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International Hiring 101: Tap into New Talent Pools

Early on the morning of Friday, February 10th, we went with our colleague Mr. George Koussa to a program put on as part of a collaborative effort by "Midtown Cleveland, Inc." and "Global Cleveland" titled "International Hiring 101: Tap into New Talent Pools" which took place at the offices of "Midtown Cleveland, Inc." on Euclid Avenue and brought together local businesspersons as well as representatives from immigrant/refugee advocacy groups for networking and brief presentations concerning the subject of hiring an immigrant/refugee. 

Mr. Joe Cimperman, President of "Global Cleveland", said that the reason for this gathering was for everyone to learn from each other. Regarding the collaboration, Mr. Jeff Epstein, Executive Director of "Midtown Cleveland, Inc" told us that his organization notified various business leaders about the event while "Global Cleveland" supplied the speakers who were Ms. Kerissa MacKay from the "U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants"; Mr. Tom Mrosko from the "Refugee Services Collaborative"; Mr. David Minah, General Manager of "Doubletree by Hilton" on Carnegie Avenue; and Ms. Erin Brown, an immigration attorney from" Robert Brown, LLC."

During the presentations, Ms. Brown did a very skillful job explaining the various visas and sponsorships that employers could make use of with particular emphasis on the H1B visa. Mr. Minah talked about what it was like working with newly arrived immigrants from an employer's point of view while Ms. MacKay and Mr. Mrosko talked about the various services that their agencies provide to refugees and those who employ/seek to employ them along with their own hands-on impressions formed by working so closely with the foreign-born.

All told, the speakers agree that the benefits of hiring refugees include the fact that they tend to be very hard-working, extremely well-motivated, very loyal to their employer for giving them an opportunity which they take very seriously, and that they bring a lot of diversity to the workplace. Of course there are some initial stumbling blocks like the struggle to adjust to a new culture and a new language but there was a consensus that it was very much to the employer's benefit to work with his/her new hires on these issues, which will ultimately be overcome, with the help of the refugee agencies. 

We talked to Mr. Minah when we first arrived and learned that Margaret W. Wong and Associates helped his mother obtain her citizenship after she immigrated to the United States from Sierra Leone. Another person who was helped by our firm was Mr. Mario Morelos, Managing Director of "Localingua" who immigrated here from Mexico. Then there was Mr. Thu Ra who works at "Midtown Cleveland, Inc." and had just obtained his Green Card thanks to the assistance of Ms. Margaret W. Wong. 

In addition we connected with several businesspersons who had hired immigrants/refugees and were considering hiring more. 

Later that day, we ran into Mr. Cimperman at the City Club. Naturally we discussed the morning event and we both agreed that it went quite well. Accordingly, Mr. Cimperman assured us there would be more like it because the foreign-born really have the capacity to enrich our region both personally and professionally thus aiding them should be a priority.

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.

 

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