Forging Strong Partnerships in the Community
In spite of the abysmal job market reports, the IRC in New York’s Employment Services division has continued to forge strong partnerships with local businesses that are helping newly arrived refugees and asylees find jobs in the community. The month of March marked a series of notable partnerships and success stories that brought renewed enthusiasm to IRC staff and volunteers who consistently support refugees and asylees as they get ready to enter the American job market.
KEPCO, a power supply manufacturer located in Flushing, Queens, has been an IRC employer for over 20 years. As a result of a renewed partnership established between Susan Lipsky, Human Resources Director at KEPCO, and Cassy Cox, Casework and Employment Supervisor at the IRC in New York, over 10 skilled workers were placed at the power plant in recent months.
Cassy is thrilled at the prospect of working with KEPCO as it will serve the large number of former professionals who regularly visit the IRC for assistance. “Part of the process is learning more about what a company’s current needs are. The great thing about KEPCO is that all of their positions allow our clients to develop skills such as reading blue prints and understanding the American measuring system, in addition to significantly improving their English language skills.”
When KEPCO was looking to fill a Component Engineering position earlier this month, IRC was one of the sources on Susan Lipsky’s list. Through the Employment division’s screening process, IRC was able to send KEPCO an asylee client who had been an engineer in his native Pakistan for an interview. The job offer was secured on the spot.
“Cassy Cox and her team have diligently and persistently recruited and screened the best candidates for our company,” Susan Lipsky says. “The IRC has made my job easier by zeroing in on the best applicants for the positions we have available. Well done!”
As companies around the city downsize, the Employment Services division has had to manage an increase in refugee and asylee clients losing their jobs. When Suk Man, a Bhutanese refugee who was resettled to New York City during the summer of 2009, lost his position in an office cleaning company in February, he diligently searched for new employment and frequently visited the IRC. Through a personal IRC connection with one of the partners at Clearly, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton LLP, Suk Man was called in for an interview and was able to secure a position as a porter.
Amidst the current economic climate, the IRC in New York is grateful to all of the employers who have consistently opened their doors to refugees and asylees who are rebuilding their lives in the community. The IRC would also like to thank all of the volunteers supporting the Employment Services division by spending countless hours helping refugees and asylees build their resumes and perfect their job interview skills. As the saying goes, “it takes a village …”