Publication Date

2010

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Karen Blanchard

Abstract

There is no more daunting a task for the newly arrived refugee in the United States than finding employment. With a time limit on the cash benefits, it is imperative that a refugee starts working as soon as possible. A job many times is the key to cultural adjustment as a whole. This study investigates this process with a group of Bhutanese refugees. It is a case study of those involved in the process of refugee employment, the refugees and the job developers. The main question of the inquiry is: How have the Bhutanese refugees fared in the job market since arriving in Western Massachusetts and what might be done to further help secure their employment? To answer this question data was collected from 11 refugees regarding their job search experience and 5 job developers who work in this field. It was found that the job developers found about 50% of the jobs for the refugees using the Internet, direct contact with employers or by using temporary employment agencies, the other half being found by the refugees themselves using similar methods. Barriers to employment such as language, transportation, and unfamiliarity with the American employment system are discussed. Themes such as frustration and persistence are discussed with refugee expectations of the U.S. job market and culture elucidated. Background information regarding the Refugee Resettlement program is also provided.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Inequality and Stratification | Women's Studies | Work, Economy and Organizations

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