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Employment Specialist

Denver (United States of America)

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: Denver (United States of America)
  • Grade: Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Labour Market Policy
  • Closing Date:

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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 federal fiscal year 2022. 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, parolees, asylum seekers, 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 Program seeks to support clients’ immediate needs for economic stability, while ensuring that near-term demands do not overshadow longer-term economic health. The Employment Specialist assists clients in setting employment and career goals, coaches them toward those goals, assists in securing jobs that will advance their efforts to achieve economic self-reliance, and helps connect clients to supports to pursue career pathways.

The IRC in Denver is recruiting a new Employment Specialist to focus on initial job placements for early self-sufficiency, working directly with clients and in close collaboration with colleague Employment Specialists and other direct service staff across the IRC in Denver team. The Employment Specialist engages clients in employment assessments and employment service planning. Together with the Employment Services Coordinator, the Employment Specialist identifies the clients’ work needs, as well as the skills, expertise, and assets they bring, and assesses alignment with employers’ workforce needs. The Employment Specialist facilitates client participation in all phases of job search and placement, including applications, the hiring process and post-placement follow up. They maintain ongoing relationships with both clients and employers, assisting in troubleshooting when challenges arise, promoting opportunities for job upgrades and advancement, and advocating for fair treatment of clients by their employers when warranted.

This position supports a caseload of individuals that includes new arrivals seeking initial employment or re-employment and may also serve longer-term clients in need of assistance with re-employment and/or job upgrading. This may include clients who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. This role also serves as a bridge between the education and employment teams to ensure impacted individuals have access to a variety of supports to support their stability and self-sufficiency, such as digital literacy, vocational ESL, and job readiness training where applicable.

Major responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Employment Services
- Employing a coaching approach, including motivational interviewing techniques, in client interactions.
- Conducting and documenting client employment assessments, individualized employment service planning, and meaningful goal setting.
- Enhancing clients’ work readiness by offering weekly job club support and providing one-on-one coaching and job readiness support, together with colleagues from the education team.
- Providing employment-related coaching and promoting client engagement in activities that further job readiness, job retention, career laddering post-employment, and ongoing career development.
- Advocating for benefits, higher pay, and advancement opportunities for clients.
- Re-engaging eligible clients with positive 90-day job retention and longer-term clients to support job upgrades and career advancement through CAREERS and other services and supports.
- Assisting eligible clients in accessing public benefits and providing referrals and navigation to facilitate access to other services as needed.
- Coordinating services with the broader IRC in Denver team and with external service providers to ensure a holistic approach to moving individuals and entire families forward.

Employer Engagement
- Representing the IRC and the IRC’s clients professionally to the local business community.
- Researching and identifying local industries and employers who stand to benefit from employing refugees and similar populations and may be amenable to hiring them.
- Building working relationships with potential employers through outreach, education, and events.
- Maintaining relationships with clients and employers and assisting with questions or issues that may arise in the course of the client’s employment.
- Maintaining contact with employers through site visits, appreciation events, and other means.
- Liaising between employers and with other Employment Specialists and team members to ensure successful employment placements for clients.
- Responding to incoming inquiries from employers regarding employment opportunities.

Quality and Compliance
- Documenting case notes, entering program data, and preparing required reports in an accurate and timely manner.
- Ensuring that services are delivered in accordance with relevant quality assurance standards.
- Abiding by the standards of case management and delivery expectation set forth by the IRC, the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP), the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and in accordance with the requirements of other private and public grant-funded programs supported as applicable.
- Meeting monthly and annual individual goals and outcomes under Matching Grant, the Reach Program, and other donor agreements.

- Participating in training and professional development relevant to the role.
- Attending meetings as appropriate and requested by CRSP and/or other state and local partners.
- Other duties as assigned.

- Combination of education and experience normally represented by an undergraduate degree, or equivalent combination of work and lived experience.
- Minimum of 2 years of related professional experience, ideally working with diverse clients in a non-profit setting.
- Lived experience as a refugee or immigrant and/or previous experience working in a resettlement context strongly preferred.
- Previous experience working with job development and job placement is preferred.
- Ability to work effectively in an environment that is multi-cultural and multi-lingual; experience using interpreters desired.
- Highly effective communication skills, demonstrating strong partnership skills, emotional intelligence, and situational awareness
- Highly adaptable and flexible self-starter with ability to work independently as well as collaborate with others, juggle multiple priorities, and meet deadlines in a demanding work environment.
- Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
- Working knowledge of Salesforce, Efforts to Outcomes (ETO), IRIS, and other relational databases is a plus.
- Fluency in English; written and spoken.
- Fluency in additional languages spoken by local refugee populations strongly preferred, such as Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, Farsi, French, Karen, Karenni, Oromo, Pashto, Russian, Sango, Somali, Spanish, Tigrinya, or Vietnamese.
- Ability to occasionally work flexible hours, including nights and weekends, is required.
- Valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle with current assurance, and the ability to travel regularly throughout the service delivery area.

In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires candidates who are selected for interview to furnish proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to be considered for this position.

- Work is typically conducted in a standard office work environment with considerable time spent in the community, primarily in neighborhoods where clients live and at local care providers.
- 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 hybrid work schedule negotiated with their supervisor.
- 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 as needed. In some cases, these policies may be stricter than those imposed at the federal, state, or local level.
- 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.

This position is a full-time, regular, non-exempt position scheduled at 37.5 hours per week and eligible for overtime, with a starting hourly wage of $22.00 depending on qualifications and experience. As a regular, full-time employee, the Employment Specialist is eligible for the IRC’s phenomenal 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 premiums and prescription benefits.
- Optional health care and dependent care flexible savings accounts and pre-tax commuter benefits.
- Life, accident, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance.
- Supplemental employee and spouse/domestic partner life insurance.
- Comprehensive parental and family leave benefits.
- A 403(b) retirement savings plan that offers employer contributions and a matching contribution program.
- Gym reimbursement program.
- A comprehensive global Employee Assistance & Resilience Program.
- United Nations Federal Credit Union membership.
- Business medical evacuation and travel accident insurance, access to Guardian Nurses, and more.

In addition, the IRC in Denver actively promotes learning and growth for its team members, through staff development accounts that allow staff to engage in individualized goal-aligned professional development, access to a range of talent development offerings to build skills in a wide array of areas from humanitarian principles to management skills, and opportunities to lead and engage with colleagues from across the IRC through communities of practice, special assignments, and designated roles that represent the Denver office, whether here in the U.S. or globally.

We are an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our organization. We do not discriminate based on 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 to request accommodation.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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