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May 06, 2024 | Rommel H. Ojeda

Jobs and Training for Migrants With Work Permits in New York

Job placement opportunities and training for migrants with work permits in New York State

More than 65,000 asylum seekers have been under New York City’s care since the spring of 2022, many of whom have received their Employment Authorization Documents and are ready to enter the workforce.  Documented receives on average 20 messages every week via our WhatsApp Spanish Newsletter, Documented Semanal, where migrants have asked about jobs in New York.

These are the organizations and governmental initiatives helping migrants with work permits access job placement opportunities and training. 

A work permit or a permanent status is required for migrants to work in the United States. More information about work permits and legal resident status can be found here.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul introduced an initiative in October of 2023 that listed more than 40,000 jobs available for migrants with work permits around New York State, nearly half of which are available in New York City. It is an effort to help recently arrived asylum seekers, living in shelters, find employment and become self-sufficient.  

The initiative is run through a coalition of federal, state, county and local government agencies, labor unions, service providers and nonprofit organizations, Kara Burke, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), said. 

Migrants looking for job placement opportunities can fill out the Career Assistance Request Form, and enter the contact information, answer if they have received the work authorization, and select a primary language of preference. 

How does the job placement initiative work? 

How it works, Burke explained, is that NYSDOL staff will “reach out to individuals [migrants with work permits] to collect information on their past work experience, education, skills and career interests.” Then, depending on their individual situation — whether they have received their work permit or are close to receiving it — the NYSDOL will follow up with counseling services that include job matching, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class referrals, resume development, career guidance, and more. 

“We are also hosting hiring events to connect those with authorization to employers with relevant jobs,” Burke said, adding that fairs for asylum seekers are invite only, as they target specific jobs and industries. 

One of the examples, as Documented covered, of the initiative is a collaboration between Careers through Culinary Arts Programs (C-CAP) and the DOL, which provides 50 asylum seekers in five cohorts with the necessary skills and certifications for working in the food service industry. Read the story here. 

Burker also explained that all public events, like the monthly virtual career fairs in every region of the state, along with workshops, are listed here: https://statistics.labor.ny.gov/career-zone/career-calendar.shtml

The career fairs can be filtered by region, and event type — such as information sessions, job fair, 

Nonprofit organizations helping migrants with work permits and jobs

Around the state, there are multiple organizations helping migrants access job training and placement opportunities. These are some of them: 

Upwardly Global, a nonprofit supporting immigrants and refugees with international credentials to restart their careers in the United States, receives more than 400 applicants every year, and helps around 200 migrant job seekers find employment in New York yearly. 

The programs offered, which include Career Pathways in the U.S., Career Coaching, and others,   are tailored to help migrants with certificates and  degrees enter the workforce in industries that they have expertise in, said Lourena Gboeah, Program Director for Upwardly Global New York. 

La Colmena is a community-based organization founded in 2014 working to empower day laborers, domestic workers, and other low-wage immigrant workers in Staten Island through organizing, education, culture, and economic development. 

They are  providing educational opportunities that teach soft and hard skills, including OSHA 30 + SST 10, pre-apprenticeship workshops, writing workshops, leadership development workshops and more. 

New Immigration Community Empowerment (NICE) is a nonprofit that provides critical services and resources to prevent worker exploitation and ensure workers’ safety and rights are respected. Most importantly, we empower workers to organize around key issues that impact our community to change the systemic injustices we face.

NICE offers Workplace Safety Certifications (OSHA, SST), Skills training workshops in Electricity, Framing, Demolition, and other key soft skills (English, Technology). 

Also Read: Wage Theft: What to Know If You Think Your Wages Are Stolen

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