Client tailoring skills and initiative + strong job readiness preparation + solid employer relationships.
Click here to read how Pabitra Khadka found a job using her tailoring skills and how Lutheran Social Services North Dakota helped her with strong job readiness preparation and solid employer relationships.
Kawa Hawari, Employment Specialist at LSSND, says he learned that Pabitra had commercial tailoring skills while conducting an employability assessment. She also received training in how to get and keep a job in the U.S.
Kawa told Pabitra about Strauss Clothing, a locally owned business that had been partnering for LSS for several years. He planned to set up a meeting, but Pabitra took initiative and got the job on her own.
Strauss Clothing, Pabitra’s employer since 2010, is an active employer partner. One of the owners approached LSSND because they had a job opening. Since then, they have served on an Employer Advisory Committee and even recognize new arrivals carrying IOM bags and welcome them when they happen to see them in airports.
Because of the strong job development foundaton, Strauss Clothing was willing to interview Pabitra and hire her when she demonstrated the skill set they needed. Now she’s been promoted to Head Tailor and Strauss Clothing says she’s the best tailor they’ve ever hired.
Job Development and Commercial Sewing Machine Operation
Pabitra offered advanced skills and significant experience, but still says she had to learn how to operate a fast-moving commercial sewing machine. That’s often a barrier for our clients who have not had access to the equipment typical in the U.S. workplace.
It’s not uncommon for our clients to have tailoring skills that are sought after by a range of employers including wedding gown stores, industrial garment manufacturers and dry cleaners that often offer tailoring and alternation services.
With the right job development foundation, you can identify creative and low-cost strategies to help clients learn about the additional commercial sewing machine skills required for career advancement as a tailor.
Consider developing a short list of job development prospects so you have relationships already when you resettle a client with tailoring skills. You’ll learn specifics to include when conducting your own employability assessments.
Even if the client can’t master a commercial sewing machine in time to land a job, the chance to shadow and try out a machine will help them adjust their skills. Many employers are happy to give potential tailors a few days of job shadowing.
Many wedding gown stores do hand-beading and alternations that don’t require a commercial machine. Adding a U.S. job shadowing experience to their existing skill set will likely be a strong enough combination to help them secure a tailoring job that doesn’t require immediate expertise in commercial machine operation.