Newly arrived refugees face pressure to secure employment. The Refugee Resettlement Office aims to help refugees gain financial self-sufficiency through skill development and career advancement. To accomplish this, our Job Team works with both refugees and potential employers. Refugees received resume writing assistance and editing, job leads, assistance completing applications, and interview preparation. Through community alliances we then connect refugees with employers who turn to us to find reliable, hard-working, and talented employees. Entry-level jobs can be found in hospitality, retail, janitorial and cleaning services, warehouses, and SeaTac airport. In 2011, the Refugee Resettlement Office secured 50 such job placements.
The Refugee Employment Program is your one stop resource for job-ready, pre-screened employees who are dependable and qualified to meet your needs. We match our clients to the needs of employers to accomplish our mission of assisting refugees and immigrants adjust to life in America. We partner with other agencies to provide effective training and job placement, helping people become self-suffiecient through gainful employment. Our services are free of charge. We are supported by state and federal goverments, the Episcopal Church, and private foundations.
The Refugee Employment Services Program offers: - Comprehensive job readiness program - Job placement - Candidates with I-9 authorization to work cards or WA state IDs - Retention services - Workplace skills training - Social services
Our clients come to us from around the world. Once settled with housing, childcare, and social services they participate in English Improvement and Job Readiness classes to become effective members of the workforce. We then screen select clients to meet the specific needs of your open positions. Our job development team guides our clients through the hiring process, ensuring a smooth transition into your company. For our long-term employer partners, we may have a list of qualified potential employees ready before you even know you have a position to fill!
We also offer workplace literacy classes to qualified employers. These classes are designed to improve performance, safety and communication for your employees who speak English as a second language.
Again, these services are free of charge.
From our job team:
We all know that finding a job in today's work place environment is challenging. At the Refugee Resettlement Office our job program has grown and developed over the past year. Our previous contract in summer of 2011 concluded on a high note, surpassing our 36 jobs placed goal by 14 for an even 50. Our clients maintained a retention rate of 90% at their jobs. However, finding employment remains difficult.
The economy has seen little improvement. Washington State unemployment is at 9.1% compared to 8.6% the previous year. Moreover, many of the jobs that are available are temporary or part time. State and national cuts in social support networks compound the bleak job prospects, placing an immense amount of pressure on refugees to enter the work force quickly. That is why organizations such as ours are so vital in assisting refugees to find meaningful employment. Many of them are still reeling from the traumas that brought them to Seattle and the confusion of acclimating to life in a new culture. In order to better serve refugees in this difficult job market we expanded our job development team. In June our office brought on Meheret, who has been instrumental in preparing clients for interviews and applications as well as reaching out and contacting prospective employers. She has been effective at opening up new work opportunities for refugees in restaurants and national retail stores. Inga continues to hold job classes for newly arrived refugees. Her experience working with refugees and preparing them for entering the workforce are a critical component of our job program. Her class provides the foundation for working in America. Refugees learn about work place expectations and communication skills as well as resume and interview workshops. Meanwhile, Kyle has fine-tuned all of our technical needs and got our program online. Streamlining is a work in progress, and I am always looking for new ways to serve our clients and prospective employers. Looking forward, we have been fostering closer working relationships with other employment, health and human services agencies such as Airport Jobs: a one stop center for applying for jobs at the SeaTac Airport. We will continue to reach out to similar organizations to develop a stronger network of providers who can assist refugees.
Kyle Wilke RRO Job Developer
Please call Kyle Wilke, RRO Job Developer, if you would like more information on how to participate as a volunteer, an employer or a job seeker.