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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid