New Housekeeping Class Provides Hands-on Practice and Practical Application
For refugees enrolled in the housekeeping classes at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Dallas, knowledge is the best preparation. Class sessions help refugees from countries that include Burma, Bhutan and Iraq develop skills for success in future positions at area hotels.
“The goal is for [our students] to be more prepared for the hard work they will have to do as housekeepers,” says IRC Intern Erin Brewer. “We want them to [have] a strong foundation so they can excel in their work.”
IRC in Dallas employment supervisor Jim Stokes says housekeeping presents a unique opportunity for new workers. “[Housekeeping] is a great job for someone who’s not worked in a formal work environment,” he says. “It’s an entry-level opportunity with a company that provides vertical growth based on hard work.”
Enrolled students learn everything from hotel vocabulary to job expectations to interview skills. Running on a 6-week cycle, the class has helped several students understand key concepts and form new friendships.
“The students all try and help each other, even if they don’t speak the same language,” Brewer says. “We practice reading and writing the subject material, and also do hands-on practice and practical application of the daily concepts.”
A recent graduate of the class, Meera attended the class for just four weeks before securing employment with a hotel that is part of a national chain.
“I really liked the [housekeeping classes]. I learned a lot,” Subba said. “We learned how to clean rooms and how to decorate. Now I am working and I like my job.”
Other graduates are working at area hotel chains, and all graduates have obtained jobs and are performing very well.
“Though we’ve only run three cycles, our graduates have a strong foothold in their jobs, much stronger than had they not taken the class at all,” Stokes says.
To learn more about these and other local programs in Dallas or Abilene that help refugees work toward and achieve self sufficiency, email Dallas@Rescue.org or Abilene@Rescue.org