Career Project Helps Immigrants, Refugees Pursue Careers in Nebraska

March 10, 2021, 10:47 a.m. ·

Photo by Bofu Shaw on Unsplash

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Immigrants and refugees with professional degrees can now pursue a career in Nebraska. A career project was a finalist in Lincoln’s 2020 Impact Challenge. Organizers won $300,000 through two grants to help change immigrants and refugees’ lives statewide.

The CareerLadder project connects skilled engineers, lawyers, nurses, accountants, and educators from abroad to similar careers in Nebraska. Nizar Rasho is co-chair of the New Americans Task Force that’s leading the career pathway. He said the project helps people navigate the complicated steps they need to take so they can work in the state. The steps include English classes, educational, and licensing requirements.

"It's very unfortunate for someone who is a refugee or immigrant who came to the US and in their own country they had to spend time and spend money and they had their own degree, but when they came here, they are unable to practice this," he said. "So they have to work in some other industry like food service or retail service."

Rasho hopes the program will give people the chance to achieve their dreams. Andressa Matayoshi believes it too. She was a nurse from Brazil who gave up her career to move to Nebraska for her husband.

"This program excites me about the future. It's like a light at the end of the tunnel, to help me to reach my goal," she said. "That is to be a nurse here."

The immigrant said it was hard to reach her goal on her own, but the program helped her along the way.

"I believe everybody that comes here and has a degree in their countries, they are able to be useful here in this country. And they just need some help," she said. "And this program is going to give them this opportunity."

Rasho encourages people interested to visit their website to learn more.