training center we are discovering is the future, said Zdravko Dimitrov, Regional Governor of Plovdiv Region. He pointed out that when business, municipalities and the state work together the result are more than good.
More than 600 will be the workers and students who will qualify and re-qualify at the Trakia Vocational Training Center, said its manager Marko Ivanov. We hope that this number will increase every year. The courses will be intensive, one-week and with a break from production. Vyara Pancheva, Project Manager in “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone” which the present Center is structured, thanked the project partners – DEMO, SMC, Schneider Electric, ABB, and Milara International.
For the first time in the country, multinationals such as SMC, Schneider Electric, Milara International and ABB are teaming up to solve the problem with the skills of the workforce in the industry in a very effective way, added Rosen Kosturkov of the Japanese SMC. The company which is a world leader in the field of pneumatics, hydraulics, electric drives, and industrial automation has many years of experience in the preparation of technical personnel. This center is unique for Bulgaria – here are presented machines that are the last word of the technique in the trainings. Practically, the classes will be with industrial equipment used in the actual production, said Mr. Kosturkov.
Radoslav Koshkov, Regional Manager of Schneider Electric for Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo, believes that it will be a great challenge for these modern technologies which are currently being used at the Center to be constantly updated in order to have effective trainings.
During the opening it became clear that this is the first training center in Bulgaria serving businesses in an industrial area is an open project – each company can implement its own programs. For the example the Milara International Laboratory who is located at the Center already redefines the company’s staff.
At the end of the ceremony the directors of 6 professional high schools from Plovdiv, Kalekovec, Kuklen, and Rakovski, District Governor Zdravko Dimitrov, Ivanka Kirkova – Head of the Regional Department of Education in the Plovdiv Region, Stefan Stoyanov – Deputy Mayor “Education, Business Development, European Policy and International Cooperation” of Plovdiv Municipality and Vyara Pancheva signed a cooperation agreement.
The mayors of the municipalities of Rakovski, Maritsa and Kuklen also supported the project, emphasizing its importance for business and urban development.
The opening was attended by representatives of more than 100 companies, associations and universities that were interested in joint activities.