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US: $1.2m for immigrant employability

The WES Mariam Assefa Fund has announced USD$1.2 million in grants toward its goal of catalysing economic opportunities and advancement for immigrants and refugees in the US and Canada.

The grants have been awarded to five US organisations. Photo: wes.org

Three of the grants are intended to surface and test employer practices that increase access to meaningful employment

The grants have been awarded to five US organisations: the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation, Jobs for the Future, Mission Driven Finance, Upwardly Global, and the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians.

“We look forward to the impact in the daily lives of immigrant and refugee workers”

“These partners bring a wealth of experience and innovative thinking to this effort,” said Monica Munn, senior director of the WES Mariam Assefa Fund.

“The insights and evidence that their work will generate is something that will be shared far and wide to radically move the field of immigrant-focused workforce development forward.”

Three of the five grants, Munn continued, are intended to surface and test employer practices that increase access to meaningful employment, training, and economic mobility for immigrant job seekers and workers.

These include Jobs for the Future, a Boston-based non-profit that promotes economic advancement for all, Upwardly Global, a non-profit that helps integrate college-educated immigrants, refugees, and asylees into the US workforce and a Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians that will enable immigrant job seekers to gain valuable US work experience.

A fourth grant for Mission-Driven Finance will focus on the development of entrepreneurial leaders within immigrant and refugee communities, while the last grant will go to the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University to research and identify innovative financing models for expanding job-readiness and workforce-development programs for immigrants and refugees.

“We are excited about the range of outcomes our inaugural grantee partners will catalyse,” said Esther Benjamin, CEO and executive director of WES.

“We look forward to the impact in the daily lives of immigrant and refugee workers… and others seeking evidence-based tools and strategies that enable immigrants and refugees to contribute their skills and talents to the economy.”

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