Building a Stronger Workforce for Georgia Together

on November 19 | in Events | by | with No Comments

A critical challenge for refugees trying to establish themselves in a new country is finding that first job. Cultural, language, and transportation barriers become roadblocks, and new Americans trying to connect with potential employers is a continual challenge. But it is a challenge that we can help to ease.

On December 7th,  Building a Stronger Workforce for Georgia Together will bring together interested parties, including current employers of refugees, service providers, interested businesses, and refugee leaders, for facilitated small-group discussions and large group conversations around the subject of refugee employment.

This employment summit will highlight the assets and benefits for employers of hiring refugees as employees, such as tax benefits for employers, and a suite of available services for refugee workers, including language classes, provided by a number of local agencies.

The summit is a collaboration between CDF and the Refugee Organizing in Action Collaborative (ROA), part of Refugee Family Services, and will be held at the Task Force for Global Health, in downtown Decatur, Georgia. The goal of summit is to bridge the gap between refugee and business communities and to encourage and increase recruitment and hiring from within this under tapped workforce.

After a stage-setting keynote speech introducing the themes for the event, participants will split into small groups according to industry sectors. In each small group, current employers of refugees will discuss their positive experiences, recount instances of overcoming difficulties and forging productive relationships with their employees, and will share best practices in engaging the refugee community.

Refugees play an instrumental role in many of Georgia’s largest industries, including hospitality, tourism, light manufacturing and distribution, transportation, and poultry processing. They also are integral to the state’s vision of its future as an international hub for commerce and trade, grounded in trade moving through the international airport in Atlanta and ports in Brunswick and Savannah.

Participants in the summit will become familiar with Georgia’s diverse, dynamic, and legal refugee community. Leaders from the community will identify similarities between employers’ expectations and the knowledge, skills and attitudes among the refugee labor force.

The summit is scheduled from 8:00 a.m until 1:00 p.m on Friday, December 7, at 325 Swanton Way, Decatur GA, 30030. For more information, contact Mersada Mujkanovic at mersadam@refugeefamilyservices.org or 404-209-6217 ext. 206.

By Justin Leverett
Justin is working with CDF as part of Quaker Voluntary Service
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