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Welcome.US bringing jobs to Afghan, Ukrainian refugees in Sacramento

National refugee resettlement coalitions will be hosting a Newcomer Hiring Event which has touched down in multiple cities across the U.S.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Humanitarian organizations dedicated to aiding resettlement in the U.S. will be hosting a job fair for refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine in Sacramento.

Welcome.US, the largest coalition for refugee resettlement in the country, and REACT DC will be hosting a two-day Newcomer Hiring Fair in Sacramento on Nov. 11 and 12. The event will be located on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency at 1209 L Street.

The organization aims to connect new-coming refugees as over 80,000 refugees from Afghanistan just this year and millions have evacuated from Ukraine the beginning of its war with Russia.

Welcome.US and collaborating organizations aim to get newcomer refugees in the Sacramento area into the workforce to benefit their resettlement as well as local economies.

"If there's anything that we have learned, during the past year, and actually, throughout the history of the United States is that newcomers have much to offer Americans, and Americans have much to offer newcomers," said Maytham Alshadood, director of ecosystems partnerships at Welcome.US. "As we go through a big workforce shortage that many businesses are dealing with, there is a need to tap into a talent pool that wasn't tapped into in the past."

Alshadood said contributing to communities where refugees relocated created a positive impact to those working to adjust to their new lives.

"One of the first things that newcomers want to do as soon as they come into their new environment is give back to their welcoming communities to their welcoming country," said Alshadood. "Being a part of that economy is one of the essential ways where us as newcomers can do that."

Part of the organization's initiative is to help those who've been forced to flee to a whole new country to become accustomed to U.S. norms.

"Coming to a new country means you have to reset all of your expectations and adjust to a lot of cultural nuances, especially in our work culture," said Alshadood

This is the sixth hiring fair the coalition has hosted in the U.S. in response to what the organization sees as a high demand for support for new coming refugees, according to Welcome.US Chief Development and Partnerships Officer Lauren Gray.

"We have secured almost 280 jobs for newcomers through these fairs," said Gray. "Over 1300 job seekers have participated and in total, over 114, employers have participated."

The hosting organizations have also teamed up with rideshare giant Lyft for the weekend to provide budget-friendly access for refugees attending the hiring event.

"Lyft believes that transportation should never be a barrier for individuals to access essential goods and services," said Lisa Boyd, director of social impact at Lyft. "We have a series of programs called our lift up initiatives that are focused on providing donated and discounted transportation for individuals to get to where they need to go for those essential services."

Lyft is one of the few organizations partnering with Welcome.US to provide resources for refugees for the hiring event. Other companies such as T-Mobile will also be attending the event to provide phones that may be needed to attending refugees, according to Gray.

"It's a great example of how a company is really using their value to really further the participation, engagement and support of newcomers who are seeking employment," said Gray. 

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