Supporting Refugees to Become Self-Sufficient through Employment
The Employment Team at the International Rescue Committee in Boise has had a busy 2012 assisting refugees in achieving self sufficiency through employment. In the first five months of 2012, the team has been able to place 55 refugees in jobs with 36 different employers here in the Boise area. Using a combination of strategic job development, business outreach, and training programs, the IRC in Boise’s Employment Team assists refugees in becoming self sufficient.
Over the past six years, the team has built strong relationships with many Boise area businesses. Several years ago, HMS Host, a company at the Boise Airport, was trying to find ways of addressing their high turnover rate. The IRC in Boise’s employment staff were able to work with and assist HMS Host in reducing their high turnover. Today their turnover rate is around 15%, well below the over 100% they had prior. The management at HMS Host continues to work with and hire refugees as well as educate themselves on refugees and the history of refugees.
Most recently, in collaboration with the Idaho Office for Refugees, close to 50 refugees from the IRC in Boise will start working at Symm’s Fruit Ranch in Caldwell, Idaho. Though these are initial seasonal harvesting jobs, most will lead to about 10 months of work throughout the year. Work at Symm’s Fruit Ranch is set to begin in late June 2012.
The IRC in Boise also assists refugees in completing vocational training programs to help secure employment. For example, Create Common Good, a non-profit group in Boise, has a culinary training called STIR. Refugees from the IRC in Boise have an 85% job placement rate after going through this program.
Additionally, IRC in Boise conducts job readiness trainings on its own. In November of 2011, the IRC added a Beginner’s Job Club and Advanced Job Club to its employment programming, two interactive courses that allow refuges to continue their education after the completion of the IRC’s ten-week Job Class. The class is lead by IRC staff and several volunteers that break