Refugees invited to job, education summit

Written by
Karen Pearlman
The San Diego Refugee Forum Employment Taskforce is hosting a Refugee Employment Resource Summit on Thursday at Cuyamaca College’s Student Center.

The event is set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the student center, 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway in El Cajon.

“(The summit) represents an opportunity for every refugee and individual that arrived as a refugee or asylee in San Diego County to connect with new information and resources, and to network with employers and educators representing a wide variety of industries and business within San Diego,” said Becky Morines, employment coordinator of refugee resettlement for Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

The event is sponsored by Jewish Family Service, the San Diego office of the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego, El Cajon-based Chaldean and Middle Eastern Social Services and the Karen Organization of San Diego, which helps refugees from Burma.

The Refugee Employment Resource Summit is the first event of its kind, Morines said, and will provide refugees and asylees with educational opportunities and better chances for work and a career.

“San Diego is recognized as one of a few major cities that provides comprehensive resettlement assistance for refugees, asylees and immigrants,” she said. “Last year, roughly 1,500 refugees and asylees resettled in the San Diego region. The ultimate goal of these new Americans is self-sufficiency, which begins with finding employment. Unique barriers to employment and the current state of the labor market results in a challenging job search environment, which is why the San Diego Refugee Forum was created and why it is so important to the refugee community.”