Nashville Non-Profit World Relief Holding Networking Event for Displaced International Professionals

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Providing resources for professionally skilled refugees located in the United States is an important part to the country’s overall economic recovery efforts. World Relief Nashville has announced they will be holding a networking event for international refugees with professional backgrounds currently residing in the Nashville area.

World Relief Nashville

When we help these people secure employment it is also helping keep the U.S. globally competitive and contributing to the overall domestic economy.

For many refugees with professional experience, such as doctors and engineers, finding gainful employment in another country is a challenge. Local support for these people is limited especially in the current economic landscape. As part of their continued efforts to help skilled refugees obtain employment in the United States, World Relief Nashville will be hosting the first REACH (Refugee Employment and Certification Help) networking event July 10, at 5:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Horton Group offices located at 136 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.    

For years the United States has stood as a place of asylum for individuals who have been forced to flee their countries in fear of persecution, extreme poverty or other life threatening circumstances. Many of these people already have families currently living and working in the United States. As part of the U.S. Department of State’s Reception and Placement Program, World Relief Nashville began their REACH Program as an initiative to help refugees from a variety of cultural and professional backgrounds transition into the American workforce. The program focuses on teaching cross-cultural skills that will help new immigrants find employment and also provides classes on planning career advancement and educational goals.

Many of the people who will be attending the REACH event are not familiar with the networking or the employment process as it is understood in American business culture. As an added obstacle the majority of them have no domestically based references. This event is geared towards teaching these professionals the different hiring practices in the United States, expanding networks and getting them in front of potential employers. World Relief expects anywhere from five to ten refugees with professional experience to be in attendance. During the event they will be given an opportunity to talk about their own personal experiences, who they are and what they are hoping to achieve.    

“For every 200 refugees and immigrants that come to Nashville, 99 have professional backgrounds,” stated REACH Program Manager Betsy Pipher. “When we help these people secure employment it is also helping keep the U.S. globally competitive and contributing to the overall domestic economy. Most businesses would be happy to have these people working for them - many of them speak multiple languages, have years of experience and are capable of addressing a broad audience.”

World Relief Nashville began the REACH Program in January of 2012 and since has helped two participants find gainful employment. “The displaced peoples we are helping with this program might have been high level professionals with well-established careers in their home country,” says Pipher. “Even though they are most likely going to be starting out in entry-level positions most of them are just happy to get work and begin their new life here in Nashville.”

It is the goal of World Relief Nashville to help immigrants and refugees from across the globe form strong foundations for a better life in the United States. This is done by empowering the local Church to reach the most vulnerable people and helping transform them economically, socially, and spiritually. World Relief Nashville is continuously seeking, facilitating, and promoting collaboration among all stakeholders, including local governments, the worldwide church, mission agencies, other NGO’s, and the business community, recognizing partnership as essential to serving the most vulnerable.

For more information please contact World Relief, REACH Program Manager Betsy Pipher at 615-569-7151 or email her at b.pipher(at)wr(dot)org.

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