Search form


Employment & economic wellbeing jumps into 2020

Last updated 

The New Year is bringing exciting developments within our employment & economic wellbeing department. Here's what happened in Fiscal Year 2019, and what you should know about how this expanding program continues to support refugees and immigrants via economic empowerment and mobility. 

Career Programs participant Benga trains on the forklift.

Photo: PC: Christian Lim/IRC


Initial Employment:

Resettling 325 refugees in FY19, the team was most proud to see 72% of employable women securing jobs - a 44% increase since Fiscal Year 2015. In FY19, 94% of employable men secured employment. 


Career Programs: 

In FY19, Career Programs (which focuses on career advancement via vocational english and training for individuals who arrived as refugees or immigrants) helped program participants secure 70 certifications including CDL, CNA, OSHA, Forklift, Environmental Services, and more. The program achieved gender parity with 51% of FY19 program participants identifying as women.  

The most recent cohort for Environmental Service Technicians in FY20 graduated 14 participants. 8 of the 14 have secured jobs with St. Alphonsus Medical Center and the West Ada School District. Coming up in February, an inaugural "Digital Literacy Bridge Class" will address gaps in digital literacy for program enrollees. 


Financial Education Program Debuts! 

Since the program's start in October of 2019, Financial Education has already enrolled 18 participants in one-on-one coaching, and 5 participants have attended their second coaching session. 47 students have participated in classroom sessions, with 20 students completing 3 sessions to date. 

Early victories for the program have included helping a client who was caught in a 30% car loan rate to refinance, and helping one client to obtain the program's first auto loan approval. Up next, qualified candidates will be applying for credit-building loans! 


Spark Students Excel & Graduate

Spark, the IRC in Boise's entry-level English language course geared towards pre-literate students, currently has 18 students enrolled. Recently, Spark celebrated the graduation of 7 students to the English Language Center (ELC). The team is continuing to build its partnership with the ELC by adding an on-site Family Literacy class in the evenings very soon. 

Spark students gather to celebrate after their daily English language class.

Photo: PC: Tara Brandenburg/IRC