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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs