Utah Refugee Needs Assessment: Employment & Education
In 2014, a team of staff, faculty, and students at Utah State University started a project that would eventually lead CRIC to what it is today. Commissioned by the Utah Department of Workforce Services to find out the needs of Utah’s resettled refugees in the arenas of employment and education, this team created a valuable report, published in 2015. A handful of these team members went on to support CRIC’s efforts to become an official tax-exempt nonprofit. I know my heart is grateful when I remember those early introductions at Cafe Ibis, when we were just meeting each other, and to think that we now have an office where many more friends from all around the world can come!
This is no stuffy academic report. There are heartbreaking, breathtaking quotes from refugees originally from the Middle East, Bhutan, Burma, and several countries in Africa. After all the interviews came in, various “literacies” came to the surface— systems of knowledge that many refugees could not, for many reasons, access and then use to thrive. The report features two-page descriptions of these literacies and what service providers and community members could do to assist in the integration and success of refugees. There is also information from employers who hire and train refugees in their companies.