Refugees gain credentials in the Career Pathways Program

Refugee Career PathwaysThe Refugee Career Pathways (RCP) program helps refugees gain self-sufficiency by obtaining the credentials, education, experience, and job skills they need to obtain employment in professional and skilled careers. As a starting point, the program grants funds to organizations that provide participants with training and technical assistance, help them overcome obstacles, and ensure they have the resources and knowledge needed to succeed.

The RCP was established by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, in 2018. Resettled refugees face many obstacles in initiating professional careers in their new communities. While many refugees have previous professional experience in their country of origin, they often lack the degrees, certifications, and knowledge needed by U.S. employers.

Even highly-skilled refugees are often required to take low-skilled jobs with little opportunity for advancement or skill development. This limits refugees’ potential to achieve economic self-sufficiency and to benefit their communities by making full use of the skills and experience they bring to their new home.

Existing job training programs for refugees often focus on supporting initial job placement, which may not be adequate to secure long-term self-sufficiency. The RCP assists refugees to begin professional careers that provide not only a salary but also greater job security and the possibility of career advancement.

To achieve this goal, the program employs the career pathways approach, which has shown promise in enabling immigrants to gain entry into career fields in the U.S.

Examples of services provided under the program include:

  • Assistance in creating personalized career development plans
  • Classroom and work-based learning opportunities
  • Career coaching and mentoring
  • Connections with educational opportunities, apprenticeships, and on-the-job training
  • Re-credentialing and credential recognition
  • Vocational English language training

You can learn more on the Office of Refugee Resettlement website.

Find social services programs for refugees in communities across the U.S. using CareerOneStop’s Refugee Assistance Finder. Program types listed include:

 1) Refugee Social Services programs, which provide employment and employability services to all refugees;

2) Refugee Career Pathways programs, which help skilled refugees obtain U.S. professional credentials; and

3) Other organizations that provide social services to refugees.

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