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From Refugee to Essential Employee


Society is changing every day, and one particular arena in which this is increasingly evident is the job economy. Markets of all kinds are facing labor shortages, and the solution seems consistently evasive. Can the next generation of young adults be relied on solely to fill a very large number of job openings? 

According to M. Ray Perryman, a market analyst who released an article on labor shortages recently, the United States currently lacks 1.6 million health care and social assistance workers and an additional 1.3 million people working in food and accommodation services. The need doesn't stop with those two industries, but 2.9 million is a daunting enough number to chew on for a while. Facing shortages such as these, employers in the U.S. are having to think outside the box to fill their jobs. Foreign-born workers, specifically refugees, are proving to be an extremely viable solution to the growing issue. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 18% of people working in America today were born elsewhere. That number continues to grow. Many refugees resettled in the United States bring valuable, easily-applicable job skills and are more than capable of exceeding expectations. Often, their work ethic is second to none.

A longtime participant in GoTEN's sewing program recently became one of the solutions to the issue being discussed. A local Phoenix company, Big Time Jerseys, hired her full time to work on their production team. The company makes jerseys for all professional sports teams located in Phoenix, and presents an excellent opportunity for our student to put her sewing skills to use. While providing for her family through this job, she is also able and honored to give back to her new society, filling an essential role in the work force. GoTEN is working alongside Big Time Jerseys as they plan to expand their staff in the future. Students in our sewing classes are working hard to prepare for the day that another full time position opens, and would love to have your help. Would you come alongside them? Volunteer in a sewing class today!