Employment Volunteer Resources

A collection of approaches and resources from refugee employment volunteer and mentor programs around the country.

World Relief DuPage/Aurora, IL

Materials given to volunteers who mentor employment clients unable to attend regular job skills training class. It generally takes 5-6 one hour meetings to complete, and adaptations are made according to the English level and prior experience of the client. The portfolio contains some paperwork and tests that can provide additional practice for the client.

Job Skill Mentor Portfolio                             Job Skills Mentor Guidebook

Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego, CA

Resources to help volunteers, who are usually assigned to do interview practice with clients, help clients complete online applications, or do applications on behalf of clients with low English or computer skills. Both documents are provided to volunteers as part of initial training.  In addition, the training includes review of a Walmart application so they learn how to navigate employer websites and complete pre-employment assessments correctly.

Interview Questions and Answers*                 15 Toughest Interview Questions and Answers

*Includes the following: Passing Assessment Tests; Walmart Interview Questions; Hilton Hotels Interview Questions; Martha’s Go To Interview Questions; Walmart Cashier Interview Questions and Answers; 9 Popular Interview Questions and Answers

New American Pathways, Atlanta, GA

A couple of years ago, we created a binder called “Employment Client Waiting Services.” We conduct walk-ins once a week for clients to meet with Case Managers and Employment Specialists, and sometimes clients have to spend a while in the waiting room. When volunteers and interns are available on a walk-in day, they use the binder to find activities to take advantage of that time–there are sheets to establish basic workplace vocabulary, assess math skills, and determine the client’s employable skills to prepare for interviews. Since volunteers’ schedules don’t always match up with the times we are most in need of their assistance, it’s good to have a packet put together so they can be working on something important even while staff members are otherwise occupied.

Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) New Haven, CT

A few documents used in IRIS’ Employment Mentor Program

Goals and Strategies Checklist      Program Rules of Engagement        Client Agreement (English)

African Community Center, Denver, CO

Documents from ACC’s employment volunteeer training program

Employment Application Guide for Refugees          SES Volunteer Guide

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Resource for Supervisors and Managers

what about us infoDownload a tip sheet summarizing advice from 120 refugee employment professionals about Professional Development, Time Management and the support  they hope to get from their supervisors.


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2015 Holiday eCard Job Development Resource

Holiday eCard graphic you can use in your own branded thank you message to employment partners. Happy Holidays and Thank You from Higher.

Click here to open the JPEG Version and then right click to save the image to your computer.)

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Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop – Optional Day Presentation

The optional day at Higher’s Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop was focused on job development strategies that can be used for individuals who have serious barriers to employment. Allen Anderson, international job development expert and President of DTG-EMP, trained attendees on what he calls the “Consultative Selling Model.” For an overview of his presentation, check out this PowerPoint Presentation:


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Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop – Presentations and Resources

A collection of presentations and resources from Higher’s Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop, held November 4 – 6, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska. We learned a lot in Omaha and hope you’ll find these resources as useful as we do. We will keep adding content, so be sure to check back often to see what’s new. See you next year!

Higher’s Second Annual Refugee Employment Workshop Agenda

Innovations and Opportunities

Refugees are a part of a global conversation about immigration and integration. Learn how employment fits into a national policy framework established by the White House Task Force on New Americans and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA). Explore ways you can take advantage of those trends and build on existing job development innovations in Colorado and Nebraska while planning for an increase in arrivals, including Syrians.

Innovations and Opportunities PowerPoint Presentation

Client Choice: When, Why and How

Integrate client choice into your job readiness activities to boost outcomes and client career success.

Client Choice PowerPoint Presentation

Interactive Innovations in Job Readiness Class

Experience the freshest ways your peers are incorporating video, volunteers and Higher eLearning resources to keep job readiness classes fun, client-centered AND results-oriented.

Interactive Innovations in Job Readiness PowerPoint Presentation

Career Laddering Research: Refugee-Tested Strategies that Work

The Director of an academic research program at a well-respected university shares what finding about long-term economic integration and professional development success for refugees.

Career Laddering Research – Refugee Strategies that Work PowerPoint Presentation

Work Authorization Documentation

Federal employment protections and strategies to help refugees resolve Form I-9 and E-Verify issues.

Work Authorization Documentation PowerPoint Presentation

Employer Panel

Hear insights from a panel of employers who believe in hiring refugees!

Speed Dating: Audience Selected Table Topics

10 Interview Preparation Best Practices

What About Us Resource Sheet for Supervisors

Marshmallow Challenge – Video

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Fall 2015 Daylight Savings Time Signs

Daylight Savings Time (Fall 2015) signs are available in the following languages:





Haitian Creole – coming soon


Nepali – coming soon



Swahili – coming soon


English – blank for additional language versions

We’ve included a blank version you can use for additional language versions. Send them to information@higheradvantage.org and we’ll upload them to expand the collection. Thanks to colleagues at the Pars Equality Center, Ascentria Care Alliance, Episcopal Diocese of Los AngelesCatholic Charities Diocese of San Diego and LIRS for helping with translations.

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Arabic Language Job Readiness Resources

Here is a list of helpful Job Readiness Resources in Arabic that we have collected from our network:

Many thanks to Ali Abid and Brittani Mcleod at Catholic Community Services of Utah and Carol Tucker at Lutheran Family Services, Nebraska. If you have other Arabic language resources that you would like to share please email us at information@higheradvantage.org.

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Refugee Backgrounder Infographic for Mainstream Workforce Partners

WIOA, the first new federal workforce legislation in more than a decade, offers opportunities to collaborate with the mainstream workforce system.  We have a lot in common, but don’t know each other very well. Higher has created the first refugee employment infographic to help you make meaningful connections with these potential partners.  Just like working with employers, we have to “speak their language”.  This infographic highlights numbers that we field tested with a mainstream workforce audience. Download a PDF version here or click to link to a blog post with more detail.

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Models of Collaboration between Workforce Investment and Refugee Resettlement Stakeholders

Models of Collaboration between Workforce Investment and Refugee Resettlement Stakeholders: Jointly commissioned by ORR and ETA, this report highlights three models employed by workforce investment and refugee resettlement stakeholders that are collaborating to support refugees in finding employment. Each model contains elements that could be replicated in any number of settings throughout the country.

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Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

A collection of resources from Higher and the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) about the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) from a 12/16 webinar. You can also access a recording of this webinar at Higher’s webinar archive page.

  • ORR State Letter 13-04: ORR Collaboration with the Department of Labor Click here
  • ORR August 2014 Report: Models of Collaboration between Workforce Investment and Refugee Resettlement Stakeholders Click here
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program (SC-SEP) Click here
  • Finding a One Stop, Workforce Investment Board (WIB) or State WIB Click here
  • Information on Apprenticeships
  • Adult Education and Literacy Act WIA and WIOA Comparison Matrix Click here
  • Summary of Major Policies Included in Title I of WIOA from a Disability Perspective Click here
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