Poverty alleviation projects create jobs
Farmers in Lyuliang city attend a training course for domestic service. [Photo by Gao Xiaoming for China Daily]
He Ruiqing, a resident of Lingquan township in Shilou county in Shanxi province, said she is happy to find employment near her home.
"The garment factory I work for is a stone's throw from my home," she said."After working several hours in the day, I can still take care of my family in the evening."
The factory, invested in by a businessman from the city of Yiwu in East China's Zhejiang province, is among the projects targeting residents from impoverished families in Shilou, said Zhang Xiaojiong, chief of the county's poverty reduction office.
The official said there are 24 such companies specifically designed to help alleviate poverty in Shilou, offering jobs to more than 500 people and creating more income for the workers involved.
In Shanxi province as a whole, there are 410 enterprises shouldering a similar responsibility for poverty relief. They have offered jobs to more than 75,000 people, according to the Shanxi Poverty Alleviation and Development Office.
In Xinshui township in Daning county, Ma Fan'ai, a 64-year-old woman, is among workers packaging gloves off the production line in a factory near her home.
"My job involves sorting, packaging and applying labels," Ma said."The workload is light and work is flexible as payment is measured by pieces."
"I'm neither young nor skilled,"Ma added. "I cannot find a job better than this one."
According to Zhang Jiancheng, deputy chief of the Shanxi Poverty Alleviation and Development Office, these special businesses are designed for laborers with little or no skills.
"The factories are mostly labor-intensive," Zhang explained. "Rural laborers can easily get used to their jobs after a short period of training."
But for those who are young and comparatively better educated, they are also offered training options for more complicated jobs.
Long Shifang, a resident of Tongxingyuan community in Shuping county, took part in a baking training course organized by the local community.
She finished the three-month course with a baker's certificate. "I plan to open a bakery in the neighborhood," Long said.
Li Huizhao, a resident of Zhangyuan township in Qinxian county, is now a certificated mason five years after he finished training courses in a local vocational school.
He recently entered a nationwide poverty-reduction skills competition.
"Although I didn't win any awards as I expected, the participation itself is a confirmation of my skills," Li said.
Li said he is currently a master mason at the construction company he works for.
"As a bread winner, it gives me and my family pride," Li said.
"I helped my family overcome poverty and I hope I can be a role model for my fellow villagers, encouraging them to learn more skills and find better jobs that can boost their family revenues."
Li Yali contributed to this story.