December 15, 2016 – Higher WIOA Collaboration Webinar

Collaborating with Mainstream Workforce Development and Taking Advantage of WIOA-funded Training Opportunities

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2:00 – 3:30pm EST

Higher has made a concerted effort over the past couple years to educate our network about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) and the ways in which collaborating with the mainstream workforce development system can increase training and career opportunities for refugees. When it comes to helping refugees transition from survival jobs to fulfilling career pathways with better wages, the mainstream system has a lot to offer.

The webinar will offer both government and refugee agency perspective on current opportunities and strategies for collaboration between refugee employment programs and mainstream funding.  Featured guest speakers include representatives of the U.S. of Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Education, and the International Institute of Saint Louis, a refugee agency that has a long history of successful mainstream partnership.

We hope you will join us!

Register here

December 7, 2016 – Higher Financial Literacy Webinar

Financial Literacy: How to Teach the Basicsmoney background

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2:00 – 3:15pm EST

This webinar will explore basic financial literacy topics to cover with clients to build a strong foundation for economic self-sufficiency. Presenters
will highlight a variety of free financial literacy resources and will provide examples of community partnerships that can be replicated. Financial literacy curricula, job readiness activities and training tips will be shared throughout the training.

Register here

Job Readiness Activities for Adult Learners

Last week in Denver, attendees in the job readiness session participated in an activity to list the tools, resources and activities they currently use with clients.  Here’s the combined list.  If possible, a link to a version of the activity is included.  If you have a different version of any activity, or you have any resources to add, please contact us so we can update the list!

Interview Practice

Mock Interviews

Record Clients & Play Back for Client

Practice Interview Questions

Interactive Activities

Job Readiness Bingo

Body Language Activities

Flash Card Bowling

Welcome Circle: Begin Class by Asking Everyone Name, Origin, Languages and their First Job

First Day: Classroom Expectations – Importance of Classroom Success

Incorporating Certificates after Job Day Trainings

Resume Jeopardy

Skills

Identifying Skills that Refugees Have – Physical vs. Personal Skills

Explain How to Transfer Skills

Look at Job Listing Examples and ask, “Do you have the skills?”

Presentations

Picture Heavy PowerPoint

Visual Resources

Pictures

Describe Career Dreams Using Pictures

Videos

Videos to show the Work Done at Different Jobs

Quality Control Video – Quality, Quantity

Cards

Realia – Safety Gear

Higher Resources

Higher Advantage Modules

U.S. Job Cycle Visual (page 2)

Guided Practice

Mock Hotel Environment – Practice

Dishwasher Training at Location

Time Clock Practice

Time Clock for Attendance

Production Line Simulation

6-Day Training Spurts (short-term)

Applications & Resumes

Resume Preparation

Filling out Applications

Applications Planted at Businesses

In Class Resume Building (Skeleton Version)

Practice Application

Job Search

How to Find Jobs

Digital Literacy

Computer Lab

Mobile Computer Labs

Group Discussions

Small Group Discussion about Hygiene & Dress

Small Groups – Have clients create their own business & say what skills are needed for job

Specific Training Topics

Safety Classes: Use signs with Pictures, explain what signs mean. Explain the importance of reporting issues

Lessons on Trauma and the Impact of Trauma

Workplace Culture (i.e. handshakes & other non-verbal communication)

Job Security/Responsibility to Communicate with Supervisors (2 weeks notice)

Coworker relationships, manners, mannerisms

Hygiene, Grooming

Transportation – Teaching bus lines

English Instruction

Translated Materials

Mandatory ESL

Teach Job-Appropriate Vocabulary

Community Partnerships

Clothing Donations as Incentives

Local Library Partnerships

Adding Social Enterprises into your Curriculum

Financial Literacy

I-9 & W-2 (Tax & Pay)

Explain Payroll, Direct Deposit and Tax Forms

Assist with Opening Bank Account

Translators/Interpreters

Record Videos of Interpreters

Assessments

Go Over Pre-Employment Assessment (Reading Comprehension)

Mock Interview/Application Process as Assessment

Other

Self-Reflection

Tour at Companies

CORE

Childcare (Paid Employees)

One-on-One Pre-Employment Counseling

Wish List

More Tactile Activities

Child Care Resources – Toys for Kids

Notes

Factoring in Trauma when making Job Placements

Meat Packing isn’t good for People with Trauma

Higher’s December Webinars

Financial Literacy: How to Teach the Basics

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2:00 – 3:15pm EST

Financial literacy is an essential component of economic self sufficiency. This webinar will explore what topics are most important and will feature resources designed to be used as job readiness activities. Panelists will share financial literacy initiatives and examples of community partnerships that can be replicated. Financial literacy curriculums will be highlighted throughout the training.  

Register here


Collaborating with Mainstream Workforce Development and Taking Advantage of WIOA-funded Training Opportunities

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2:00 – 3:30pm EST

Higher has made a concerted effort over the past couple years to educate our network about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) and has highlighted mainstream workforce development resources and collaboration case studies on our blog. In this webinar, Higher will continue building our network’s awareness of WIOA-related opportunities by highlighting specific career pathways opportunities within the mainstream workforce system that have potential to help refugees move beyond “survival jobs.” Speakers are still being confirmed, but Higher is hoping that this webinar will feature both government WIOA experts, as well as refugee field staff that have successfully collaborated with the mainstream system.

Register here

5 Takeaways from Higher’s 3rd Annual Refugee Employment Workshop

Denver Skyline by tcmulder www.deviantart.com

Denver Skyline by tcmulder
www.deviantart.com

We just got back from our 3rd Annual Refugee Employment workshop in Denver, CO, where about 150 refugee employment professionals from all over the nation met to learn, network, and share their expertise.

While we were thrilled with the turnout, we know that there are a lot of folks in our network who could not attend.

So in case you missed out this year, here are 5 takeaways that will keep you in the loop:

 

1. Not only is Colorado a beautiful state, but it is leading the way on many fronts when it comes to refugee resettlement. Aside from being early adopters of the Consultative Selling job development model and forging new and creative career pathways models for refugees (see number 3 below), the state has invested in extensive research on what works and what doesn’t in refugee integration. Check out Colorado’s recently published Refugee Integration Survey and Evaluation (RISE) report.

2. Susan Downs-Karkos from Welcoming America participated in our Refugee and Immigrant Economic Integration panel, and talked about how welcoming communities lead to economic prosperity for immigrants and refugees, which in turn leads to thriving communities. Many of the the insights she shared can be found in Welcoming America’s Guide to Immigrant Economic Development, as well as Welcoming America’s recent webinar Creating Inclusive Economies: How to Open Up Opportunities to Refugees.

3. While much work remains to be done in developing career pathways for refugees, there has been significant progress in this area, and there are strong examples around the country of vocational training programs offered by refugee serving organizations or of these organizations partnering with (or securing funding from) the mainstream workforce development system. Here are a few of the programs that were highlighted at this year’s workshop:

  • The Denver-area African Community Center’s  training programs in sewing, food safety, and retail
  • Bankwork$– a free training program for careers in the financial services industry, available to adults from a low-income background and minority communities
  • Colorado Welcome Back Center by Spring Institute helps foreign-trained healthcare professionals reestablish healthcare careers in Colorado.
  • Emily Griffith Technical College’s Transitions Program– “Bridge” training programs designed to transition non-native English speakers into post-secondary career and technical programs .

4. Knotty Tie Co. – One of the employer’s on this year’s employer panel was a company called Knotty Tie Co., whose social mission is to “create dignified employment opportunities for skilled resettled refugees.” The company hires refugees who graduate from the African Community Center’s “We Made This” sewing program, and teaches them to make beautiful, high quality ties and scarves. Pick one up for your next employer meeting!

5. Our network is young, diverse, and innovative. Higher met so many people this past week who are thinking creatively about refugee employment, starting social enterprises, collaborating with mainstream workforce development, and thinking of new and innovative ways to help our clients succeed. We walked away with a long list of things to highlight on the blog in the coming year that will help you in your work, so stay tuned!

If you couldn’t make it this year, we hope that these 5 takeaways made you feel a little more connected. Know that we missed you and want to hear from you.  Let us know what is going on at your office. Tell us about the challenges you are facing. Share your success stories. Put your innovative project on our radar.

You can get in touch with us at information@higheradvantage.org.

How to Gain the Attention of Learners – Video & Infographic

One of today’s sessions in Denver is titled “Job Readiness Activities for Adult Learners“. The session is designed around the LIRS eLearning module, Adult Learning Principles, and focuses on seven steps to ensure learning, beginning with gaining the attention of learners. 

The session will begin with “The Balloon Game”, a fun activity that is easy to connect to the competitive nature of the U.S. job market. The short video below (an excerpt from Adult Learning Principles) explains how to conduct the activity.

 

Next week, we’ll share a list of tools, activities and resources that are effective in job readiness classrooms across the country. In the meantime, the below infographic has tips for gaining the attention of your audience so they are motivated and ready to learn, whatever comes next.

Please contact us for access to Adult Learning Principles in Higher’s Online Learning Institute

gagne1

Friday Feature: A Refugee Family’s First Month in the U.S.

Erika Shultz/Seattle Times

Erika Shultz/Seattle Times

Although our posts typically focus on the employment search of our clients and not on what they experience in their first days or weeks in the U.S., it’s good to keep in mind the extreme adjustment (with all the hopes, fears, and uncertainties) that our clients are going through when we begin working with them.

Take a few minutes this Friday to check out this fantastic multi-media piece from the Seattle Times on the first 30 days of a Bhutanese refugee family in Washington state:

http://projects.seattletimes.com/2016/bhutan-to-tukwila/#/

Last Chance to Register for Higher’s Third Annual Refugee Employment Workshop

Blucifer will greet you at the airport.

Today is the last day to register for the Third Annual Refugee Employment Workshop, November 2 – 4 in Denver. We’re almost sold out, so be sure to register today!

We have a great agenda planned for these few days. There are too many exciting presenters, panels and topics to list.  If you’re curious, check out the draft agenda here.

Besides the amazing content, the agenda is full of peer networking opportunities, as well as a few surprises that you’re going to love.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.

See you in Denver!

Friday Feature: Op Ed About the Refugee Experience

gracey-zhang

Art by Gracey Zhang featured in the original NYTimes article

Read a recent New York Times editorial, The Hidden Scars All Refugees Carry, by Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Spoken in the powerful voice of one former refugee from Vietnam, the article talks about the lasting changes being a refugee makes on those who experience it. The article isn’t long, but it touches on many important points, including the power of labels and categories on perceptions of oneself and others.

Read more about Nguyen’s recent Pulitzer prize winning novel, The Sympathizer, in a previous Higher post.

(On occasional Fridays, 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.)

 

Coming to Denver? Please Read this Important Update

Tomorrow (Wednesday, October 5th) is the last day to book rooms at the discounted rate for the SpringHill Suites.  Here are three reasons to book your room today:

1: Free Breakfastdenver-hotel

Yes, there is such a thing as a free breakfast and it’s going to be delicious.

2: Everyone Will Be There

We hope all attendees are able to stay at the same hotel to maximize networking time.

3: We’ll Provide Transportation from the Hotel to the Workshop

As well as Transportation back to the hotel.

If you know that you are going to attend but haven’t made any plans, we encourage you to make your hotel reservation now so that you receive the discounted rate of $159 per night (plus tax).