Almost as soon as they are through the front doors, new arrivals to ISET are told that the institute is like a family, and it does not take long before the truth of these words is proved. ISET alumni frequently come back to visit, and not just to pay friendly visits to their old professors: many have gone on to work prestigious jobs in both the government and private sectors, or earn PhDs in American and European universities, and so return to ISET to present on topics that will be of interest to the community, both old and new.

Yet this does not just apply to students – it is equally true for former faculty. Adam Pellillo, now of La Salle University in Philadelphia, worked at ISET for several years, and now happily returns to lecture as a visiting faculty member. On June 22, Adam came back to ISET to present his ongoing research project into health insurance coverage in Georgia.

On June 12, ISET hosted Kinan Bahnassi of the International Labor Organization, one of several UN-affiliated bodies active in Georgia. Mr. Bahnassi treated the audience of students, staff and faculty to an interesting, perceptive and rather creative presentation.

Mr. Bahnassi began by explaining that although the ILO presence in Georgia is comparatively small compared to other organizations, it has had a significant impact in the country. He drew particular attention to the lack of a national labor code, and the fact that many people working in the country (particularly those in manual jobs) face hazardous conditions. This issue is particularly poignant for Georgians, since loss of life in the building industry and mining is – while not common – still too much of a regular occurrence. However, thanks to the ILO’s efforts, health and safety standards on construction sites will be introduced later this year, with appropriate attire and helmets becoming mandatory.

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