The Forced Migration Upward Mobility Project is facilitating collaborative solutions between multiple stakeholders, including the refugees themselves. Here, FMUMP facilitates a discussion with refugees, service providers, business owners, and job counselors on how the skills refugees are arriving with could be better utilized in the US workforce.
Expanding entrepreneur mentorship programs
FMUMP is working with the Small Business Administration to expand their entrepreneurship mentor programs to be more inclusive of refugees, both as mentors and as mentees. This partnership will open opportunities to thousands of refugees with entrepreneurial dreams in the US. Pilot projects will begin this fall in two refugee communities.
Working to build solutions for skilled refugees
FMUMP is partnering with Upwardly Global to help expand its services to Texas. Upwardly Global is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. working exclusively with skilled immigrants and refugees by providing job search training and connecting them with employers seeking to develop a pipeline of global talent.
Studying the public perception of refugees
FMUMP is currently engaged in a study of public perception of refugees and the relationship between those attitudes and employment outcomes. The outcomes of our study are informing a series of Public Service Announcement videos designed to get the public to Rethink Refugees. Another outcome will be to produce a set of recommendations for the press in how they talk about newcomer populations.
Preparing refugees for today's workforce
We are working with the private sector to understand how to prepare refugees to meet the needs of today's workforce. This includes a thorough vocational audit of the area to determine the quickest and most feasible paths to sustainable jobs. With this information, we will initiate collaborative partnerships with businesses, service providers, refugees, vocational instructors, ESL providers, and workforce development to create career-ladders for refugees that work for all stakeholders. The first set of collaborative roundtables is set to take place this Spring 2015!
Building public awareness
In partnership with Region 10 that impacts more than 750,000 students and 65,000 educators in 80 public school districts, 41 Charter Schools, and numerous private schools in the 8 counties in north Texas The Linking Community, we have launched a series of free public awareness lectures, videos, and discussion tools to help dispel myths and educate the public on lived experiences of refugees in America.
Creating new specialized esl programs
It has long been known that refugees with limited English need to improve their language abilities and acquire the needed job skills to advance in the U.S. labor market. FMUMP is working with The Literacy Coalition to help inform the creation of new career-laddering opportunities for refugees by adapting ESL programs to existing vocational programs that lead to living wage occupations. By combining language services with workplace communication skills, job-specific vocabulary, skill training, certifications, soft skills, and job placement services, refugees can be competitive for sustainable careers.
Working with refugee communities
An important part of helping refugees find self-sufficiency is understanding the livelihood strategies used by those who have been resettled in the U.S. for a long time. We are working with refugee communities to capture the enabling environments they used to support their success. Through this bottom-up approach we are developing a database of innovative strategies to leverage them with existing programs in a way that accelerates a newcomer's path to meaningful and sustainable employment. We are also working to quantify the economic trajectories of those who have been here for 30 years in order to understand the factors that affect living wages.
Refugees have long used their own skills and entrepreneurship to facilitate their success in a new land. The Forced Migration Upward Mobility Project is building a bank of innovative strategies and best practices to be shared among ethnic communities and partners looking to facilitate career-laddering opportunities.
Working with the City of Dallas
Our bottom-up strategy promotes refugees getting a seat at the table in the decisions that affect their lives. We are committed to partnerships with the City of Dallas, Dallas and Tarrant County that bring the effected population's voice to proposed city space and programming improvements.