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The social media service Facebook plans to open a training center in Brazil for computer coders and people interested in starting a business. It will be the company’s first such training center in a Latin American country.

Facebook hopes it will encourage young Brazilians to consider a career in technology. Brazil has a high unemployment rate after a deep economic crisis. Many of the jobless are young people.

The training center will occupy space in the middle of Sao Paulo.

Diego Dzodan, Facebook’s regional vice president, said the center will connect unemployed, untrained young people with technology companies that need workers.

“Imagine the opportunity,” he said. “You’ve got people without a job, so they can’t afford training. And yet there’s so much demand for positions that the market can’t fill.”

The Reuters news service reported his comments.

One in four Brazilians aged 18 to 24 -- most of them with more education than their parents -- were unemployed at the start of 2017. The country’s worst economic crisis has harmed the careers of a generation of young workers.

Facebook plans to open the training center by December. It will offer free coding classes, career guidance, entrepreneur training and digital marketing programs for 7,400 Brazilians in its first year.

The Facebook effort is one of several in Sao Paulo. Other companies are making the most of rising interest in technology and a drop in the cost of office space in Latin America’s largest business center.

In June 2016, Alphabet Inc. opened the Google Campus Sao Paulo business center just a short walk from the new Facebook space. The Google campus also offers advice to Brazilians interested in creating start-up companies, as well as free community events.

Dzodan would not tell Reuters how much his company was spending on its new space. He said the effort would be measured by the number of people receiving training and education, not actual cost of the physical training center.

I’m Dorothy Gundy.

The Reuters news agency reported this story from Sao Paolo, Brazil. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

encourage – v. to urge; to provide support

coder – n. someone who creates orders or directions for a computer

regional – adj. of or related to an area

entrepreneur – n. someone who starts a business

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