Hussein is a refugee from Iraq who arrived in May 2022, and was immediately enrolled in our Job Search program. Hussein had worked as a painter and construction worker for 10 years while he was living in Jordan. He wanted to continue painting or learning more construction skills, so we suggested work in Apartment Maintenance - a job that is always available and has decent pay.
RRO applied to jobs and reached out to companies that were a reasonable bus ride from where Hussein was living. A local company named LAG Enterprises responded enthusiastically, as they were already looking to support refugees, but had not found a way. Despite Hussein's limited English, they saw his experience and positive attitude and were willing to train and work through the language barrier.
Hussein has been well-supported by his manager, Lisa, and enjoys being able to gain even more skills as he renovates apartments, keeps the grounds clean, and takes care of tenant work orders. Lisa and Hussein communicate through the Google Translate app when needed, and RRO brought an Arabic interpreter to help in-person with hiring paperwork and any miscommunications that came up.
Hussein is strongly motivated to improve his English and has been taking evening classes at South Seattle College as well as having Saturday sessions with an RRO volunteer, focusing especially on English phrases that are relevant to his work. For the future, he wants to continue to expand the skills he can bring to work and study areas like electricity and tiling.
LAG Enterprises was impressed with Hussein's work performance and RRO's support throughout hiring and his first months, and even hired a second refugee from RRO's job search program in August. We are glad to see Hussein supported by his manager, the company, and volunteers - and to see his hard work and determination pay off!