Immigrant/English Service Program at Emily Griffith
Are you a refugee or immigrant with work authorization who is …
- Ready to enter a new career pathway?
- Trying to return to a career field where you have international education or experience?
- Hoping to advance or move up in your career?
With the goal of helping refugees and immigrants integrate into Colorado’s workforce, the Immigrant/English Service Program offers the following services and support:
- Outreach & Enrollment: Whether you learn about us from a friend, staff at a community organization, in person, or online we are excited to meet you! Our Enrollment staff will contact you to schedule an intake and screening meeting. This is a time for you to learn about our program and for us to learn about your education and work background. At this meeting, we will determine if you are a good fit for our program.
- Note: The minimum requirement for program eligibility is that you have legal work authorization, but other factors may impact eligibility.
- Navigation & Goal Planning: Career Navigators will assist you in creating a detailed goal plan with action steps that will support your efforts to reach your career goal. Navigators also help you navigate and access education, training, and certificate programs and licensing requirements. Navigators can help you identify potential and present challenges that may interfere with your goals and may be able to connect you with resources to overcome those challenges.
- Career Coaching & Job Search Assistance: Career Coaches help prepare you for a job search in your chosen career path, whether you are looking for entry level positions or advanced employment opportunities. You will have assistance in creating an industry-specific resume, searching and applying for jobs, preparing for interviews, and learning about U.S. business culture. A Job Developer looks for jobs and companies that might be a good fit for you and may be able to recommend you to our partner employers.
- Scholarships: Immigrant/English Service Scholarships may be awarded for expenses related to your career goals, for example: education and training tuition and supplies, exam and licensing fees, evaluation and translation of foreign degrees, and tools for school or work. CAREERS Scholarships are awarded based on need, alignment with goal, approval, and availability and are not guaranteed.
- Engagement & Networking: You will have opportunities to network with other program participants during monthly Immigrant/English Service Meet-Ups. Each Meet-Up will feature a topic related to education, employment, or community integration. The Immigrant/English Service team will also try to connect you with an Industry and Career Connector, or professionals in your chosen career path in order to expand your professional network and learn from others working in the field.
Watch this video to learn more about the Immigrant/English Service program:
CAREERS Program Overview Flyer
CAREERS Advanced Pathway Flyer
CAREERS Enrichment Pathway Flyer
The Immigrant/English Service program is funded by the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP) in connection with Colorado’s Office of Economic Security and by The Gateway Fund II of The Denver Foundation.
Employment in the United States
What documents do I need to show I’m eligible for work?
In order to legally work in the United States you must show proof of both identity and work authorization. Review the complete list of accepted documents and the commonly used documents below:
- Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551) – sometimes referred to as a “Green Card”
- Employment Authorization Document Card (Form I-766)
- Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A with Arrival-Departure Record, and containing an endorsement to work
- Driver’s License or ID Card AND Social Security Card
What is it like to find work in the United States?
Finding work in the United States may feel exciting, overwhelming, and even frustrating. Job titles, education and license requirements, resume/CV format, job search process, hiring practices, and work culture may be different than in other countries. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- In the United States it is common to have many (10 or more) jobs throughout your career. Each job you have is a learning experience that will present opportunities for skill and professional development. The goal is to find jobs that use or develop skills relevant to your long-term career pathway goals.
- Finding programs, service providers, and industry advisers and mentors who can help you navigate and advance in your career pathway is recommended.
- If you are unemployed and want to get a job, consider job searching your full-time job. Seek out positions that you meet most of the listed requirements, submit multiple applications (even if a company has called you in for an interview), and attend hiring and networking events.
- Have a plan for your job search and be persistent! It can be hard and discouraging, but keep going. Don’t give up.
- Be confident! Whether you’ve worked before or are just starting out, if you have a degree or didn’t finish high school, if you’re just learning English or have more advanced English, you have the skills and talent that an employer would be lucky to have on their team.
How can I prepare for a job search in the U.S?
If you are a student at Emily Griffith Technical College or a participant of the CAREERS program you can meet with a Career Coach and Job Developer to learn about resumes and other application documents, job search techniques and boards, interview skills, professional communication, and hiring events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Review these downloads and resources:
- Prepare Your Resume – coming soon!
- Prepare for Your Job Search Checklist – coming soon!
- Read WES Adviser blog – 7 Job Search tips from a College Career Adviser and other employment-related articles.
How can I network and connect with other professionals in my field?
Networking or connecting with other professionals is a good way to learn from others, find job leads, establish new professional relationships, and integrate into your career field. You can network using LinkedIn, attending meet-up events, conferences, or hiring events, or become a member of a professional association.
The CAREERS team will try to connect students and CAREERS participants with Industry and Career Connectors to help you establish a professional network.
Do I need a license to work in my field?
Many professions and occupations require a license or registration in order to work in the field. For example, barbers, electricians, engineers, plumbers, and nurse assistants are some of the professions that require a license. The requirements to get each license are different, but usually require academic work, passing an exam, completing an application, and paying licensing fees. More information about many licensed fields can be found on Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) website.
Licensing and Pathway Guides:
- DORA’s Skilled Immigrants Licensing Guide – For Barbers and Cosmetologists
- Emily Griffith’s Skill-Based Pathway Guide: Engineers
- For Medical Professional Licensing, we encourage you to reach out to Spring Institute’s Colorado Welcome Back program
Other Licensing Tips:
- Thoroughly review all licensing requirements before begining the process for licensure. Ask for help clarifying requirements from the licensing agency.
- Many states have different licensing requirements. Be aware of the requirements for the state you plan to work and keep in mind that if you move to another state you may have additional or different requirements.
- Licensing boards may require evaluations of your foreign education from a particular evaluation agency. make sure you are aware of what evaluation is needed for your field.
- Some exams required for licensure may allow you to take the test in another language, use a word-for-word translation dictionary, and/or get additional time to take the exam if English is not your primary language. review eligibility for this before registering for the exam.
- The CAREERS program may be able to help you navigate the licensing process and pay for associated fees (ex. application fees, exam fees, etc.).
What are my rights during the hiring process and as an employee?
Wage & Hours: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets standards for wages and overtime pay, which affect most private and public employment. It requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay (hours worked after 40 hours) of one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay. In Colorado, the minimum wage is $12.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2020.
Workplace Safety & Health: Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most employers have a general duty to provide their employees with work and a workplace free from recognized, serious hazards and must follow safety and health standards and regulations.
Family and Medical Leave: Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers of 50 or more employees are required to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious illness of the employee or a spouse, child or parent. Often paperwork must be submitted in order for FMLA to be approved.
Connect with a Professional in Your Field
Do you want to learn more about a certain field? We may be able to connect you with people who work in your field of interest in order for you to:
- Ask them about what to expect
- Get advice about hiring practices
- Expand your professional network
- Learn about helpful certifications or trainings
The CAREERS team will seek out Industry or Career Connectors who have experience in your desired field and are interested in sharing their knowledge, expertise and connections. If an Industry or Career Connector is available we will set up an opportunity for you to meet with them in person for a one-time informational meeting.