Kernel’s specialists learn modern grain storage technologies 

Increasing Capabilities
Increasing Opportunities
17 January 2024

Forty-six of Kernels quality control specialists took part in a modern grain storage training between December 4-15, 2023. The training was facilitated by the experts of National University of Food Technologies and supported by USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA). It was held within the framework of “Workforce Development for Ukraine”, a project implemented by the International Development Foundation. Kernel specialists learned how to use modern technologies and equipment correctly. Moreover, they learned how to properly control the quality of grain storage in an elevator.

The training consisted of theoretical and practical review of the following topics: 

  • Grain quality control and storage conditions. 
  • Important questions about quality control during grain unloading and storing. 
  • Sampling and preparation of grain samples for analysis including, sampling techniques, and understanding the differences between using the automatic and manual sampling dipsticks. 
  • Setting general quality parameters of grain and seed material. 
  • Technology of long-term grain storage. 

Special features, approaches, and temperature monitoring. Risks of grain deterioration during storage, main aspects of quality alteration. 

We are sincerely grateful for the opportunity to participate in the training for specialists of grain laboratories and elevators. The training was very important, interesting, and motivating. USAID ERA helped our employees develop existing knowledge, learn new information about modern control methods, uptodate laboratory equipment, global quality, and food safety requirements. Also, it was very useful to hear competent answers from experts of the harmonization and correlation between the state standards of Ukraine and international standards. The training motivated elevator specialists to promote food safety in Ukraine and other parts of the world.” says Maryna Tiunova, Head Quality Control Specialist of Kernel. 

In total, 2,000 employees will be trained within the framework of Workforce Development Project according to the plan by June 2024. This number includes specialists of manufacturing companies and personnel of educational institutions, who train specialists for Ukrainian economy. 

The first center of robotics and programming has been launched in Kurakhove

Increasing Opportunities
25 March 2021

With the assistance of the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA), entrepreneur Hanna Telychko launched the “A-Robot” robotics and programming center in Kurakhove, Donetsk Oblast. Currently, it is the only center of such kind operating in a small town.

Hanna received a grant from the USAID ERA to open STEM Education Centers. STEM-education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) involves a combination of the natural component, innovative technologies and mathematics in studying. Under this grant, LEGO erector sets, a TV set, laptops, and three multimedia boards have already been installed in Vuhledar and Kurakhove.

Kids playing with LEGO sets in STEM centers

The entrepreneur is creating the center in Kurakhove “from scratch”. More than 60 children aged 5 to 16 enrolled in it. They have training sessions twice a week.

Training is held in groups of five students according to the quarantine requirements.

“We usually work with six-year-olds, but now five-year-olds come to class. The youngest design robots, then program them with a teacher – learn how to start the motor, various sensors – color, slope. Senior students also master designing, communication and teamwork skills. I get great feedback from the children and parents. Our first lesson is a test one, after which the parents with the child decide whether to stay with us. Everyone who came bought a monthly subscription,” – said Hanna Telychko.

The entrepreneur hired two local teachers.

“When I saw the announcement of the opening of the Robotics Center, I was very happy. We hadn’t any in our town. My child is interested in assembling robots in class, learning to program them. It promotes creative development. My son even started to study better at school, because he hurries to classes at this center. I also expect that there will be competitions, some championships, we will take part in them,” – said Tetiana Kostiuchenko, the mother of 11-year-old Ivan, who attends classes at the Center.

Now Hanna Telychko is recruiting groups of people willing to study robotics in Volnovakha.

“Our mission is to show parents and children an alternative to games on phones and tablets so that children do not just sit for hours with gadgets, but learn programming, create games, develop them. We work to improve communication skills and teamwork. In the future, you can make good money on programming, because the world is changing, many professions will not exist soon, we all need to adapt to this,” – shared Hanna.

You can register for classes in Kurakhove and Volnovakha by following this link:

Hanna is also developing the Robotics Center in Vuhledar, which is attended by more than 100 children.

Increasing Opportunities

Why does Workforce Development (WFD) matter in Eastern Ukraine

Workforce challenges faced in eastern Ukraine are cross-cutting and undermine system-wide opportunities and challenges for employees, employers, schools, cities, governments, and families.

The key constraints the Workforce Development team continues to address are:

Demographic decline – Changing demographics and worker migration mean smaller student populations at educational institutions threatening their economic viability, and fewer appropriately skilled works to fill jobs in eastern Ukraine.

Declining or absent innovation – structural and systemic challenges for educational institutions have led to a vacuum without innovation, limiting ability of traditional partner businesses to grow, thrive, or compete.

Disconnect between education and industry – without a feedback mechanism for universities to change and adapt their content to the needs of the private sector, many firms will remain unable to find an appropriately skilled workforce and will struggle to compete, increasing their likelihood of shutdown or relocation.

In every case USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) WFD team’s interventions seek to maximize impact across  ERA’s sectors and institution partners by effecting systemic wide change that is sustainable and not dependent on continuous funding or interventions by donors.

WFD’s Core Strategic Objectives

In order to create systematic and sustainable solutions, ERA’s WFD team has identified the three top strategic objectives that will guide individual activities toward the goal of stimulating the economy to create jobs that are attractive to youth and which contribute the economic rejuvenation of their communities:

Align education, training, and skills development with the demands of the labor market

Attract and retain students and workers to the region by making universities and other learning institutions innovative and competitive, and employers appealing

Strengthen the innovation ecosystem and catalyze university-industry collaboration on applied research and development projects in order to increase firm level innovation, growth and job creation by


ERA Workforce Development partners


ERA partner universities


  • Enabling universities to understand markets
  • Facilitate opportunities for collaboration on applied research and development
  • Building university to university partnerships
  • Facilitating innovations development at Universities
  • Facilitating business-university cooperation by means of dual education approach
  • Activities for University, College and VET Level Career Development Centers
  • Building the network of Case-Clubs in the region
  • Distance Learning support under COVID-19 restrictions
  • Updating technical infrastructure and curriculum
  • Forming skills for Innovative Entrepreneurship


  • Employee retention
  • Youth engagement