USAID Helps Company Keep Workers Educated, Satisfied, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Speeches Shim

Thursday, January 2, 2020
Satisified new SINKRO seamstresses with their mentors.
USAID WHAM project

For any business to succeed, it needs qualified and satisfied workers, but this is not a given in the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, let alone the town of Vlakovo. With assistance from USAID, however, local furniture manufacturer Sinkro managed to develop an educated, productive workforce – that is also happy to stay put, thank you very much.

With support from USAID’s WHAM project in 2018, Sinkro implemented an on-the-job professional training program for newly hired employees to work in a new production unit. The effort not only provided jobs for 100 previously unemployed and unqualified people, but it also enabled the company to increase production and exports by 40 percent in 2019.

One of the newcomers was Monika Karivan (19). A physiotherapist by training, Monica was unable to find a job using her skillset. She learned about the training being provided by USAID at Sinkro and jumped at the chance to participate. Today she is the youngest Sinkro employee.

“I am grateful for the opportunity. Working will allow me to become independent and secure a better future for myself,” Monica said. “And I am delighted with the atmosphere that prevails in the factory,” she added.

Sinkro’s worker-friendly atmosphere is no accident either. It was important to Sinkro that it not only increase its output and sales, but that its workers were happy and satisfied too, says Sabina Kraljšić, from Sinkro’s Human Resources Department.

“We strive to improve the production process but also to improve the working environment,” Kraljšić said. “The success of our business is directly linked to educated and satisfied employees – employees we were able to provide with the necessary knowledge and skills thanks to the USAID WHAM activity."

Previously unemployed mother of three, Hajra Sarajcic, also became a Sinkro employee after she learned the knowledge and skills she needed to help the company meet its production standards and goals. She is especially happy she did not have to uproot her family and move abroad to find a job.

“We are aware of the situation in our surroundings and the likelihood that the people we involve in the training program can then find a job abroad,” says Kraljšić of Sinkro. “However, our experience has not been that way. On the contrary, we have cases in which our workers take the knowledge and experience they gain and try their luck at finding work abroad. But they return quickly, appreciating the conditions they have here even more.”

Nihada Hindija from Visoko, like many young people, went to Germany to work at Mercedes in search for a better life, but came back to BiH. "I can easily get a job anywhere now. It is my experience that working in Sinkro can provide me with the same standard of living as living and working in Germany, regardless of salary. I decided to come back. I have no doubts that I made the right decision," she says.

The USAID's Workforce and Higher Access to Markets project aims to increase the number of workplaces and revenue by advancing BiH trade integration with the European Union and regional markets. The focus and priority of this project is high-growth, exporting, and export-ready companies from the metal, wood, ICT, and textile/leather industries.