Higher’s On-line Learning Institute: Employability Assessment and Beyond

EA Category Snip

Employability Assessment is an important foundation for case management, job development and all our work to help clients achieve self-sufficiency.

No matter how many you’ve done, you’ll benefit from Employability Assessment training at Higher’s On-line Learning Institute.

In addition to a review of the basic information categories shown at left, consider the following nuances covered in more detail in the training:

  • Explore how to handle the effects of torture and trauma through collaboration and referrals
  • Avoid the potential pitfalls of missing relevant client job experience and transferable skills
  • Consider real case examples that illustrate how to build an employment plan based on accurate data
  • Hear tips from experienced employment professionals about what techniques have proven effective for them

Click here to learn more and sign up for your FREE lifetime username and password.

Craft Your Initial Pitch to Employers at a Special Webinar on 4/24

You're InvitedWHEN:  Thursday, April 24, 2014, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

WHAT:  Use Higher’s eLearning training – Communicating With Employers:  Initial Pitch – to develop your own concrete communication strategy.

WHO:  If all or part of your time is designated for job development and you have begun that role in the past year, this webinar will strengthen your employer relationships and access to job openings.

HOW:  Register here and we’ll follow-up by email. (Attendance includes a free lifetime username and password to Higher’s eLearning platform!)

Optional:  Complete the eLearning training in advance and prepare a pitch to be one of four attendees selected to present your pitch and receive feedback from a panel of employers, experienced Job Developers and Higher staff during the last half of the webinar! 


Higher’s On-Line Learning Institute is LIVE!

eLearning Definition from Users Guide

Learn more about eLearning and all the ways you can use Higher’s training by taking our Intro to eLearning course.

Sign up for a FREE lifetime username and password and learn from six inaugural training workshops via Higher’s website.

We’re really excited about the practical information you can use directly with clients or to hone your own skills.

Our tools are flexible, practical and available on your busy, client-driven schedule.

Our current training topics are:

For refugees:

  • Introduction to Computer Technology
  • How to Complete a Job Application
  • Introduction to Workplace Culture (Parts 1 – 2)

For Employment Professionals:

  • Introduction to eLearning
  • Employability  Assessment
  • Communicating with Employers:  Initial Pitch

Stay tuned for news, webinar opportunities, eLearning highlights and more as we roll out Higher’s On-Line Learning Institute in the coming months.

Overview: What We Learned in Seattle

Seattle Whole GroupHigher’s Refugee Employment Workshop (March 3-4, 2014) was a huge success.  55 attendees from 7 states spent two days learning from each other.

Our partner on the ground in Seattle was World Relief’s Seattle office.  We thank them for contributing their energy, contacts and expertise to make the event happen on a very grassroots budget.

Look for a series of posts over the next couple of weeks sharing highlights and key takeaways.

Here’s a summary of the key topics we covered at the workshop.

Refugee employment involves a lot of different skills and working with two very different audiences:  Clients and Employers.  With Higher’s new eLearning modules as the foundation, the workshop focused on both of those directions with the following session highlights:

Working with Clients

  • Employability Assessments
  • Identifying and Handling Resistance
  • Managing Client Expectations
  • Working with Congolese

Working with Employers

  • Communicating with Employers:  Initial Contact
  • Deepening Employer Communication
  • Social Enterprise Success Stories
  • Employer-led Councils and Interagency Collaboration


Seattle Peer Exchange Workshop Day One

PicMonkey CollageA great first day.   50+ attendees from 9 states shared experiences working with Congolese clients and building strong employer relationships.

We learned about three social enterprise models (Muses Conscious Fashion, A Woven Thread and Providence Granola/Beautiful Day).  Check out their websites to learn more and shop!

Went into Seattle’s international district for dinner at a Cambodian restaurant owned by a former refugee.

Looking forward to day two.  Stay tuned to Higher’s blog for more pictures and some tips from the field that you can use, as well.

Network and Learn at a Higher Peer Exchange Workshop

Seattle Collage

After several years, Higher is again offering an Employment Peer Workshop in Seattle, Washington on March 3 – 4.  There is still space available.

In response to frequent requests, Higher has partnered with World Relief Seattle to gather 30-50 refugee employment professionals to  explore job development best practices and current trends across the network.

Likely topics include:  Working with Congolese; Job Development Collaboration and Models for Short Term Vocational Training.  Also, preview Higher’s newest eLearning training and strengthen your networks.

Contact info@higheradvantage.org for information about how you can participate.

Friday Feature: Watch I Learn America on Sunday

Al Jazeera America LogoAn earlier Friday Feature post highlighted this great documentary- I Learn America –  featuring a year in the life of 5 immigrant high school students, including a cool Burmese refugee kid.  I just found out that it will screen on television THIS SUNDAY.  You can find out where to view it, watch a trailer and learn more at Al Jazeera America’s website.

If you get a chance to see it, let us know what you thought.

(Every Friday we highlight one entertainment option related to our clients or some aspect of our work to help you celebrate the weekend and possibly recommend to employers and other community supporters in the following week.)

It’s Not Too Late to Help Test Higher’s Inaugural E-learning Training

On Tuesday, December 3 from 3:00 – 4:00pm, Higher will host a special webinar and there is still time for you to get involved.

More than 100 Employment professionals from around the country have already signed up to be among the first to test one or more of our inaugural E-learning trainings.  It’s not too late to join them.

Reserve your webinar spot now at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/834262383.

During that event, you’ll

  • tour our new Learning Management System (LMS),
  • see highlights from several of the modules,
  • get a free lifetime username and password to access our growing library of on-line training and
  • provide feedback to improve current trainings and influence future e-learning opportunities.

You can choose to test as many modules as you’d like from these six choices.  For refugees, we will offer Job Application Basics and US Work Culture Parts One and Two.  For employment professionals, choose from Initial Communication with Employers, Client Employability Assessment and Introduction to Higher E-Learning.

Find out about all the ways you can use this great new resource.  Join our team of testers and sign up for the webinar now.

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Celebrate a Social Media Milestone with Higher

Woohoo!  We reached 100 likes on Facebook.  That’s a great milestone to achieve in less than two months.  We take that as a sign that we’re reaching more employment professionals with useful information.

To celebrate, we’ll send a great tote bag made by refugee women from recycled billboards to the next three readers who comment on any of our facebook posts.

If you missed our previous post, read more about Billboard Bags success story.  Thanks to Gisele Nelson for providing the great photos – and to photographer Morgan Blake for taking them.

100 FB like Bag PicMonkey Collage

How to Use FREE Online Training and Education Resources

ToMortar Boardday, I found a great list of 20 free on-line educational resources through Higher’s FlipBoard magazine that includes some I’ve heard of and others that are new to me.   I wish I had time to investigate each one to evaluate the quality – which varies widely in on-line education and training offerings.  I can still think of several ways we could use these in our work with clients.

Addressing Language Skills:  If a client has already studies a subject in their native language, a basic course could help them learn vocabulary and terminology in English or help them understand what emphasis or application might be different in the US context.  At least one of the sites (Alison.com) offers courses in Arabic language.  The MIT site offers courses translated into Spanish, Persian and several other languages.  There are likely other non-English language resources available from among the list.

Helping Clients Learn Basic (and more Advanced) Workplace Skills:  A couple of the sites offer courses on basic workplace skills and topics like project management, how to find a mentor, health and safety requirements and an overview of the manufacturing process.  These are likely not covered in job readiness class, but many clients could benefit from learning more about them.

Access basic US-style academic courses:  It can be frustrating for clients who yearn to attend college or University, but aren’t quite ready.  Many times, clients sign-up for on-line degrees and don’t understand the financial and time commitment or what it takes to succeed in on-line learning.  Helping clients identify relevant courses could satisfy their desire to learn while working full-time and help them understand the skills they need to succeed in any academic environment.  Some of the sites include standardized test preparation materials, as well.

Figuring out Technical Career Paths:  So many clients say they “know about computers”, but don’t know how those skills are segmented and applied in the job market.  Often, I struggled to figure out career paths and industry leads for technical skills that were completely unfamiliar to me.  With a little research, it seems like you could improve your understanding of these sectors and identify resources for clients to do so.

It would be great to hear from you about which sites you found useful and how you used them.  We’re all busy, but maybe if you can provide the list to clients, they can tell you what was useful for them.

And, stay tuned to begin using Higher’s new on-line training courses in the next month or so.  Our initial topics include  How to Communicate with Employers (for employment professionals) and Workplace Culture (for clients).  If you want to get involved in field testing to be among the first to use this great new resource designed just for us, get in touch at info@higheradvantage.org.