As Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO of Chobani said, “The minute a refugee has a job, that’s the minute they stop being a refugee.” And we certainly couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. That is part of the reason we find it so crucial that our clients find employment so soon after resettling. USCRI has a number of programs across the country to assist refugees in preparation for and eventually seeking and obtaining employment.
On March 12th, employment staff of USCRI Cleveland hosted an Employment Panel Presentation. Employer Partners representing various industries were invited to speak about expectations of their company and advertise their open positions to refugees and immigrants who attended the event.
Representatives from MRN, McDonalds and Snider-Blake explained to those attending the hard and soft skills they look for in applicants, ideal employee behavior, and the top three issues that lead to termination. They also stood as a source of positive encouragement, giving advice to clients on skills and success in the workplace. At the end of the event, clients were given the opportunity to ask the panelists questions and, as a whole, noted that they felt they had a better understanding of expectations of the American workplace after the presentation.
Upon resettlement, refugees face many obstacles when it comes to employment. So, learning the culture of an American workplace is a huge advantage. Clients in attendance were those that attend our agency’s on-site ESOL classes at our field office in Cleveland. Many refugees find that one of the largest barriers to entering work is that of language. So USCRI offers ESOL classes in many locations across the country as well.
Once a refugee has a job, not only can they more readily provide for their families and contribute to the local economy, but it also is integral in providing a sense of purpose and community.