7 Great Career Resources To Support Refugees
Looking for employment is challenging—and at times deeply unpleasant. This is especially true for refugees and asylum seekers. Most have experienced persecution and turmoil in their countries, crossed international borders, and endured intensive immigration processes. All before having to navigate a foreign labor market.
There are a variety of factors that can influence the degree to which refugees will be successful during the job search. For example: knowledge of the hiring process, language fluency, professional experience, and recognition of foreign-issued degrees—to name a few.
Fortunately, employment rates for refugees are generally equal to those of native-born US citizens. But, many refugees face the frustrating reality of underemployment. Nearly 30% of refugees aged 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher upon entering the United States—approximately the same as the rest of the population. Despite having the required experience for many open positions, they’ll still have trouble finding work.
There are several resources available for refugees to help them find work and get the skills they need to advance their careers. Below, we’ve handpicked seven of our favorites.
Developed in partnership with UNHCR, FindHello is an app available as a website or for download on iOS and Android devices. It lets users search on a map for nearby job and career resources, as well as lawyers, healthcare providers, and English classes. A staff of community partners and volunteers regularly update the information. FindHello is available in three display languages: English, Arabic, and Spanish.
2) Talent Beyond Boundaries
Talent Beyond Boundaries is a non-profit organization that matches skilled refugees to companies. They are the only organization in the world that connects refugees to international job opportunities. Talent Beyond Boundaries also assists with legal and financial help.
More information on how Talent Beyond Boundaries assists job seekers can be found here.
3) Career One Stop
CareerOneStop is an employment and career platform for job seekers, students, employers, professionals. They are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training. Their Refugee Assistance Finder helps refugees find the following services in any city and state across the country:
- Refugee Social Services programs, which provide employment and employability services to all refugees;
- Refugee Career Pathways programs, which help skilled refugees obtain U.S. professional credentials; and
- Other organizations that provide social services to refugees.
Find more info on Career One Stop here.
4) Upwardly Global Career Skills Program
Upwardly Global empowers skilled immigrant and refugee professionals to restart their careers in the United States. To date they have helped over 7,500 immigrants and refugees transition to full-time work in their respective fields. The services they offer include:
- Mentorship and one-on-one career coaching.
- Workshops and trainings on U.S. workplace skills
- Industry-specific technical trainings
- Professional networking
To learn more about Upwardly Global’s Career Skills Program, visit their site.
5) Office of Refugee Resettlement
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) helps integrate refugees in the United States and to “achieve their full potential.” The ORR’s employment/economic development services include:
- Microenterprise Development
- Refugee Family Child Care Microenterprise Development
- Individual Development Accounts
- Matching Grant
- Refugee Career Pathways
- Wilson-Fish TANF Coordination Program
Individuals looking for support in the city or state they live in can click here.
6) World Education Services Gateway Program
The WES Gateway Program helps refugees and displaced individuals provide proof of their education. According to their site: “A WES Gateway Program credential evaluation report can help eligible individuals continue their education, become licensed in their field, or take the next step on their career pathway in the United States. The report can be accepted by higher education institutions, regulatory bodies, and employers.”
WES partners with other organizations to support individuals educated in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
Find more information on the WES Gateway Program here.
7) The MIT Refugee Action Hub (ReACT)
MIT’s Refugee Action Hub (ReACT) partners with several organizations—such as Na’amal— to provide global education programs for refugees and migrants. They believe education is the best tool to help them develop professionally and change their lives.
Through classroom instruction, online learning, and practical experience, they help students develop advanced competencies in computer and data science, statistics, and innovation, as well as creativity and critical thinking.
ReACT offers personal and digital academic support and connects participants to paid internships.
To learn more about MIT ReACT programs, click here.
If you are a refugee or displaced individual looking for career opportunities, please check out our job board. And if you happen to know of any other great resources we should include in this article or on our site, please contact us.