Denver (United States of America)
Founded in 1933, the IRC is a leading nonsectarian, voluntary organization providing relief, protection and resettlement services for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict. One aspect of the IRC is to assist refugees resettling in the United States. The IRC opened a Denver office in 2016 to provide reception and placement services to newly arrived refugees. The office is slated to resettle more than 600 refugees and 500 Afghan parolees in the coming federal fiscal year. Wraparound program services and holistic supports aim to realize positive impact in clients’ safety, health, education, economic wellbeing, and power. Some services are limited to refugees and other Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)-eligible populations, while others are open to a broader population of refugees, immigrants, and forcibly displaced people.
The IRC in Denver’s approach is client-centered, empowerment-focused, trauma-informed, and multigenerational. Advancing racial equity and narrowing the gender gap are priorities for the IRC in Denver. The team’s efforts in this space are ongoing and evolving. Current work is focused on participating in learning and dialogue to deepen understanding and awareness of systemic inequities and systems of oppression; building an internal organizational culture that reflects a commitment to antiracism and gender equality for clients as well as staff, volunteers, and the broader community; engaging clients more deeply in making decisions that affect them, whether at the individual, household, program, or organizational level; using our power and influence to advocate for rules, policies, and laws that address inequities experienced by the people we serve and seek systemic change for the benefit of all who are impacted by these inequities; undertaking intentional efforts to shift dynamics and promote power sharing between leadership and the broader team as well as between staff and clients; and examining and changing practices in recruitment, recognition, and other areas of employee engagement and talent development to prioritize access to opportunity and work toward full inclusion and belonging for clients, staff, and volunteers who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and LGBTQI, as well as those who have lived experience as refugees and immigrants.
IRC in Denver’s Economic Empowerment Department seeks to support clients’ immediate needs for stability, while ensuring that near-term demands do not overshadow longer-term economic health. Under the supervision of the Education Coordinator, the Education Specialist offers a range of supports to adult clients so they clients can better access, participate in, and benefit from IRC’s economic empowerment programs and other community resources and services. Coordinating services with the broader IRC in Denver team, the Education Specialist is part of a holistic service team that aims to partner with individuals and entire families to advance their goals.
Working directly with clients and in close collaboration with the Education Coordinator, employment team, and other direct service staff across the IRC in Denver, the Education Specialist prioritizes support for adult clients seeking employment. The Education Specialist is responsible for providing one-on-one coaching that enhances clients’ digital skills, supporting adult clients with community navigation related to adult education and English acquisition, delivering cultural orientation, and conducting in-person or digital-based job readiness training that covers job searches, understanding American workplace expectations, writing resumes, building interview skills, and other essential employment-related topics. Additionally, the Education Specialist supports transportation orientation and initial English as a Second Language (ESL) enrollment assistance for all newly arrived refugees and other eligible clients, conducts regular outreach to ongoing clients to support continued participation in ESL and other educational programs, and identifies and initiates referrals to relevant programs and services in support of client goals.
Major responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• Receiving client referrals and conducting initial assessments of client needs and skills.
• Working with clients to set goals and provide one-on-one digital skills coaching and following up routinely to gauge progress toward goals.
• Assisting all newly arrived refugees and other eligible populations with ESL enrollment, based on their location, English and literacy levels, childcare needs, work and family schedules, and other considerations.
• Regularly monitoring clients’ English attendance and progress and supporting clients with re-connecting to ESL or modifying ESL enrollment as applicable.
• Running English conversation circles and supporting the volunteer in-home/digital ESL tutoring program.
• Collaborating with the Education Coordinator to ensure foundational digital skills are integrated into job readiness training and related programming.
• Liaising with caseworkers, employment specialists, other IRC in Denver team members, and external partners where relevant to develop and implement plans that are effective in enhancing clients’ digital skills.
• Documenting case notes, entering key program data points, and completing reports accurately, timely, and in accordance with donor requirements, using the IRC’s internal Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) database and other systems, including the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP) Geneva database.
• Monitoring and evaluating progress at the individual, household, and program level through analysis of client assessments and other key data tracked in ETO.
• Participating as a member of the multi-site Digital Skills in Economic Empowerment Program to share experiences and learn about resources, approaches and tools to build digital skills within IRC’s Economic Empowerment programs.
• Ensuring that services are delivered in accordance with relevant quality assurance standards and compliant with requirements for the Reception & Placement (R&P), Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA), Matching Grant (MG), and Reach programs, as well as requirements set forth by other donors, where applicable.
• Participating in training and professional development relevant to the role, including training on motivational interviewing and Wellbeing Inventories and Plans as required for the Reach program.
• Completing other duties as assigned.
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS:
Position Reports to: Education Coordinator
Position Directly Supervises: N/A; may supervise interns and volunteers engaged in ESL tutoring, cultural orientation, digital skills or related education services.
• Undergraduate degree and at least two years of relevant work experience in human services is preferred. May be substituted with a combination of work and/or life experience.
• Experience with adult education and/or digital skills programming is valued.
• Experience working with refugees and immigrants, preferably including lived experience as a refugee or immigrant.
• Fluency in English, both spoken and written, is required.
• Fluency in Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, French, Karen, Karenni, Kiswahili, Oromo, Pashto, Russian, Sango, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, or other languages and cultures of the local refugee population is strongly preferred.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
• Effective, professional presentation skills.
• Proficient in general office software programs, e.g., MS Office suite, email, internet applications and relational databases (familiarity with ETO and/or Salesforce is particularly helpful).
• Proven ability to work as a team member in a cross-cultural environment.
• Detail oriented with excellent organizational skills, ability to take initiative, adapt to changing priorities, multi-task and complete work in a fast-paced environment.
• Valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle with current insurance, and the ability to travel regularly throughout the service delivery area preferred.
• Work is conducted typically conducted in a standard office work environment with considerable time spent in the community, primarily in neighborhoods where clients live and work.
• At present, the IRC in Denver office is partially open. Hybrid remote/in-person work modifications are in place due to ensure staff and client safety given public health guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff will be provided with IRC laptops and cell phones and must have access to a location with secure internet service where remote work can be performed according to the schedule negotiated with their supervisor.
• This role entails frequent travel in and around the Denver metro area to facilitate service delivery, build community relationships, and represent the IRC while engaging with clients and community partners.
• Hours outside of typical office hours required at times.
• All staff are required to adhere to IRC’s COVID risk mitigation policies, which include but are not limited to masking, physical distancing, enhanced hygiene practices, symptom screening, and isolation and quarantine when needed. In some cases, these policies may be stricter than those imposed at the federal, state, or local level.
• Proof of COVID-19 vaccination status is required.
• The IRC in Denver strives to offer a positive working environment, with intentional efforts to ensure that it is diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible for all. Staff are required to adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Accountability, and Equality. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates under policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti-Workplace Harassment, Respect at Work, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
This position is a full-time, regular, non-exempt position scheduled at 37.5 hours per week. Compensation starts at $21.00 per hour, with eligibility for overtime in accordance with state and federal laws. As a full-time regular employee, the Education Specialist is eligible for the IRC’s comprehensive benefits package, which includes:
• Generous paid time off with 20 days of paid vacation per year, 10 days of paid sick leave per year (not inclusive of paid COVID leave), and at least 9 paid holidays per year.
• Outstanding medical, dental, and vision care benefits with low employee contributions toward premiums.
• Optional health care and dependent care flexible savings accounts and commuter benefits programs.
• Life and accident insurance.
• Short-term and long-term disability insurance.
• A 403(b) retirement savings plan that offers employer contributions and a matching contribution program.
• A comprehensive employee assistance and resilience program.
• Business travel medical insurance, access to Guardian Nurses, and more.
• A commitment to employee professional development, including an individual staff development account, participation in communities of practice and other fora, talent and leadership development offerings, and occasional opportunities to take on special assignments and roles to represent the IRC in Denver with IRC’s network of offices across the U.S.
We are an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our organization. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us at IRC.Denver@rescue.org to request accommodation.