After receiving a Master’s in Political Science from the Russian State University, Mr. Ruben Sargsyan started work as a sociologist and analyst at the Index of Arbitrariness in the local law enforcement agency. There he worked to improve labor legislation and conduct market research on labor relations in Armenia. From 2004 to 2020, Mr. Sargsyan served in various roles for the Advanced Public Research Group, one of the country’s most active NGOs working to protect labor rights. His most notable roles were that of Project Director, Principal Investigator, and Chairman. In these capacities, he was responsible for the coordination of labor-related activities, public and donor relations, and the preparation and management of projects and budgets. He now serves as the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs in Armenia.
In September 2019, Mr. Sargsyan visited Utah as part the International Visitor Leadership Program, a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by The Mississippi Consortium for International Development (MCID Washington).
While in Utah, Mr. Sargsyan met with representatives from the Utah Department of Labor Forces and Workforce Services, Strindberg and Scholnick, (a law firm that litigates labor disputes), the Utah Employers Council, Westminster College academics, Utah Representative Jim Dunnigan, and Jeff Worthington, a Utah labor union representative and lobbyist. By interacting closely with both a legislator and lobbyist, Mr. Sargsyan was able to witness how Utah citizens can directly influence legislation and how that influence can come to fruition through the efforts of legislators.
Mr. Sargsyan noted that the visit with the Department of Labor Forces was particularly significant for his work as the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. He says, “starting from April 1  a new system was launched – Unified Social Service which is quite close to Utah’s Department of Labor Forces. The new system is still developing and in this context, the experience of Utah is very important.”
Mr. Sargsyan expressed his appreciation for the personal and professional connections made during his visit and relates that he shares the experience with “everyone during every possible occasion”.
We are grateful for the opportunity to assist Ruben in furthering his work and passion for labor rights. We wish him the very best of luck in the changes he is making in his community and for Armenia!