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Meeting the Workforce Needs of the Refugee and Immigrant Community

Photo provided by the Warner School of Education and Human Development.

The Warner School of Education and Human Development was awarded a grant that will develop a flexible English language program to prepare low-income immigrants and refugees for employment and career advancement in the Western New York region.

With the grant, the Warner School will continue to work to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable New Yorkers and eliminate their language and cultural barriers to employment and career advancement.

The grant—totaling $140,000—has been awarded by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. It will build on the lessons learned from a successful pilot program led by the Warner School’s Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program and World Language Program, in partnership with the Rochester Refugee Resettlement Services, that taught English to 16 Afghan refugees at Vigneri Chocolates and Adrian Jules in Rochester in 2022. The newly funded English language program will incorporate onsite English learning at participants’ workplaces and online tutoring and consist of culturally sustaining, trauma-informed instruction, among other new aspects.