28-year-old Michael and his young family came to the U.S. through the refugee resettlement program in 2015, after living as refugees in Malaysia for 10 years. Uprooted from their native Burma, Michael was determined to rebuild his family’s life in their new home and quickly secured employment – first in a poultry processing plant, before being hired by AmeriCold Logistics at the Kroger Warehouse in 2016. While able to meet his most basic expenses, Michael was motivated to build a career for himself to ensure financial security for his family’s future.
He was referred to the IRC in Atlanta’s Jobs to Careers (J2C) program in August 2017 where he joined the Transportation and Logistics Cohort with the goal of obtaining his forklift certification. J2C provides clients with the knowledge, skills and tools to move from entry-level work to higher-paying, higher-skilled careers, and after participating in the program’s Advanced Work Readiness Training, Michael obtained his forklift operator certification from Toyota Forklifts of Atlanta, with financial assistance from the IRC to cover the training fee.
Now a certified forklift operator, Michael continues to be employed by AmeriCold Logistics as an Order Selector and drives the forklift as needed. His dedication and strong work ethic earned him a merit-based, $2 wage increase in February 2018 and he continues to explore potential opportunities for career and financial growth while planning for a bright future. “Right now I am young and I can work a hard job, but in a few years I will not be able to work in factories,” said Michael. “My ambition is to try for many things. I want to get my CDL (commercial driver’s license) and also learn how to do taxes. There are many things to try.”
To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Development Manager, Kalie Lasiter, at Kalie.Lasiter [at] Rescue.org or 678-636-8941.