News / USA

Immigrants in US Take Job Training

Yafet Deferesu (r) from Ethiopia, and Perline Rasoanoromalala, from Madagascar working on their resumes
Yafet Deferesu (r) from Ethiopia, and Perline Rasoanoromalala, from Madagascar working on their resumes

Related Articles

Deborah Block

Many Americans donate items, especially clothing, to Goodwill Industries. The non-profit organization sells the items at lower prices in their stores in the United States, and other countries. The money is used to provide job training for the disabled and disadvantaged, including immigrants in the U.S.  Our reporter visited a Goodwill store and training center in Arlington, Virginia, where some immigrants are learning how to search for a job.  

Yafet Deferesu, from Ethiopia, and Perline Rasoanoromalala, from Madagascar, are working on their resumes in hopes they will get a job.  

She came to the United States six months ago, after obtaining an immigrant work visa. Deferesu has been in the U.S. for 30 years and has had a difficult time getting a job because he has disabilities, including being blind in one eye. Each of the immigrants recently completed a free, three-week career enhancement program at Goodwill they hope will give them an edge in a tight job market.

“Goodwill, I think, is a good support for us job seekers and also for immigrants to help us to understand how it works here in the U.S.," said Perline Rasoanoromalala.

“Every day I come here, the energy is so positive that it promotes what I want to accomplish and finding a job," said Yafet Deferesu.

Rasoanoromalala has a college degree and worked for a U.S. development organization in Madagascar.  She would like to work for a development agency again.  Deferesu has been out of work for several years and is looking for a job as a bookkeeper.

At this Goodwill training center, they receive career counseling, including how to interview for jobs and market their skills. Lisa Bauer, the training center manager, says they also learn how to put together a resume.

“Resumes are different throughout the world and here the employers really expect to see what that person has achieved," said Bauer. "Really almost asking somebody to boast about themselves, and in other countries, that’s not favored at all as a practice.”

Immigrants also learn that cultural differences may be misinterpreted during job interviews and could hinder them from getting work.

“I did not know that crossing your arms is perceived a different way in the U.S.  For us, it’s a sign of I’m listening carefully to you," said Rasoanoromalala. "Here maybe it’s a lack of openness.”

Deferesu says he learned how important it is to have good communication with the people who interview him.  

“I did interviews for the first time in a long time and I was very excited about it because it was so rewarding," said Deferesu.

Rasoanoromalala says Goodwill is also helping her dress for success.

“They give me clothing vouchers, which means I can go to Goodwill’s retail shops and get clothes or shoes," she said.

Goodwill has 2,500 stores around the world, mostly in the U.S. and Canada.  There are also stores in 14 other countries, primarily in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia. The newest store recently opened in Seoul, South Korea.

Jim Gibbons, head of Goodwill Industries International, says the organization gives its clients a realistic assessment of their skills and abilities.

“What I think Goodwill does for the disabled and immigrants is to have high expectations, give the facts, and then surround the person with the tools and support for them to be successful," said Gibbons.

Rasoanoromalala says that support is making her hopeful she will find a job in the near future.

“America is a land of opportunities, so I keep faith, and cross my fingers as you say," she said.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs