Modern science and technology permeates every aspect of economic and social life today, so education, research and technology – as instruments for accelerating development – should receive special attention in national planning in developing countries. This is an area in which Brazil has excelled: the Government has a very strong focus on socio-economic development, particularly in the areas of technological and professional training. One such program the Government has backed wholeheartedly is Bolsa Futuro, launched last August, which aims to train and educate half a million people over a three-and-a-half-year period.
“Goiás has a very diversified economy,” explains Mauro Netto Faiad, the Secretary of Science and Technology for Goiás. “It is an important hub for automakers and is the second-largest pharmaceutical hub in the country. Our agricultural production of soybeans, corn, and cotton is significant and we have the third-largest cattle herd in the country. However, in order to achieve sustainability and long-term growth, two factors appear to be essential: technological innovation and a qualified workforce. So with regard to training the workforce, the Government launched a professional training program called the Bolsa Futuro last August.
“With the help of this program, we will train half a million of our population, free of charge, within three-and-a-half-years. Training will be regionalized and the courses offered will meet the demands of each region. The main advantages of the program are that it is far-reaching, free, and multi-pronged. One group the program specifically targets is our most needy families, who are in income transfer programs. In addition to free courses, we also offer financial help to individuals with similar backgrounds. Another facet is the enhancement of our technology. We inaugurated our first technology park in the Midwest region last month, in the Goiânia-Anápolis area, which is the main economic axis of Goiás. It will encompass important teaching and research institutions as well as leading companies. It is close to a dry port and is privileged with close by universities, a thriving industrial district and a strong telecommunications network. This park, together with adequate training for the workforce of Goiás via the Bolsa Futuro, will help guarantee long-term growth. Thus, the Government of Goiás is paving the way to have a qualified workforce and readily available technology in the state.”
The park has already contacted the main technology-based companies in Brazil such as Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and Cisco, all of whom have expressed huge interest in the project, ensuring a bright future for a fully trained and qualified workforce.