International Rescue Committee (IRC)


The IRC Employment Program helps refugees prepare for and obtain entry level employment and then gain the skills, licenses, and certifications needed to transition into higher-paying careers. Through classroom training, intensive one-on-one assistance, referrals to other IRC services and partner organizations, and access to financing, the Employment Program directly addresses participants’ most significant barriers to earning a sustainable wage.

One of the most important parts of resettlement is early employment for refugees, the IRC employment program assists newly arrived refugees to prepare for and secure entry level employment as soon as possible after their arrival in the US. Services include classroom training, intensive one on one job searching assistance including resume creation, application assistance and practice interviews, accompanied job searches, transportation to interviews and access to job leads and employers.

Transportation is one of the major barriers to employment for refugees so the IRC offers transportation programs to help clients overcome this barrier. Staff provide classroom trainings on using public transportation, bicycle safety and car buying, accompanied bus trips are offered for experiential learning and one on one route planning assistance and car buying assistance are offered along with access to an auto loan fund. If you are interested in donating a vehicle to the IRC please contact

IRC staff work to form relationships with local employers to match refugee job seekers with job openings. If you are interested in diversifying your candidate pool and helping a refugee get their first job in America please see our employer page:

For more information, contact

The Connect2Work program is an employment and educational program specifically for youth between 17-21 years of age. The program is designed to meet the individual needs of youth and include educational services, work readiness training, work experience placement and youth development activities. All youth that participate in the program can access a 40 week paid work experience, scholarships to help pay for post secondary education, incentive payments for completion of milestones and supportive services throughout to pay for transportation and work related expenses. If you know of a youth who may be interested in this program and lives in central San Diego please refer them to

If you are an employer interested in working with any of our job seeking candidates from entry level to skilled positions, if you would like to offer your expertise for one of our events and panels or if you are interested in acting as a work experience site for youth please click here to visit our employer services page.

Office of Refugee Resettlement
San Diego Workforce Partnership
JP Morgan Chase

Photos: Refugee client at work at Hilton San Diego Resort, learning to ride the bus, and at the IRC Job Training and Application Lab.  Genevieve Caston/The IRC


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