I first traveled to Ukraine almost twenty years ago after accepting a senior executive role with a US technology company with delivery centers in Kharkiv. For some reason, Ukraine resonated with me and became a major dynamic in my personal and professional life.
The war in Ukraine, for me, is not a news story. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is personal. I have many friends and former employees directly affected by this war. I must act.
Over the years, I have helped launch Ukrainian outsourcing firms and provided advisory services to the Ukrainian government. Starting with Vice Prime Minister Semynozhenko through various ruling regimes over the years, I have been extensively involved in the technology industry. I introduced companies such as Disney and Roche to the Ukrainian workforce.
As a senior executive with ManpowerGroup/Experis, I created a business group that partnered major international employers with public-sector agencies and academia to collaboratively create a scalable and modern workforce. In 2013, I launched a pilot program partnering with Roche, a local outsourcing firm, Experis, and V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University that created biostatistical programmers the global pharmaceutical industry needed. This program thrived until the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Ukraine became arguably the top workforce for elite biostatistical programming through this program.
Ukraine needs similar programs now. Given changes in the world of work and the scale of devastation, Ukraine needs multinational corporation involvement and investment in further developing the Ukrainian workforce. The timing and extent of such partnerships between Ukraine and global employers will likely dictate the speed of Ukraine’s economic recovery following the end of the war.