Rosemont, Ill.—NRCA constantly is exploring innovative ways to address the challenging workforce needs of its members and help members provide family-sustaining jobs. One often-overlooked strategy is to consider hiring refugees who come to the U.S. from strife-torn areas of the world. Now is a great time to consider this option given the thousands of refugees who are in the process of being resettled in the U.S. from Afghanistan.
Employers interested in exploring opportunities to provide refugees with rewarding roofing careers can get started by reviewing the U.S. Employers’ Guide to Hiring Refugees. This document is published by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which has been resettling refuges since 1939, and the Tent Partnership for Refugees, which was formed in 2015 to help mobilize the private sector to improve the lives and livelihoods of refugees in the U.S.
The guide covers everything an employer needs to know to hire refugees from Afghanistan and other countries through the resettlement process. It describes how refugees are vetted by the Department of State before they enter the U.S. and then assigned to one of nine private resettlement agencies (see list below) that partner with the federal government to provide resettlement services, including assistance in finding employment. It also discusses how employers who hire refugees may qualify for tax credits through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Another resource for employers is the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, which works with private resettlement agencies to help refugees find jobs and integrate into their communities. These organizations have staff dedicated to assisting employers in the hiring process as they work to match the skills of refugees with suitable employment. The ORR website provides an overview of the program, and employers interested in hiring refugees should contact a local resettlement agency office, which can be located on a national map on the ORR website.
Providing a refugee with an opportunity for a meaningful career in roofing—whether in contracting, manufacturing, distribution or another segment of the industry—can be rewarding on many levels. NRCA urges members to consider this unique way to supplement workforce development strategies.
The nine private resettlement agencies with offices throughout the U.S. are listed below. Employers can find a local office with staff who can assist with employment services in their state or region:
- Church World Service
- Episcopal Migration Ministries
- Ethiopian Community Development Council Inc.
- International Rescue Committee
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
- U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services
- World Relief
Another resource for employers interested in hiring refugees is an upcoming webinar, Who are Refugees and How Do They Arrive in the United States? Understanding the Refugee Resettlement Process. Hosted by Switchboard, the webinar will be Thursday, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. EDT and will offer information for anyone who is new to refugee resettlement and employment. Register for the free webinar.
Since 1886, the National Roofing Contractors Association has been the home for generations of entrepreneurial craftsmen and enterprises who shelter and protect America’s families and businesses and each other. Our vision is the recognition of our members as professionals and to unite the industry to that purpose. NRCA is one of the construction industry’s most respected trade associations and the voice of roofing professionals and leading authority in the roofing industry for information, education, technology and advocacy. It represents all segments of the roofing industry, including contractors; manufacturers; distributors; architects; consultants; engineers; building owners; and city, state and government agencies. For information about NRCA and its services and offerings, visit nrca.net.