Job Opportunity in New Orleans

A float is seen in the parade down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans, Louisiana February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT) ORG XMIT: NEW013

Photo Credit:  REUTERS/Sean Gardner

We’re exploring a new idea to share refugee employment job leads from around the country. It feels a bit like armchair travel. Fun.

Here’s an AmeriCorps volunteer post one with Catholic Charities Archidiocese of New Orleans. Perks of the position include world class food, music, and of Mardi Gras parades!

The role with focus on career counseling and financial literacy training. Download this job description here: Americorps Employment Services Success Coach

If you have a refugee employment job opening, send it to information@higheradvantage.org and we’ll post them on Fridays.

Reader Question: Can Anyone Share Examples of Good Opening Lines?

Owen Davis

Owen Davis

Owen Davis, Employment Outreach Specialist with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven, CT asked for more detail after reading our recent post Consultative Selling: A Big Picture Conclusion. Peer presenter Hilary Lucas, Job Developer at Catholic Charities in Cleveland mentioned the importance of having a good opening line when reaching out to employers.

What opening lines have you found to be most successful? Help us answer Owen’s question in the comment section at the end of this post or at information@higheradvantage.org.

Meanwhile here are some tips on opening lines drawn from the 1-day training we hosted with DTG-EMP President Allen Anderson at our Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop last fall in Omaha.

  • Keep your opening line to 20 seconds or less.
  • Make sure your opening line focuses on the needs of the employer.
  • Find ways to make your opening line interesting.

Allen Anderson also shared two types of openings to use with employers: the Credentials opening, and the Benefits Opening.

Both of these assume that you already know that there is a job opening and that you have access to the decision maker (or hiring department). Both types of opening include three elements: Greeting, Opening line, and Permission to proceed. Here are examples of each.

Credentials Opening

Hi Bill, this Betty Smith from Refugee Employment Services. I heard that you may be hiring an overnight stocker at your store? (Opening Line): I wanted to let you know about our free employment services to connect employers with new Americans who are work authorized and eager to work. We’ve had a lot of success with Walmart, Home Depot and other area business. I was hoping to introduce myself and see if our services might be helpful for your business. (Permission to proceed) Do you have a few minutes to talk?

Benefits Opening

Hi Bill, this Betty Smith from Refugee Employment Services. I heard that you may be hiring an overnight stocker at your store? (Opening line) I am hoping to give you access to free employment services that have helped local employers successfully hire motivated and reliable candidates. I think the quality of our services might be of real benefit to you. I was hoping for a chance to introduce myself and see if there was anything I could do to help you get a good employee for this stocker position? (Permission to proceed) Do you have a few minutes to talk?

 

Have a Job Opportunity to Share? Here’s one in Seattle!

Now HiringWorld Relief Seattle is hiring an Employment Specialist.  Seattle!  Chihuly Glass. The Space Needle.  Pike Street Market.  Strong business and community partnerships.  Innovative refugee programs all over the place.  Cool.

This also got us to thinking that there might be more of you out there who have job opportunities at your office that you would like to share.

Send a link for your refugee employment job opening to information@higheradvantage.org and we’ll post them.

Reader Question: How Do You Create Unique Email and Phone Numbers for Each Client…

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Rachel joined CCSWOH in January new to resettlement work. Her job focuses on in-house job readiness classes and in-house short term vocational training

….even if the client isn’t computer literate and doesn’t have a phone?

Rachel Wiers, Employment Specialist at Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio (CCSWOH) in Cincinnati needs a better solution for creating online applications that require a unique email address and phone number. She’s exhausted all of her team’s phone numbers.

The perfect solution is to spend enough time with each client to help them understand why and how they need to establish and monitor an email account. Rachel knows that, but it isn’t practical to make that happen every time, yet. Meanwhile clients need jobs.

I know this is a common problem because I had the same one. Instead of solving it, there’s a trail of blueunicorns@… email addresses on every free email service out there.

I know our network has better solutions than this. Please help Rachel with your advice by commenting on this blog post or by email at information@higheradvantage.org.

 

4 (Free) Productivity Tools for the Busy Job Developer

A guest post you won’t want to miss from Higher Peer Advisor Stephen Johnson

Our work is stressful. When every hour counts, saving a few minutes goes a long way. The number of productivity tools and applications (apps) out there is overwhelming.

How do we find the programs that actually support our work? Luckily, I’ve road-tested a few of them so you don’t have to. Here are my top four picks.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 1.52.46 PM1. Google Voice 

You’re familiar with Google products (Docs, Slides, Calendar). But, have you heard of Google Voice?

With Voice you create a unique phone number for use on most mobile devices. This means you can have two phone numbers on the same phone. You can call or text from each separate number using the Google Voice app.

With this app, you no longer have to carry a separate work phone and still maintain some boundaries with clients and your personal life.

For job development, you can set it to see text and voice messages in your email to speed up your response time when you’re at your desk.

For anyone with an out-of-state area code, you can use a local number to cold call employers. Why not find 202-555-JOBS or the equivalent in your area?

Keep in mind that Voice app is free, but you’ll still pay for calls and data usage on your existing phone plan

2. SlyDial   Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 1.50.58 PM

How many times have you wanted to leave a voicemail for someone without actually having to talk to them? Here you are.

SlyDial is a phone-messaging service that sends you directly to voicemail . And, get this. You can send a recorded message to multiple numbers at one time. For me, this was so valuable for client reminders to attend a hiring event or job club.

3. Wunderlist  Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 1.49.39 PM

There are many task management tools out there. If you’re not using some type of system to keep track of your daily to-do list, you probably should be.

Wunderlist stands out for several reasons. The design and interface are simple, easy –to-use and stress-free. You can collaborate between co-workers to create a common to-do list, and access cloud-synced lists from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

The program integrates with email to quickly turn messages and attachments into manageable tasks. Supervisors can easily print task lists to delegate to a volunteer or intern.

4. Humin Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 1.54.51 PM

Ever wanted to track your contacts based on when or where you met them?

Humin organizes all of your contacts retroactively and remembers each addition intuitively. The strongest feature is the dynamic search function that lets you look up a contact based on when and where you first met.

Remember that employer you met at a Chamber of Commerce meeting last year but can’t remember his name? The program uses location service when you first save a contact and, context to anticipate the information you might like to remember down the road.

Humin is part of growing technology trend to develop more intuitive and contextual programs. The learning curve is a bit steeper than the other tools on the list. The more you use it, the more powerful it can be.

Editors note:  Technology moves fast.  Humin was  just acquired by Tinder.  Not sure what that means, but for now, their website is down.

stephen johnsonStephen Johnson just left his job as Early Employment Specialist at IRIS- Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services in New Haven, Connecticut. He has 7 years of experience working with refugee communities.  He’s helped our national network in many ways as a member of Higher’s Peer Advisors Network. Bon voyage, Stephen, and thanks from all of us.  

Good Ideas to Celebrate World Refugee Day 2016

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Celebrating Refugee Day

World Refugee Day (June 20) is less than a month away.  

If you don’t yet have a plan for engaging your community, it’s not too late!

Check out this Higher post for seven ways you can engage employers around World Refugee Day.  And, here are four more creative examples from your peers’ 2015 World Refugee Day celebrations across the country.

Promote World Refugee Day and your communities’ celebrations with these two hashtags:  #WRD2016 and #withrefugees.  To make it even easier, get some quick facts and sample tweets, thanks to Refugee Council USA.

Tell us how you’ll showcase and engage employment partners on World Refugee Day this year at information@higheradvantage.org.

Working with Congolese Clients – Video

We’re sharing this video with your mainstream workforce peers today, and we thought you might like to see it too!  Thank you, James Kalunga, for sharing your expertise and client-centered approach with us.

Simple Strategies to Address Common Barriers, Part 4

digital literacy 1At a recent Maryland-wide workshop which focused on refugee workforce development, Higher had participants do a brainstorming activity, in which groups worked together to list common barriers refugees face to employment as well as possible solutions.

These types of activities inevitably generate a “wish list” of solutions which are great ideas but not always in our power to implement quickly (e.g. adding staff members, ESL at work sites, home-based self-employment for refugee women).

While there are certainly times to pursue those big ideas, perhaps the best thing about exercises like this is that they allow groups to identify simpler solutions that can be implemented immediately.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share some of these insights from your Maryland peers, focusing on simple and practical strategies that are relatively easy to implement! So far, we’ve focused on tips for overcoming Limited English Proficiency (LEP) challengestips for overcoming transportation challenges and tips for overcoming childcare challenges. This week we’ll share a few tips on overcoming the barrier of Computer Access/Digital Literacy.

Tips for Overcoming Computer Access/Digital Literacy Challenges:

  1. Connect clients to local computer labs and/or digital literacy training opportunities. Suggested Resource: The Literacy Directory lists free resources to help adult students reach life goals in areas such as improving reading, math, and science skills, learning English, building job and job search skills, becoming a U.S. citizen, and finding adult education, child, family, and digital literacy programs.
  2. Help clients access low-cost computers. Suggested Resource: EveryoneON is a national nonprofit working to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet service and computers, and free digital literacy courses accessible to all unconnected Americans. A true digital literacy initiative, they aim to leverage the democratizing power of the Internet to provide opportunity to all Americans – regardless of age, race, geography, income, or education level. Let’s help them do this!
  3. Educate clients about affordable internet options. Suggested Resource: ConnectHome is a public-private collaboration to narrow the digital divide for families with school-age children who live in HUD-assisted housing. ConnectHome is the next step in President Obama’s continued efforts to bring affordable broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and electronic devices to all Americans.
  4. Utilize interns and/or volunteers to help clients improve their computer skills. Suggested Resource: DigitalLearn.org is a collection of self-directed tutorials for end-users to increase their digital literacy, and a community of practice for digital literacy trainers to share resources, tools and best practices.
  5. Encourage your clients to work with you on this challenge, asking them to network within their community to explore solutions.

Stay tuned for more tips from MD refugee employment programs and stakeholders. The final part in this series will address unrealistic client expectations.

Do you recommend any additional digital literacy resources? Feel free to participate in the conversation by leaving a comment below or sending us an email at information@higheradvantage.org.

Friday Feature: Free Download of New Music

NPR SXSW Download

Photo credit: Phiseksit

Another post honoring our social worker colleagues during Social Work Month.

Music.  Listen at your desk to block out distractions and improve concentration. Enjoy it as a form of self-care and stress management. Appreciate that every culture in our world uses it to inspire, comfort and entertain. It’s a powerful connector.

However music resonates for you, check out 100 free downloads of songs heard last week at SXSW via NPR. Accept it as a token of appreciation for the work you do every day from Higher.

 

 

How Self Disclosure Can Boost Client Outcomes

Throwback Thursday: a classic Higher blog post that covers the fundamentals of our work.

March is Social Work Month. The principles, techniques and philosophy behind human services deepen the impact of our work on refugee self sufficiency.

If you’re lucky enough to have a professionally trained social worker on your team, you already know about this phenomenal resource. If you don’t, enjoy our multi-post tribute to the expertise our social worker colleagues bring to our work.

Self Disclosure: What, When and How?