Immigrants, Refugees, Veterans and Returning Citizens Take Advantage of Job Fair Geared To Them

Fatimah, a refugee from Yemen with years of experience teaching chemistry to high school students, arrived in Michigan two years ago. For the next 12 months, she applied for countless jobs in her field without success because she lacked the necessary proof of education or work experience. Like many refugees fleeing their homelands to seek safety, Fatimah left her home in Yemen at a moment’s notice and was unable to gather her transcripts, resumes, or even any references which are instrumental to any job application.

This was Fatimah’s situation as she walked into a job fair last Wednesday, October 17, at Wayne County Community College Northern Campus. She walked out with more prospects than she has had in awhile. “This was a really good opportunity because it gave me different options that I didn’t know were out there,” Fatimah said.

The fair was sponsored by Wayne County and the Wayne United initiative  launched by the office of Executive Warren C. Evans, as well as the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA). Wayne County created the fair to help grant underserved populations an opportunity to connect with local employers.

“We wanted to connect job seekers directly with employers. There are many people out there struggling to find work but aren’t fully aware of the many opportunities available. In the same way, there are many employers who need help identifying employees from the  local talent pool in Southeast Michigan,” said a SEMCA representative, one of the fair organizers.

SEMCA is one of 16 Michigan Works! Agencies working with the State of Michigan to connect employers and job seekers. Michigan Works! provides career services to thousands of people each year by offering job training and other employability support services. They identified the frustration many immigrant job seekers undergo, especially those without educational backgrounds, to get jobs they desire.

                        Image by Branden Hunter via Michigan Chronicle

Fatimah met employers at the fair who would offer on the job training and also help her earn a GED. Fatimah told Global Detroit she is looking for something that will enable her contribute to the community because this is her home now.

The fair was attended by over 30 employers who included IHOP, Subway, and the Westin Hotel among others.

Cities across America are turning to immigrants as a source of neighborhood stabilization and economic growth. Join us on Thursday 25 October, 2018 at the Wayne State Innovation Center 461 Burroughs St, Detroit, MI 48202 and learn how major cities like Buffalo, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, and South Bend, as well as Detroit, are embracing immigrant inclusion as a core revitalization strategy. Find out more here.

 

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