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WES supports Philadelphia initiative

Philadelphia employers are being urged to offer opportunities to engage immigrant talent in the region, thanks to an initiative supported by World Education Services.

The initiative has been launched to help employers in Philadelphia benefit from the city's "diverse immigrant population". Photo: Flickr/ Rob Shenk

WES has provided a $242,000 grant to the initiative through its Mariam Assefa Fund

The 18-month program, Engaging Immigrant Talent, is run by Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, in partnership with the City’s Office of Workforce Development, and aims to help businesses tap into a “culturally and linguistically diverse talent pool”.

“We hope the data and resources generated through this initiative can be leveraged by other cities”

WES has provided a US$242,000 grant to the initiative through its Mariam Assefa Fund, which was launched in 2019 to assist immigrants and refugees to contribute to their new communities.

“Increasing opportunities for Philadelphia’s extraordinary and diverse immigrant population is key to realising the goals outlined in our citywide workforce development and inclusive growth strategies,” Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.

“I greatly appreciate the WES Mariam Assefa Fund for funding this opportunity, and I look forward to driving positive results for our city through this partnership with Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians.”

The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians has delivered development programs focusing on increased access for immigrants and refugees for 16 years.

An International Professionals Program provides training to connect residents with their career pathways, while the Immigrant Fellowship Program is a 12-week paid work-based learning opportunity with the City of Philadelphia departments and private sector employers.

The new talent initiative will evaluate and expand existing programs’ impact, as the Welcoming Center will continue to advocate for more inclusive recruiting, hiring and retention practices across the city.

“We are thrilled to support this innovative partnership among the Office of Workforce Development, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, and Philadelphia employers,” said Monica Munn, senior director of the WES Mariam Assefa Fund.

“This initiative showcases the economic and social impact that can be achieved when you bring together municipal leadership, an outstanding nonprofit service provider, talented immigrant and refugee workers, and committed employers.

“We hope the data and resources generated through this initiative can be leveraged by other cities in their immigrant workforce programs.”

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