'Contribute to their Community to the Best of Their Abilities': New Mainers Project Explained
Irina Petranek works as an English Speakers of Other Languages teacher and job coach for Lewiston Adult Education. She talked about the New Mainers Refugee Workforce Development Project, which is held at the B Street Community Center in Lewiston. The project is a federally funded pilot program run in Portland and Lewiston. It is a collaborative effort of Portland Adult Edult Education, Lewiston Adult Education, Catholic Charities of Maine, the City of Portland Refugee Services, the City of Lewiston as well as the Portland and Lewiston CareerCenters.
1. What kind of help do you give to students in your class?
The goal of the program is to prepare students for the workforce in the USA. This includes discussing such topics as job applications, resumes, job search, job interviews, soft skills necessary to be successful at work here. We also provide them with the information about various resources in the community that can help with employment -- job agencies, training programs, the Lewiston CareerCenter, local companies.
2. Where do they come from?
The students in this New Mainers class come from Angola, Congo, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen, Togo.
3. Why did they move to the United States?
Many of them are moving away from conflict, whether war or political reasons.
4. What would you want people to know about your students' goals?
I would like people to know that the students in this class as well as other students in our programs are highly-motivated and hardworking people who want to contribute to their community to the best of their abilities.
by Michael Reagan
on November 23, 2015
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