Upwardly Global Director of Communications Talks to The CEO Magazine About Refugee Workforce Inclusion

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Upwardly Global’s Director of Communications, Joshua Garner, recently spoke with The CEO Magazine about how businesses can best utilize the untapped skills and professional experience refugees can contribute to their new communities, as well as help them obtain skill-aligned employment. Garner shares that the outlook on refugee workforce inclusion is “increasingly positive.”

Organizations that are doing exactly that include United States-based Upwardly Global, which works with “thousands of immigrants and refugees directly and through partner organizations to equip them with the skills they need to be successful in their job search”.

These skills include training around resumes, applications and interviews as well as industry-specific coaching to help job seekers map career paths based on their experience areas of opportunity and develop the skills required to get there.

The outlook is increasingly positive, according to Director of Communications Joshua Garner.

“There has been impressive movement from companies and society as a whole in recognizing that diversity is a strength, and that leadership can and should look very differently, have different backgrounds, different experience,” he says.

To truly harness this good intention, top-level buy-in with real goals and accountability is critical. In addition, entire organizations must understand the changes in evaluating, hiring and retaining new staff.

“We need more systems in place to support refugees and immigrants when they come to a country with skill-aligned job placement,” Garner proposes.

“There is a focus today on rapid attachment jobs, basically ensuring that people find some kind of work. We need to shift that and support efforts to understand the unique talents and experience that refugees bring, and to help them find career pathways that can utilize those skills.”

Upwardly Global works with organizations to share technical training and expertise that will impact around 2.3 million unemployed and underemployed immigrant and refugee professionals.

New technologies are helping it bridge those gaps and expand its reach, but Garner agrees that constructive policies and processes are required for everything else to flourish.

Read the full article, including insights from other businesses and organizations dedicated to refugee workforce inclusion, here.

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