Listening to Music and Productivity at Work

piano-music-notes-6Even when you aren’t scrambling to respond to a client emergency or employer request, it can be hard to concentrate in a busy office, loud cube or cramped work space. 

Learn how and why listening to music can help you concentrate.  Thanks to for finding this information.

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06/17 Webinar: ESL Strategies for Skilled Immigrants

Global Talent Bridge LoglDo you have ESL learners with university degrees from their home country sitting next to students with limited literacy skills?

WES Global Talent Bridge is partnering with The International Center of Catholic Charities Community Services and Riverside Language Program to host a FREE webinar, “Successful ESL Strategies for Skilled Immigrant Students.”

Register for this 1-hour session for ESOL practitioners and program managers to be held on Tuesday, June 17 at 2 pm, Eastern Time (11am Pacific /12pm Mountain /1pm Central).

Presenters will discuss practical ways to serve skilled immigrants in multi-level classes. Participants will learn techniques to use in class and across programs to ensure these students are receiving the content and skills they need to be successful in gaining professional employment.  



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Cultural Orientation Trainers’ Exchange

COR logl12 trainers from resettlement support centers all over the world just finished a two week exchange visit to learn more about resettlement in the US. 

Each visited two locations, including Austin, TX; Boise, ID; Columbus, OH; Fort Worth, TX; Harrisonburg, VA; Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; and Philadelphia, PA. 

Excerpts of their remarks about what resonated most for them echo our emphasis on building client self-sufficiency through employment. 

  • Resettlement works! It takes a lot of time and effort, but refugees are able to reach goals and be happy as well as regain some of the dignity that they felt they may have lost throughout the process of being a refugee.
  • I was able to witness how everything is different, so a refugee cannot compare their case with another because the services available and the programs that each person qualifies for may differ.
  • Attitude is key. Proactive refugees appear to adjust more quickly to U.S. life.
  • There are different levels of agency support available to refugees (depending on location, etc.), but what makes the greatest difference to a refugee’s adjustment is their attitude and connection to their community.
  • It was good to see refugees from different backgrounds working together.
  • Resettlement truly is a partnership between the client and the resettlement agency.
  • During a visit to a job site, the Human Resources person said that refugees can improve their job position by improving their English.
  • “Time is money” in the United States and is not flexible like in other countries, so it is very important to be punctual for and attend all appointments.

The Cultural Orientation Resource (COR) Center ensures that Cultural Orientation for refugees is effective, accurate, and culturally and linguistically appropriate, as well as to produce reliable and useful information about refugee groups. A project of the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) with funding from PRM, the COR Center is a resource all of us should know about.

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Free Download of Picture Vocabulary Guides

picture guide snip

Selected images from the Food Service Picture Guide in Arabic. Provided by Caritas of Austin, TX

Blending short term vocational training, job readiness and ESL is a best practice we see across the refugee employment network.

When the trainings also respond to employer needs and engage employers in the design and implementation, they boost both job development success and client self-sufficiency.

Caritas of Austin, TX developed a series of picture vocabulary guides in a number of client languages for use in their short term training programs focused on entry level hotel housekeeping and food service careers.  The guides have been very well received by employers and clients.

  • Clients find them helpful for learning English and communicating with guests.
  • Employers have been able to use them to facilitate supervisory conversations.  They perceive them as a valuable resource provided by a valued partner helping them meet their hiring and employee objectives.

These great picture vocabulary guides are once again available for donwload at Higher’s website.

Click here to find versions in multiple languages.  We hope to make additional language versions available later, so stay tuned.

A recent webinar highlighting Job Readiness Class Models offered several great resources and field experience that will be highlighted in blog posts over the next several days.

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NEW E-Verify Webinars Scheduled

everifyU.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices  offer free webinars to provide  basic information, including:
  • Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9
  • E-Verify
  • Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) Further Action Notice
  • Self Check, a Tool for Employees

A previous post announced a few dates, but they were already full when several of you tried to sign up. Now they have scheduled many more dates in Spanish and English.  Click here to see a list on their website and link to registration pages for each. 

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Great ESL Resources from Tacoma Community House

Literate vs illiterate learnersTacoma Community House in Washington State has agreed to share their excellent practical resource for pre-literate adult English learners, called Making it Real:  Teaching Pre-literate Adult Refugee Students.

While it doesn’t focus solely on job readiness, there are many concepts and practical techniques you can easily adapt for your own use.  The important differences between literate and non-literate learners at left is excerpted from the publication.

Tacoma Community House has an entire page full of useful and practical resources.  You can find a complete list at their website.

Last week’s webinar highlight Job Readiness Class Models and Resources offered several great resources and field experience that will be highlighted in blog posts over the next several days.

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3 Monkeys You Should Meet

MonkeyTechnology can help you accomplish even more amidst client meetings, crisis response, paperwork and employer relationshp building.

Three of my favorite – and most useful – websites include monkey in their name.  (When will I ever have a better excuse to post a monkey photo?)

SurveyMonkey enables you to design, distribute, compile and analyze user surveys with a range of question formats and available metrics.  Purpose?  Conduct an employer survey as you look at fine tuning employer services.

PicMonkey generates photo collages with pictures you upload and includes formats specifically for Facebook banners.  Purpose?  Generate combinations of images for employer communications or social media.

Monk-E-Mail lets you generate and send voice messages from the monkey character and voice of your choice with a range of accessories from which to choose.  Purpose?  A little comic relief never hurts, right?



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Great Ideas for Employer Communications

Welcoming America Logo borderWe know our clients have a lot to offer to employers and communities in general.  We also know that we need to highlight their strengths and tell their stories in positive language that speaks to employer needs and concerns.  Easier said than done.

Welcoming America has just produced a great toolkit as part of their Welcoming Refugees project with a grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  It provides practical ways to reframe messages for specific audiences and how to craft success stories.  There’s also lots of inspirational information that will remind you about all of the reasons you can be proud of what you do – even if you’re feeling stressed out about it right now.

Download this excellent new resource today!


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Three Ways to Use One Article in Your Work with Highly Skilled Clients

Pro JobThe CEO of JetBlue outlines 10 strategies to make the most out of a first job.  Here are three ways you could use it as a handout in your work with highly-skilled clients around

– Adjusting Expectations

– Job Retention, and

-Interview Skills.

Adjust Expectations:  Any employer with a professional job opening will expect candidates to have the skills and strategies outlined in the article.  In addition, they would need strong enough English comprehension to read and thoroughly understand the article without assistance.

Use this article as a skill test or basis for a homework assignment you can follow-up in your next client appointment.  Experiencing difficulty for themselves will be more effective than hearing you tell a client that their skills aren’t strong enough, yet.

Job Retention:  Help a client see beyond dissatisfaction with their survival or starter job.  Refocus them on advancement strategies or stronger US-style workplace behaviors as outlined in the article.  Those strategies point to yet another good reason why they should keep their first job for at least six months.

Interview Skills:    After clients understand basic interview skills through your existing job readiness classes and one-on-one meetings, provide this article as they continue to prepare on their own time.

Based on the article, you could assign them the task of preparing an answer to an interview question or preparing two good questions they could ask in an inteview.  How well a client is able to do this will be a reality check for them and will help you document their ownership and activity level in their own job search.



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05/14 Webinar Explores Programs for Immigrant Nurses, Engineers and Teachers

MPI webinar pic

Photo from Latino Community Credit Union and Migration Policy Institute

It never gets any easier to help highly skilled clients.

There are many challenges along the employment service continuum:

– helping them to develop more realistic expectations;

– finding resources to pursue long term career goals;

–  understanding what kinds of entry level jobs they could so to match their long term goals with the need for a survival or starter job.

Migration Policy Institute (MPI) webinar on Wednesday, May 14 at 4:00 pm EDT will present models in three different States (IL, MA, WA) that are addressing the needs of Highly Skilled Immigrants and Refugees with a special focus on Nurses, Engineers, and Teachers.

Read more details here or go directly to the registration page here.




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