“I want to do something for our children, our town and the Vogtland region,” says Kerstin Knabe, if you ask her about the motives for her wide-reaching involvement in activities.
First of all, there is her company. SCB GmbH & Co. KG based in Strassberg just outside Plauen has made a name for itself as an IT services provider with almost 30 employees. Kerstin Knabe offers young people a future here. It started with her two sons. Manuel, the younger one, is responsible for sales in the management team and will one day continue to manage the firm. Markus, with his own company known as MScb, is a partner in software development.
“We’ve always trained apprentices and them employed them. I want to keep the two young people I have now, once they’ve completed their training. And we’re still looking for employees and future trainees,” says Kerstin Knabe.
She is absolutely convinced that it is worthwhile for young people to live in the Vogtland region. The economic situation is not bad and there is a good mixture of sectors.
“Particularly companies that have developed from the bottom up have a solid footing and there are good jobs to be had,” she says, based on her work in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “As far as payment is concerned, it definitely cannot be compared to Munich or Hamburg, but then the costs for accommodation or child care are not the same either. And people in the Vogtland region are close to their natural surroundings, water sports and skiing are available large cities aren’t that far away,” she says, citing the benefits of the Vogtland area. They are all facts that she uses to advertise the Vogtland region as one of its ambassadors.
“But we still need to do more in terms of various leisure activities.”
She not only talks about this, but has been involved in taking action for years too. She has been making available her specialist knowledge as an economist to the financial committee in Plauen as an appointed knowledgeable citizen since 2004; she has been an elected member of the district assembly as a member of the FDP (Free Democrats) for 10 years and she has been a member of the city council for eight years.
“To achieve something that makes life worth living, we need to discuss factual issues much more again. Unfortunately, the yearning to make a name for yourself is often greater nowadays,” she says, making no secret of her certain disappointment, but refuses to give up.
The same is true of her love of sports – the local VFC football club. As a former East German champion in exhibition swimming and a regional champion in volleyball, sport continues to be one of the passions in her life. She is, for example, a member of the supervisory board at the football club and takes a deep breath due to the problems.
“I’m particularly concerned about the children. There are more than 200 of them attending this good football school with excellent trainers.”
It is worth fighting for it – after all, good sports opportunities are one of the things that make a region attractive to the younger generation.
And what about her own sporting activities?
“I like to go walking in and around Strassberg as far as Neundorf or by the Pöhl reservoir or in the Upper Vogtland area,” she says. Then there are her three grandchildren. She spends every Wednesday afternoon with Emeli, Carlo and Fabienne – and nothing will change that. “They keep you on your toes,” and the laughter shows how much fun Kerstin Knabe has doing something for children in a very private way too.
Vita Kerstin Knabe
- Born in Plauen in 1960, now lives in Strassberg
- Attended the Friedensschule, later in a Russian class at the Ernst-Thälmann Secondary School,passed her university entrance qualifications at the Erich-Weinert extended secondary school in Plauen in 1979
- Studied at the Technical University in Karl-Marx-Stadt, graduating with a degree as Diplom-Ingenieur-Ökonom (economics)
- Launched her professional career at Kabelwerk Plauen; this was interrupted by the birth of her two sons; worked in the “konsument” department store until the fall of the Berlin Wall
- Set up her own company (SCB) in 1990, which she still manages
- Married with two sons and three grandchildren