The IRC Atlanta has recently partnered with globally recognized logistics company, Kuehne+Nagel, to place highly skilled immigrants in exciting jobs in logistics coordination and transport. The global logistics industry is experiencing explosive growth and requires talent with language capacity and knowledge of emerging markets. As a result, immigrants play a vital role in this field.
This partnership has already proved beneficial to IRC client, Ahmad. Originally from Afghanistan, Ahmad is currently enrolled in the IRC Atlanta’s Career Development program which provides immigrants with career coaching, job placement assistance and credential attainment to help them transition out of entry level jobs and into fulfilling careers. Despite his short time working with the Career Development program, Ahmad has already achieved considerable success.
When Ahmad came to the IRC in late August 2019, he did so out of frustration with his former position. He had been in the U.S. for a little over one year and was working as a Quality Control Analyst, checking airport ticket scanners for signs of malfunction—a role he found to be rather monotonous. Ahmad made $14/hr—a higher wage than many recently arrived immigrants—but was frustrated with the lack of professional development and opportunities for growth.
"All we want is someone to open the door. We will work hard.”
In Afghanistan, Ahmad achieved considerable success and prestige in his career. In his mid-twenties, he was recruited by the German Government to serve as the project coordinator for the German Integrated Experts and Returning Experts project, designed to assist with the rebuilding and re-stabilization effort in Afghanistan. Ahmad’s role was to arrange meetings with top Afghan officials including the Afghan president, Minister of Education and Minister of Finance, to assess their needs. He would then coordinate the placement of expert German consultants and ensure they had safe and productive meetings with Afghan leadership. He also booked travel and catering, managed budgets and oversaw the hiring and HR support for over 200 security professionals he employed to keep these meetings safe and secure. This security work was vitally important given the number of suicide bombings in Kabul at the time of his employment. Ahmad eventually left Afghanistan because of these ongoing security risks. In fact, tragically, the compound where he lived and worked was attacked by the Taliban in September 2019 and many of his former colleagues were killed.
Given Ahmad’s extensive career background, IRC Career Development Coordinator, Lauren Bowden, knew that he would benefit from a professional mentor. Lauren connected Ahmad to Bernard van der Lande, an IRC volunteer and mentor with a professional background in executive search. After meeting with Ahmad, Bernard concluded that his skills and previous responsibilities were a good fit for the logistics industry. He suggested that Lauren and Ahmad tailor his resume to highlight his experience in global transport and scheduling, and ultimately connected them to Kuehne+Nagel.
As the result of these efforts, Ahmad secured an interview for an open position at Kuehne+Nagel and, on September 30, 2019, he started his new career as a Sea Freight Pricing Analyst. Ahmad is now making over $45,000 per year which represents a 60% pay raise. In early 2020, Lauren and Bernard were thrilled to place a second Career Development client at Kuehne+Nagel and look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership. Ahmad is happy in his new position and appreciates the IRC for their assistance. He explained, “I am very much thankful to IRC especially Lauren and Mr. Bernard for their help and support.”
The IRC in Atlanta depends on employer partners like Kuehne + Nagel who recognize the immense value of a diverse, multilingual workforce. Kuehne+Nagel currently represents at least 15% of the world’s sea and air freight revenue and has over 80,000 employees in 109 countries. When asked why more companies should hire immigrants, Ahmad explained it best, “We have spent years in our countries preparing to come here. All we want is someone to open the door. We will work hard.”
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 Director, Marian Dickson, at Marian.Dickson [at] Rescue.org or 601-310-3174.