The “If Gap”
The most common pushback we get, when people hear about our work, is the old argument, “Refugees are taking jobs from Americans.”
In “Refugee Workforce,” we take a look at a “perfect world” scenario to see if this viewpoint is valid.
Chris’s Story: God-Ordained Pivot
After a year of connecting companies with dependable refugee employees, Chris’ business hadn’t made even a single dime.
He closed the business down and set himself to learn from the experience and move on, that is until God orchestrated two phone calls that would change his decision and change the trajectory of his future.
In 2007 President George W. Bush expanded a law allowing for a significant number of Afghan and Iraqi translators who served alongside our military to claim asylum in the U.S. Men like Najib put their lives on the line fighting terrorism beside American soldiers.
Najib is a woodworker, and business owner of Ariana Wood Carving in Clarkston, GA. He hand-carved a seal as a gift to President Bush to thank him for “saving not just [his] family, but thousands and thousands of others just like [him.]”
After fleeing Syria, Malek Alarmash and his family became refugees and began the long process of applying for resettlement.
“The interviews were from 5am until 6pm. We had three interviews in a big, secure office that belonged to the United States.”
Visit our blog for more of Malek’s story, and a look into the United States Vetting process.
Hard workers. Business builders. Taxpayers. Refugees.
A 2017 study by the New American Economy Research Fund reported several key findings that confirm the substantial contributions the refugee community makes within the U.S. economy.
It’s time to change the rhetoric about refugees. Download this graphic to share on your favorite social media platform, using the hashtag #refugeeworkforce
In “Refugee Workforce,” we looked at the shift that has happened from “Industrial Age America,” to our current disappearing workforce.
For more on Industrial Age employment practices, click here to download a free excerpt from Chuck Blakeman’s “Why Employees Are Always a Bad Idea.)
Atlanta Athletic Club’s Story
“Anyone who has worked in hospitality knows that the hospitality industry is famous for its turnover.”
Hear from Daryl Shular and the Atlanta Athletic Club on how the refugee workforce has made an impact— not just on their turnover rates, but within their culture.
Refugees, like Mohammad, are highly motivated to work and re-establish their lives, which have been so severely uprooted. Their high motivation produces an unparalleled work ethic, which is how many refugees juggle one or more jobs, while caring for their families, and often pursuing higher education at the same time.
Download this quote graphic to share to social media using the hashtag #refugeeworkforce
Luke Keller & Laura Green of Tekton Career Training
In 2012, Luke Keller launched a nonprofit trades training program, now known as Tekton Career Training to meet two needs: one, the growing need for skilled tradesmen in the job market, and two, the refugees still living in low-income / impoverished conditions years after resettlement. Listen to our interview to hear more about the organization and their observations of the prevalence of growth mindset within the refugee workforce.
R. James Properties Story
“Working with the refugee community has re-affirmed my faith in the American dream.”
Check out what Kelly James, of R James Properties Inc. had to say about the impact of diversity within their company.
The owner of a restoration company had all but given up finding anyone who could restore ornately carved furnishings for his customers. That is, until he hired Najib, an Afghani carpenter. Najib took one look at an old family photo of an heirloom dresser, and set off tow work. A few days later, the dresser, which was once damaged to the point of no return, was fully restored to its former glory. Before, the company didn’t know such a great need for the talent existed, now they’re winning contracts based solely on providing the service.
Karimi helped the U.S. military in his home country of Afghanistan. He moved to the U.S. after his life was threatened by the Taliban. Now, he works at R James Properties, Inc. in Atlanta, and is one of the company’s best maintenance technicians.
Check back soon for our interview with Karimi.
The stability of a good job has given Amnobe the roots and resources to succeed in her new life in America. In just one year, she has made the monumental shift from surviving to thriving. She is happy, and she is healing.
Now, she has re-engaged her passion for singing, and has over 70,000 views on YouTube! Check out one of her latest videos—
One of our most beloved team members in our Atlanta office, Bethelhem, resettled in Clarkston from Ethiopia. As a recruiter for us, she helps job applicants get through the application and placement process.
Betty, as we call her, often says, “A good job is peace of mind.” Shortly after starting her job with us at Amplio, she showed us some of her personal paintings. She told us that she had not painted since leaving her home in Ethiopia. But now, after feeling the peace and joy born out of employment, she had gone out and bought some supplies and was painting again.
Having a good job allows refugees to flourish again.
Luke Keller & Laura Green of Tekton Career Training
As the trade war escalates, filling manufacturing shortages is becoming increasingly imperative. Tekton Career Training is one of many organizations leading the way in helping refugees move more quickly into these key positions.
Tekton provides inexpensive skills development that is simultaneously engaging refugees and meeting the demand for skilled tradesmen in the marketplace. Listen to our interview with founder, Luke Keller, and executive director, Laura Green, to learn more.
The city of Dallas, Texas is following an intentional strategy to become a more welcoming and inclusive place to live and work. Liz Cedillo-Pereira is leading the charge on this effort and shares her perspective in this interview on how Dallas is engaging the refugee workforce.
Legislation: Refugee & Immigrant Employment
Washington, New Jersey, and Massachusetts are just a few of the many U.S. states passing legislation to better engage refugees in the workforce.
Click the button below to visit imprint project.org and view a policy map listing of pending and enacted legislation across the country.
Lessons from Colombia
Colombia is one of a few countries across the world that has recognized the tremendous economic value refugees can have for their nation. They have created innovative policies to allow individuals fleeing neighboring Venezuela to enter the workforce as soon as possible.
Chris Chancey spent a month in Colombia, observing and learning from what the Colombian government is doing about the refugee crisis. Click the button below to visit our YouTube channel and watch Chris share his insights from the experience.
Blusion Laundry founders, Jim and Nancy Konides, put a lot of care into developing every piece of equipment, every process and procedure of the business. Their excellence led to great success, and that success had led to more expansion. When they struggled to find dependable workers, they turned to the help of the refugee workforce. Now, they’re changing their model to put their plants where the labor force is.
Amplio Ventures: Remote Refugee Employment Fund
Amplio Ventures was formed to invest in refugee entrepreneurs and companies intentionally employing refugees on a global scale. The firm is engaged with over 20 companies, and growing, including LeadGenius, and Blusion.
Together, we’re launching the Remote Refugee Employment Fund. We’ve combined low-risk, high-yield U.S.-based companies to employ high-risk, high-yield refugees in camps around the world. Click the Amplio Ventures logo to access information about the Remote Refugee Employment Fund.
Show Your Support
Say “yes” to the refugee workforce!
Click the link below to visit www.wehirerefugees.org to view a list of companies that have signed their pledge to hire refugees and support refugee entrepreneurship.
Seven Reasons Why the Refugee Workforce is the Best-Kept Secret for America’s Economy
Our economic stat sheet is a great go-to resource for educated conversations surrounding refugee resettlement. Click the button below to download!