Job growth injects vitality into China's rural development
December 16,2021   By:CGTN
Dec. 16, 2021 -- China's rural revitalization strategy, which was first put forward in 2017 with the aim of achieving basic modernization of agriculture and rural areas by 2035, is helping to revamp the countryside. 
The roadmap targets a strong agricultural industry, beautiful countryside and ensuring rural residents are well-off by 2050, with employment playing a fundamental role in achieving this.
In Baoji City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, 55-year-old Duan Naixia drives a specially-built tricycle to commute to work. 
Despite polio making it difficult for her to walk, she landed a job at the village factory in 2019, making artificial flowers among other items. It was Duan's first job experience.
Earning around 2,400 yuan (less than $400) a month, she is the family's main breadwinner. Her husband became paralyzed several years ago and cannot move. 
"I used to be idle at home, and sometimes quarreled with my husband about trifles," Duan told CGTN. "Now that I have an income, I feel better. I have health problems, too. By working here, things are are getting better, and I'm much happier than before."
The factory was established mainly to help low-income communities. Now, over 70 women from the neighborhood work there, securing a stable family income.
In a town a few kilometers away, a different type of employment has taken shape. Highly-skilled farmers use carbon fiber and fiberglass to make walking sticks and oars. 
More than half of those products will be exported to the EU and the United States. And there are over 100 factories like this in the town, employing more than 15,000 people. 
"What concerns people most is their income," said Zhang Tiezhu, director of the Management Committee of Fufeng Emerging Industrial Park.
"It's more stable to work at the industrial park, and the income here is much higher than in village factories. In addition, by working in the town, people have better access to education and medical resources."
In recent years, Baoji City has been operating a skilled workers' program to prepare its rural workforce for better employment. 
Workers receive training, usually for three months, at Baoji Vocational and Technical College. The campus offers courses in smart manufacturing, e-commerce, and health care, among others. It pledges to help cultivate over 35,000 new-type professional farmers each year.
The city's initiative has been recognized as a model for global poverty reduction. 
"Employment plays a crucial role in consolidating poverty alleviation and promoting rural revitalization," said Wang Yonggang, deputy director of the Baoji Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security.
"We'll continue to improve the long-term mechanism for stabilizing the employment of people out of poverty, guide rural people to find jobs, increase their income, help them start businesses, and inject impetus into rural revitalization," Wang explained.
Duan continues to work at the village factory, making artificial flowers that will soon be delivered to countries like Malaysia and Italy. She hopes the business can flourish, so her family's incomes will remain sustainable.


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