Please note: This position would be compensated $25/hour for a minimum of six hours a week

Background: The IRC Seattle Economic Empowerment Program was developed to assist refugees and other vulnerable populations with community integration and gaining economic mobility to build a better future for themselves and their family. Programming includes Workforce Development, Financial Capabilities, and Small Business Development. Using an integrated model, families receive a comprehensive, tailored set of services to support entering and advancing in the workforce, building assets, achieving educational goals, and providing their children with greater access to resources needed to thrive.

Scope of work: The IRC Seattle Small Business Development staff in partnership with Workforce Development and Financial Capabilities staff will be hosting a no-cost sewing class to assist a cohort of newly arrived Afghan women with some experience in sewing to further develop their skills. Program staff will also be assisting participants with starting their own income generating business or obtaining gainful employment in production sewing. The goal of the sewing program is to provide a culturally sensitive source of income that allows Afghan women to contribute to their household while also meeting the needs of their families. Weekly classes will also be a space for Afghan women to socialize with their peers and help alleviate common feelings of isolation.

Location: In-person at 12608 SE 240th St, Kent, WA 98031

Time Commitment: Classes are tentatively scheduled to begin the week of October 3rd. Volunteer will provide instruction for 3-hour sewing classes twice a week, tentatively scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 9 a.m. Must be punctual and arrive on time and have developed curriculum and individualized learning plan prior to the start of every class. Minimum three-month commitment (12-15 weeks ideally). 

Essential Functions:

  • Provide instruction and demonstration of sewing skills, use of beginner to intermediate patterns, means for mending damaged clothing and other alterations, garment making, craft sewing, sewing machine operation, and basic upkeep.
  • Assist volunteer Sewing Assistants and students with preparing and cleaning up the classroom space, materials, and equipment for scheduled class times. Take attendance at the beginning of class.
  • Provide direction to volunteer Sewing Assistants who will be assisting small groups of 2-3 students.
  • Provide constructive and encouraging feedback on student projects.
  • Communicate class content with enthusiasm, clarity, and patience.
  • Maintain effective communication with Economic Empowerment staff on student progress with specific learning objectives and needs as well as the status of class supplies and equipment.
  • Attend a final event to join in celebrating student accomplishments and displaying their talents.


  • Experience with sewing instruction or training and expertise in all or most of the following skills: hand stitching and/or mending, sewing machine operation and basic maintenance, alterations, tailoring, pattern use, garment making, craft project sewing.
  • Arriving promptly so that classes begin on time and communicating with as much notice as reasonably possible with Economic Empowerment program staff in the event of an emergency or scheduling conflict.
  • Ability to cater to individual student differences in both abilities and personal experiences.
  • Culturally sensitive, respectful of diverse backgrounds, and willing to work with English language learners. Prior cross-cultural communication experience a plus.
  • Flexibility and positive attitude a must.
  • Reliable transportation to and from the class site.
  • Ability to communicate effectively in English; additional fluency in a refugee language (ex. Swahili, French, Arabic, Dari, Tigrinya) is helpful, but not required.
  • Experience providing instruction with accompanying interpretation in an additional language is helpful, but not required.
  • Female instructor preferred.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires candidates who are selected for interview to have proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for this position.

Reports to: Economic Empowerment Program Manager and staff

Last updated: September 2022

How to apply:

1. Please send resume and cover letter to Lauren Nicolas-Card at [email protected] and Sharon Tsoi at [email protected].

2. Economic Empowerment staff will review and follow up