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).

Friday Feature: What’s Changing in Cuba?

cuba

Photo Credit:  Patrick Oppman in CNN

Read, see and hear what Cuba is like now in a multi-media feature from CNN.  Images, a video and article from Patrick Oppman focus on the effects of increased travel and reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the U.S.

For all of us who resettle Cuban payrolees, we’ve felt the changes in recent and ongoing surges in Cuban arrivals.  Check out previous Higher Friday Features and other posts highlighting ongoing changes affecting Cuban clients.

(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.)

Higher Staff Transitions

tucson

Tucson, my new community

I wanted to let you all know that I will be leaving Higher to become the Program Director for Refugee Focus in Tucson, AZ. I’m excited to return to direct services for refugees and leave harsh winters behind. Today is actually my last day on the job. I drive toward Tucson this weekend.

Of course, Higher wouldn’t exist without the guidance and support of ORR and LIRS. Scanning the national landscape to identify the most helpful resources to make your jobs easier and refugee clients more successful has been the best part of the job, for me.

Higher is really by and for you.  That strong peer support is what has made Higher valuable and relevant for almost 20 years.  Thank you all for being so generous with your expertise, success stories and field-tested strategies.

Most of you already know Sarah Vail and Daniel Wilkinson.  If not, you can learn more about them on Higher‘s website. They will provide a seamless transition while LIRS recruits nationally for a replacement Program Manager.

Higher’s Third Annual Refugee Employment Workshop in Denver, 11/2-4, is really taking shape with strong peer leadership and national expertise. I can’t wait to hear all about it!

I’m very appreciative of how much I’ve learned from working with all of you in various ways. My personal email is lorelworknews@gmail.com.  I’m counting on peer support in my new role. You’ll be hearing from me again.

 

5 Reasons Taxes are Awesome

income-taxes-101Ok, that was a stretch – taxes are pretty far from awesome.  That’s why we’re excited to announce that our newest module, Income Taxes 101, is available to support you and your clients this tax season.

Here are five reasons to check out the Income Taxes 101 Module in Higher’s Online Learning Institute:

  1. Clients ask about Taxes.

    During our employment orientation clients are always asking about tax deductions and refund amount details. I like the visual part of it, clients can understand better when photos or clip arts are shown.  -Kawa Hawari, Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota 

    Income Taxes 101 covers tax deductions, refunds, and so much more.

  2. It’s a Visual Resource.

    It makes sense, it will be so helpful as a job readiness workshop. It’s really great to show, I believe that clients will have more understanding about income tax and how to file it. – Dajana Doutlik, World Relief Tri-Cities

    Income Taxes 101 was designed as a visual resource to make taxes a little less boring.  The module explains what income tax is, why we pay income taxes, how to file income taxes, and where to get help.

  3. It’s Official.

    I like this new taxes module. It’s clear and understandable, even using the official tax language in easy-to-understand ways. Nice. -Daniel Broucek, Transition Job Coach – Richland County

    Tax terminology is complex, so it was a challenge to simplify the language for this module. Glad we spent a lot of time on this, because the result is an effective job readiness resource that can benefit clients for years to come. 

  4. Client-Friendly and Service Provider-Approved.

    I just completed the Income Taxes 101 module. I thought it had a lot of helpful content in it and I can definitely see it being useful when working with clients. -Kiera McCarthy, Employment Specialist, IRC Baltimore

    Be sure to check out the companion resources for blank tax forms as well as suggestions for using this module with clients.

  5. It’s versatile.

    I just watched the Income Taxes 101 course – it is awesome! I can’t wait to share it with clients. I think it could also be useful for young adults who were born in America but just starting to work. I am pretty sure that I will use it in my ESL class before tax season. I know it will be helpful. Thank you so much for including those websites at the end.  It is really great! –Jessica Ploen, Employment Training Specialist at Lutheran Family Services Nebraska

    Feel free to use this resource with any clients you serve!

    Do you have any resources that you find helpful during tax season?  Please contact us to share what works for you and your clients.  We’ll compile a list of tax resources and share with the network before tax season.

Friday Feature: How to Respond to Islamophobia

Click on this buzzfeed.com article for a simple strategy to respond to Islamophobia when you witness individuals facing harassing behavior.  You’ll also find inspiration in the Iranian-Armenian French creator of the cartoon guide and the positive response to her work via her tumblir site: http://maeril.tumblr.com/

(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.)

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4 Reasons Coming to Denver Makes Sense

denver-mountainsWorried that now isn’t the right time to request time and resources to attend a training workshop?  Think again. The ongoing surge in arrivals and continued media attention to the global refugee crisis makes our work even more important – and more challenging.

Here are 4 reasons to consider when asking your boss to send you to Higher’s Third Annual National Refugee Employment Workshop in Denver.

1. There’s no risk involved and results are guaranteed.  Attendance at Higher peer workshops have been a proven strategy for new hire orientation and professional development for refugee employment professionals for almost 20 years.

2.  You’ll bring back tons of new ideas and information to benefit the entire team. Check out the agenda, just released today.

3. We’ll hear about field-tested strategies for working with Syrian and Congolese clients so you can best adjust what you already do to serve diverse client populations and increased arrivals.

4. It’s easy to learn more and register.  Click here, visit our homepage or get in touch at information@higheradvantage.org with any questions.

Friday Feature: Refugee Olympic Team Recap

Olympic Ceremony Opening

Photo Credit: Kyodo via AP Images

In case you were too busy to follow the success of the first ever refugee Olympic team in Rio, here’s a summary of their feelings of pride, future plans to excel and how they fared in the competition rankings.

Going forward, we’re going to expand Friday Feature coverage to include refugee employment job openings from around the country.  If you want to expand recruitment for your open positions (or tell us about a possible Friday Feature), get in touch at information@higheradvantage.org.

(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.)

The Refugee Olympic Team

The world is cheering for the Refugee Olympic Team as they compete for the gold in Rio this month.  Literally.

To learn more about these ten athletes, check out the UNHCR Refugee Olympic Team page.

Visa, the team’s first corporate sponsor, captured the significance of these games with this short commercial:

The schedule is posted here. Be sure to tune in today as three athletes represent #RefugeeOlympicTeam in the quest for the gold!

Here are a few tips to watch the games for free. Be sure to follow #RefugeeOlympicTeam on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook for live updates.

A documentary about the team will be completed after the Games have taken place. Here’s a sneak peak:

(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.)