To Dang and his wife were well known Coastal Engineers in Vietnam. When they arrived in the U.S. they soon realized they did not know about the U.S. cultural context, let alone how to get a job in this country. He worked as a tour guide to help pay the bills and was not sure if he would ever find a professional job. “When I went to the first Upwardly Global workshop, my hope came back,” he recalled.
From Apprentice to Employee - How Upwardly Global Program Changed the Life of a Foreign-Trained Engineer
In an effort to attract and retain top talents, Greeley and Hansen, a leading national environmental engineering and consulting firm specializing in water, wastewater, and related infrastructure, took a unique approach by entering a partnership with Upwardly Global to find qualified new talent.
Bachelor’s of Science, Mechanical Engineering (BSME)
Upwardly Global and Greeley and Hansen created the Global Engineers in Residence (GEIR) Program. This pilot project expands on the traditional college student paid internship model to bring experienced, foreign-trained engineers together with interested employers in a collaborative and low-risk workplace immersion program. Participants in GEIR are foreign-trained engineers, authorized to work in the U.S., with diverse cultural backgrounds and international experience in a wide range of engineering disciplines.
“The Global Engineers in Residence program taps into a new talent pool of foreign-trained engineers,” said John C. Robak, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Greeley and Hansen. “This program provides skilled workers with the opportunity to gain valuable on-the-job experience and mentoring, while working on challenging projects.”
For Mushtaq Dakhil, connecting with Upwardly Global gave him the opportunity of a lifetime. As a mechanical engineer in his homeland of Iraq, Dakhil worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering, helping rebuild the infrastructure of his country. However, with the country’s worsening insurgency and his employment with an American company, Dakhil’s and his family’s lives were in danger. Leaving their homeland and professional careers behind them, Dakhil, his wife and two children moved to U.S. Based on his professional experience, Dakhil was the perfect fit for the GEIR program. After several interviews with Greeley and Hansen, the firm offered Dakhil a six-month apprenticeship and was later hired as a full-time engineer after he completed his apprenticeship.
“While the program has helped Greeley and Hansen establish a new pipeline for engineering talent, the true reward is being able to offer skilled immigrants the opportunity to use their skills to help our firm design better urban environments,” said Robak.