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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora