'Go West, Young Man' -- to Opportunities in Xinjiang
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Five years ago a young man from northeastern Jilin Province made the "mad" decision to go west - to the other extreme across the entire nation -- to use his training in a promising job.
Different from most of his classmates, who eyed big cities like Beijing for work, Sui Kun, then aged 22, looked to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
"A mad idea, but it turned out right because Xinjiang provides a wide stage for a freshman," said the graduate of North China Electric Power University. He is now a director assistant of the international department with Xinjiang-based TeBian Electric Apparatus Stock Co Ltd (TBEA).
"This year, we have 1,000 job vacancies yet it is difficult to find suitable people," said Liu Gang, deputy general manager of the company.
One example of that challenge is Shi Wei, a 25-year-old postgraduate majoring in automation at Northeastern University. He said he would rather stay at home than go to Xinjiang and have good pay, because "big cities have more opportunities and fun".
Recognizing the difficulty in attracting graduates, Liu said with a sigh that "jobs are hard to find, especially during the economic slowdown, but graduates still look to big cities".
But changing their outlook is a solution that benefits both graduates and companies, Liu said. Similar to him, other Xinjiang entrepreneurs throw open their arms to welcome college graduates with career interests in the west.
He cited Sui's case to illustrate that choosing a decent job in a comparatively poor region might be better than living in poverty in a big city.
Sui earns more than 5,000 yuan a month, no less than the average salary for his peers in Beijing, but "living costs much less here and the natural environment is much more comfortable".
When weighing whether to take a job, young people should think more about their future rather than merely focusing on the present, Liu said.
Through providing internships for university students and giving lectures on career development, the company is seeking to change the mindset of job seekers.
As a leading transformer, wire and cable company in China, TBEA has one of the nation's largest production centers making electronic aluminum foil and has industrial parks in Hunan, Shandong, Tianjin, Liaoning, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Xinjiang.
TBEA has formed three subsidiary industrial groups and a cluster of public companies, with power technology a key profit center, new materials an emerging revenue source and new energy projected to be a future business.
This year TBEA expects to book more than 20 billion yuan ($2.93 billion) in orders, an increase of more than 50 percent over the previous year. In March, its Shenyang Transformer Group received an order worth 604.2 million yuan from the State Grid Corp , the nation's largest electricity transmission company.
With a total staff of more than 12,000, including 24 foreign experts, the company has a training center to keep employee knowledge current and help with their careers.
Despite its strong performance, industrial influence and future prospects, the promising company is still facing a shortage in qualified human resources. And they are not alone in Xianjiang.
Jierla Yishamuding, mayor of the region's capital Urumqi, said his government has realized the problem and begun to help companies address it through a series of measures including micro-credit for small businesses and investment in vocational schools.
Largest Hydropower Station on Yellow River Starts Operation
China began operating its largest hydropower station Monday on the Yellow River after eight years' construction, as the first two units of the Laxiwa Hydropower Station successfully connected to grid and generated electricity.
The station, located in northwestern Qinghai Province and the upper reaches of the river, has the largest installed capacity, tallest dam and highest outgoing voltage of all hydropower stations on the main stream of the Yellow River, China's second longest river.
The Laxiwa Hydropower Station will be a major source of power for the development of China's west as well as the national West-East transmission project with a total installed capacity of 4.2 gigawatts and a 250 meter-high arch dam, according to station employees.
The other four generators of Laxiwa will start running before the end of 2010, they said.
By then, the total installed capacity of all the hydropower stations on the upper stream of the Yellow River will exceed 10 gw, as several other major hydropower projects will have also been completed and gone on stream.
(China Daily May 18, 2009)