Career Services to Multicultural Populations Forum – Seattle

Instructions: Create an original post and describe the major groups of people with whom you work and the backgrounds from which they originate. Identify the key resources that you use with this group.  Then respond to one classmate’s post. You will make a total of two posts.

Remember that our learning group works in a full-value environment: We treat our colleagues with respect and professionalism. Our comments should reflect this culture.

34 thoughts on “Career Services to Multicultural Populations Forum – Seattle”

  1. dixie.taira says:

    Currently I am a generalist with the WIOA Adult and DW program, therefore I work with a wide variety of demographics. As I look at my caseload for the past year there is a consistency of mid-career, mid-management level clients that have been laid-off. Funding for training has been the most effective resource that has helped these clients get back to work. It has been a combination of training that will solidify the skills that they have been doing, but now need a certificate to legitimize their competency and some clients need specific technical training to fill a gap in their skill set. The technologies that I have used are Career Bridge to make sure the training provider is on the Eligible Training Provider list and the ESD Labor Market site to verify the skills are in demand. I also have used LinkedIn and to make sure there is a demand in real-time of the certificates and skills that my clients would like training in.

    1. akim says:

      I agree with you that providing training opportunities for these individuals to help them close any skill gap or legitimize their competency can really help them get back in the workforce. It’s great to hear that you’re using the appropriate tools to make sure that they are receiving trainings from the providers on the ETP list and verifying that the skills/occupations are in demand.

    2. kim says:

      I agree that targeted training is a critical asset for workers, particularly those who have been laid off or are considering a transition into a new industry. A significant portion of my work revolves around guiding clients towards accredited, hands-on training programs in the tech sector—programs that often offer a more comprehensive learning experience than typical boot camps. Also, I didn’t know about the ESD Labor Market site. I only used O*NET Online for labor market demand information. Thank you for referencing the other tool.

  2. scott.mcconnell says:

    I ‘m a generalist in the WorkSource Redmond office serving the Bellevue/Redmond areas. I serve predominately over 40 – 60 year old job seekers from technology and other sectors. Typically, these customers have worked many years and have high expectations of finding jobs with wages equal to what they made before, but no real clue about howh to go about looking for jobs.

    Some have no new skills or current skills and may need new skills to be attractive to employers. Some are seeking career changes. Many were laid off from local technology companies. Many thought they could find work on their own and have now exhausted their unemployment benefits. They are desperate to find jobs quickly with looming financial pressures. Some cannot retire from work, and due to financial reasons, they plan to work into their mid 70’s and beyond.

    Customers come from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds including White, Asian, East Indian, Black and Hispanic. A few are low-income and on public assistance. Other barriers include ageism, disabilities, financial, legal issues, or other hardships. Most do not have background issues that I am aware of. Some need help with food and other public resources. They may also need help with basic needs like rent, car repair or paying for certifications or licenses. Many have stress as job seekers. For this reason, I often refer to job clubs or job search groups for support.

    The tools I most commonly use with clients are local Workforce tools such as Career Coach, Map Your Career. Also used are O*NET Online, My Skills My Future, My Next Move, Career One Stop, to gather information about career and education/training options to move forward with both a goal and plan in place. The WorkSource WA website provides links to great labor market information to help identify careers in demand. Career One Stop is great for career exploration and career planning as well as good information about knowing yourself, your interests, values and skills through assessment. It also provided quick tipis and guidance for our customers fitting for their specific circumstances e.g. over 55+, entry level, formerly incarcerated, workers with disabilities, career changers, limited English speakers, etc. It is always best to know where you are starting from to best determine your options and path forward to a specific goal.

    1. dixie.taira says:

      Scott I think we work with the same demographics and now that you mention it they are mostly in the 40 – 60 age range. For many of them it might be the first time they have had to actually look for work. They have never had to create a resume and look for a new role. They truly benefit from our career guidance and knowledge of tools available for help them.

      1. scott.mcconnell says:

        Dixie – I appreciate your mention of advice and guidance toward appropriate resources for training. This is often why customers reach out to us for help in the first place. Navigating training options can be a daunting task. The Career Bridge Washington resource that you mentioned is a great place to see what occupational skills training can be supported by our workforce system. It is so important to make sure the training occupation is in demand now and in the future. This is not always a priority for our training institutions.

        I think of the multicultural emphasis of this assignment, which brings to mind to many people we see with barriers to going to school because of LEP, basic skill deficiencies, poverty and many other reasons. Some may have physical or mental health issues, or needing to care for a family member, or young children. I have spoken to many of them in the last year and sometimes job/training readiness is an issue that requires more time.

        Education is one of the factors that can lead to good jobs and higher earning for self-sufficiency. Many of these customers may be the first from their family to attend a college. The iBest, ABE, ESL, GED and other programs can be helpful to get a start towards a college education.

        Other than basic skill deficiencies, some of these folks have many resources to explore at local colleges and universities because there are so many grants and financial aid opportunities that benefit low-income individuals. That does not mean it is easy to access these resources and a college navigator can be really useful. I look forward to seeing the other posts about serving our multicultural communities with career services.

  3. craigb says:

    The customers that I provide services for all meet the criteria of having low-income. They cover a vast array of racial and cultural population groups; with customers representing the United States, Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan. Some of my customers having entered the United States as Refugees or Asylees; due to socio-economic, environmental, or political issues in their home countries. Most have graduated the equivalent of High School; with some having graduated college or technical programs. Most all have some type of work experience; be it within their home country; or in the U.S.. All can communicate in English with varying levels of proficiency.

    My process of working with these customers does not differ from working with any of my other customers. I strive to treat each individual with respect and make every effort to exhibit culturally competent, professional behavior of active listening, empathy and engaging effectively during the course of my interactions with these and all individuals I serve.

    For many of the foreign born customers that I work with; I tend to be a bit more hands-on in helping them to research and connect to training opportunities; and assisting them in their job search efforts with resume preparation and job search and referrals and assistance with online applications. However the resources that I utilize do not vary greatly from customer to customer.

    I utilize the Washington Career Bridge site to help customers research training sites and vet providers for potential program funding eligibility. I use the labor market information found on the Occupations in Demand list found on ESD.WA.GOV site as a process to help qualify training programs for program funding. I use Indeed and Linked-In sites to research and assist customers in applying for employment opportunities.

    1. Samh says:

      Craig, we serve the same and similar clienteles, so we do our best to serve them as well as to empower them to be successful personally, professionally and spiritually. Thanks for all that you have been doing for them.

  4. bpascarella says:

    The clients I serve on the Ticket to Work program are on SSI and/or SSDI and are a snapshot of a multicultural population. They range from Baby Boomers to Generation Z. For some English is a second language, many have hidden or not visible disabilities, some have been living with a disability since birth, others were just diagnosed. Many have worked at a corporate level and others were in the service industry or construction.

    Of course, I use all the tools available to help them find work or get training. So, I’m going to showcase a resource not mentioned in the chapter – Because two of the biggest fears my clients have are should they disclose a disability and/or how can they work with a disability?

    AskJan has examples of how to disclose and request accommodations, lists of the types of accommodations they could get based on their disability and how to negotiate accommodations. There’s even a hotline I used to get specific answers when a client was having trouble getting what they needed. I’ve coached clients on how to disclose a disability before an accommodation is needed and clients have learned about what medical documentation to request from their doctors.

    It’s one of the most important resources for me and my clients.

    1. craigb says:


      Thank you for sharing the information on the site. It sounds like a quite a comprehensive and valuable site that can greatly benefit customers with visable disabilities and possibly to a greater extent those with non-visible disabilities of mental illness and trauma. My wife works as a Director of an organization providing employment services to the disabled population and she concurs with you on the benefits of this site.

    2. scaldaron says:

      Thanks for sharing the site. This will be a new valuable tool for me. It seems like it is filled with information and resources to help job seekers with disabilities research accommodation ideas, provide suggestions for requesting and negotiating accommodations, links to help them find a job, and information about different programs such as the Ticket to Work program that you work on.

    3. hstapleton says:

      This is an excellent resource to share out because it seems like not many people are aware of it. It can be very helpful to any case manager working with a person with a disability.

  5. tsiplin says:

    I am a Career Navigator for the YWCA Work$ programs. My clientele is a community of individuals from all walks of life with different experiences and barriers. I come into contact with those who’ve recently immigrated from a different country, fled a DV situation, lost their job, has a disability (some visible, some not), has past criminal history, single parents, etc.

    Some of my clients need help acquiring new skills, and skills that employers are looking for currently in our job market. While others are needing help to create their resumes and networking with employers hiring in the area, because they are new to the community and sometimes to the country. Some of my clientele is need of education and training to help them receive employment, which we too can help assist with. And that includes those wanting to make a career change. Some of my other clients have been unfortunately laid off and are in help of not only finding employment, but job readiness, resume building, interviewing skills, and helping them develop skills that are desired by employers. 

    And while going through all of this, they are still facing other hardships outside of employment. Some of the greatest needs amongst my clients, is help with food, gas/transportation, utilities, and rent. We try to assist with what we can but do have to turn to outside resources for help. UniteUs is a great resource to use to locate local resources for support. And is something I use whenever my client is in need of resources for assistance.

    The tools I most is O*NET Online, Career One Stop, and the WorkSource WA website. CareerOneStop is 100% verified updated information that provides clients detailed information about the current job market, training and education opportunities/options, career information, and can help with goals and planning. This is what I like to use when helping a client explore and identify their career path via assessment, based on what skills and education they have, what they are interested in, professional values, goals, etc. WorkSource is a great resource on who’s currently hiring and what the job market looks like currently.

    1. bpascarella says:

      Tameka, I’d like to suggest adding to your list of resources. Especially if you have a client/participant who discloses they have a disability. The A-Z of disabilities and accommodations is broken out by by Disability, Limitation, Work-Related Function, Topic and Accommodation and is easy to understand. That info could show a client what solutions are out there if they think there’s some reason they couldn’t enroll, what accommodations you could use to help them during the classes or if a client is afraid to ask for accommodations when they get a job. I know how successful the Work$ programs have been because I use to work at Greenbridge YM and don’t want someone to think they can’t enroll.

  6. akim says:

    When I worked as a career coach at a University Career Center, I worked with a high volume of International Students who wanted to find career opportunities during and after their study periods. Providing career coaching for this population was challenging for several reasons. Firstly, obtaining a permanent work visa is a major challenge for many International Students. Student visas allow students to work during their study and after they graduate for only 1 year (STEM majors can get 2 additional years). After that, they would need to obtain sponsorship from their employers. Many employers are not open to sponsoring their candidates as the process can be time consuming, expensive, and not guaranteed as it is based on a lottery system. As a result, helping students navigate their visa situations and helping them to strategy during and after their student visa periods took up a big part of support that we could provide to them. Secondly, these students come from a wide range of different cultures and backgrounds, so educating them on the U.S. job search strategy as well as the work culture was crucial to their success.

    There were several great resources available. GoinGlobal and were both very helpful in that students can search for the companies that have sponsored international students in the past. This helps the students to set appropriate expectations for the companies that they’re applying to and also identify and target the companies that are open to hiring International Students. The University Career Center was able to bring in InterStride, a dedicated job search platform for International Students only. We also offered various workshops that covered a wide range of topics to help these students to successfully navigate the American job search process.

    1. ryan.smith says:

      Thanks for sharing these resources for student visa holders, Akim! I don’t have a lot of experience working with international students but recently was introduced to one looking for work, so I’ll look into GoinGlobal and see if her university career center has a connection with InterStride.

  7. ryan.smith says:

    As the Career Programs Coordinator at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), our client demographics primarily consist of immigrants and refugees, the majority of whom (at least during the last 2-3 years) are coming from Afghanistan and Ukraine. The cultural differences between these two populations are fairly vast, but what they share in common is the sense of displacement and exposure to trauma as they flee humanitarian crises and war. We have in-house trauma-informed care specialists who provide trainings and share best practices with staff, and can direct us to more intensive mental health providers as needed. We also heavily lean on our community partners such as faith groups, other nonprofits, and cultural associations, who work directly with and are comprised of the people we serve, for feedback and guidance on issues around community needs and cultural sensitivities.

    Our clients often to come to us with a high degree of professional experience and skills but in a very different cultural and workplace context, so our JRT curriculum has a greater focus on US workplace expectations, workers’ rights (since so many immigrants are targets of workplace discrimination and exploitation), and broader cultural orientation. We often recruit volunteers, mentors, and IRC staff through these channels, which helps ensure that our staff look like the communities we serve.

    Although we have a contract with telephonic/virtual interpretation services, Tarjimly is a great resource for nonprofits that provides free and affordable remote interpretation and translation services direct to refugees and immigrants.

    1. bgutierrez says:

      I really admire that you focus on US workplace expectations, especially the worker’s rights. Education on their rights as workers is very important and I can see it giving them a sense of relief.

  8. Samh says:

    I work with and for all clients for both who are WIOA Adult and Dislocated job seekers. They can be recently immigrants from any countries from around the world, refugees, immigrants who have been here longer/many years (mostly are Asians, East-Africans, and others), asylum, ESL of all levels, native born, and everyone else. I work with clients with criminal backgrounds, different genders, disabilities, sexual orientations, races, beliefs and others. The most important part of working with them are to treat them with respect and with the highest integrity. Regardless of who, where or what they look or stand for, they all deserve to be treated with respect. Whether they look for jobs, skills training programs, support services, and to keep their job after being employed for 1 year, I help to tailor their needs individually but still stay with the program’s policies and guidelines. I would refer and collaborate with other appropriated organizations (staff at WorkSource Rainier- Seattle who work with Re-entry program/population, Pioneer Human Service), schools/college for ESL classes, English classes or skills training providers both state, profit and not-profit organizations), social service providers (from mental or medical as well as other health issues: therapy, Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS), Sound Mental Health, AA program, medical centers, clinics, 211 #, faith-based organizations, food banks, DSHS, DVR, Low-Income Housing, Seattle and King County Housing Authority, and others) as needed to make sure that my clients’ needs or services are met. Many and long discussions with each of them from the initial assessment, ongoing assessment as well as ongoing support/check-in/follow up and 1 year follow up service are clearly explained, assessed and stated along with their signed agreement, I would do my best to support and guide them as they go through their life and work/professional and spiritual journeys. They are the drivers, and I am the passenger in their life journeys. By trusting in them, mutual respect, understanding and emotional support between me and my clients, their success are likely to be very high.

  9. kim says:

    With a background in the technology sector, I specialize in IT career services under the umbrella of WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker programs. My clients are diverse in age, demographics, and financial situations, but they all share a common goal: advancing in the IT field. Their experience levels in IT varies widely. Some are recent or upcoming college graduates, some are navigating career transitions due to layoffs, and others are seeking stability by entering a more secure industry.

    Over half of my work with clients centers on facilitating training opportunities, particularly for those who are either laid off or transitioning into the IT sector. Certification programs serve a dual purpose: they enable dislocated workers to refine their existing skills and offer those transitioning into IT the chance to acquire new, valuable technical competencies. This targeted training enhances the marketability of both groups in an increasingly competitive IT job market.

    To ensure that my clients are on the right track, I employ a range of specialized tools. I use O*NET Online and CareerOneStop to validate the market demand for the roles they’re interested in, and Career Bridge to confirm that the training programs they’re considering are from accredited providers. For optimizing job searches, I prefer Dice and ZipRecruiter over platforms like Monster or Indeed. Dice is custom-built for IT job listings, while ZipRecruiter offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface that enhances the job search experience.

  10. hedwards says:

    Our agency that is located at Downtown WorkSource Affiliate, has the Mission to eliminate racism and empower women. We also serve men. Our focus is on folks who are low income, furthest from opportunity and unhoused. This unhoused population includes job seekers who are BIPOC, disabled, have health including mental health issues, are involved with substances, transgender, non-binary and second-chancers. We also serve a high number for African American and Caucasian job seekers. In addition, we also serve veterans, immigrants, some folks with English as a second language and LGBTQ+. The job seekers need to be authorized to work in the United States.

    New staff receive social justice training as part of the onboarding process. Staff continue to receive training on social justice issues. The staff on my team represent different ethnicities.

    Our job seekers come to us from several racial and ethnic backgrounds. They also come with several barriers to employment. In response, we assist them to resolve these barriers. The key resources that we use with this group include, but are not limited to, providing training to gain marketable skills and to address lack of skills, housing, employment, subsidized bus tickets, bus passes and gas cards for lack of transportation and referrals for other resources such as mental health, and substance abuse.

    Other resources that we use are Labor Market Information, Digital Literacy to gauge the level of computer competency, work with the Business Service Team of WDC to connect with employers in the industries that accommodate our participants, Career Bridge to ensure that the training providers are accredited, O*Net online, Indeed, Jobscan, Career One Stop to identify skills/trainings in demand, WorkSource WA, and the self-sufficiency calculate to determine how much the participant needs to earn in order to cover their needs and be self-sufficient.

    In addition to employment related resources, we make use of subsidized housing provided by YWCA.

    1. hedwards says:

      I think that it is great how together we serve such a broad cross section of customers and use quite a variety of resources.
      bpascarella I learned a lot from the post of others and wanted to mention that I was not aware of. Thank you.

      1. nadezhdal says:

        I feel blessed and grateful to work with so many knowledgeable and experienced people, who provide career services. Thank you for sharing the resources that I can use in my work.

    2. sclarke says:

      I like your approach to serving those with the greatest need first, while also including all that you serve from different backgrounds. This is the true reflection of leading with an equity mindset. I appreciate as well.

  11. scaldaron says:

    I am currently working in the WIOA DW program, and I work with individuals that come from all over the world. Most are originally from the United States, but some come from Europe, Africa, Asia, Central and South Asia, and Central America. They represent all age groups, but predominantly the ages range from 35 to 55 and their educational backgrounds vary from High School degrees to P.H.D.s.

    Most come into the program after they have been looking for a job for a long time and are frustrated. They feel that they need some sort of upskilling, certification or even a new degree to get hired. They are not only coming for advice on job search strategies, but also want advice on how and where they can get the training that they want or feel they need to be successful and self-sufficient financially.

    Guiding clients to embark on a path to success takes patience, being hands-on, and assisting them in their research, job search, and connecting some of them to the right training areas and programs. I utilize a variety of resources such as O’Net, Career Coach, Career One Stop, the Occupations in Demand list, Washington Career Bridge, WorkSource WA, LinkedIn and others depending on the specific needs and goals of the client.

    1. ksingh says:

      Sabrina, I think that’s a great idea by being hands-on and assisting the individuals is key to understand how we can help them find their path.

  12. bgutierrez says:

    At the YWCA our mission is to eliminate racism and ensure all people in our community have the opportunity to thrive. In the YWCA I am part of the Economic Advancement and our goal is to help families and individuals become self-sufficient. Here I get to work with a diverse group of individuals. We help women who are survivors of DV, immigrants/ refugees, people of color, men, the LGTBQ+ community, and more individuals who are low-income.

    Some folks come looking for specific training knowing what they want to do with their careers. Others come in seeking new interviewing skills as well as resume assistance. Some are not sure what they want and need the guidance of a career professional. Many of my clients are also in need of support services ranging from rental assistance to car repairs and other kinds of support services.

    Some of the resources I get to use is the O*net website so that job seekers can find more than one job to apply to. I also use community/ outside resources when it is something we cannot assist or mee their need. I am able to use the WA Career Bridge website to determine that the school providing the training is TPS approved. A great resource I get to use is the UW Self-Sufficiency Calculator this shows our customers the cost of living in the region they live in and are able to understand what they need to make to become self-sufficient. I also get to use the Cliff tool which shows our low-income individuals what happens to their benefits when they start working on becoming self-sufficient. I would also like to consider myself as a resource for my clients because I will always be there for their journey.

    1. naimowyusuf says:

      Your commitment to the YWCA’s mission and the breadth of individuals you assist is truly commendable. It’s inspiring to see the comprehensive support you provide, addressing not only immediate career needs but also the broader spectrum of challenges your clients may face. The strategic use of resources like the O*net website, WA Career Bridge, UW Self-Sufficiency Calculator, and the Cliff tool demonstrates a well-rounded approach to empower individuals towards self sufficiency. Being a constant presence and resource for your clients undoubtedly contributes significantly to their journey. Keep up the impactful work!

  13. sclarke says:

    When I first began working in workforce development, I started with the Youth population. There were many elements of diversity. Two that stood out were age diversity and racial diversity. Youth ranges from 14 to 25. In that, you have races and people from different backgrounds who are not equipped to adapt to navigating environments that either have adults who have a lot of experience or cultural backgrounds that aren’t in sync with what society depicts for youth. One way we addressed this was to ensure youth understood their ability to choose the pace at which they accelerated in the program and how they wanted to identify. We sought out resources through either the WorkSource eco-system or closely related CBOs that had a deeper knowledge of how to carefully work with youth without boxing them in a category.
    ISY and OSY Youth often dealt with challenges on opposite spectrums. Having case managers who were either close in age and/or older and resembled a mentor or family member was another way we addressed working with those from diverse backgrounds. Getting youth to stay engaged was often rewarded with an end-of-program celebration if we did a cohort. We also would give certificates and allow feedback from the youth to be shared as a way of using their voice. Youth often perform a lot of exploration so using resources like CareerBridge would help them link a work experience to a training option if they chose to further their education.

  14. nadezhdal says:

    I work as a career specialist for WIOA Adult program. I serve a large variety of people from diverse and multicultural backgrounds, I work with immigrants, who came to the US from Africa, Asia, Afganistan, Eastern Europe, etc. I provide job search assistance and training services to no income or low income clients, long-term unemployed individuals, immigrants with limited English, public assistance recipients, homeless people, seniors, clients with basic skills deficiency, lack of occupational skills, with big gaps in the employment history, background issues, etc.
    As tools and resources, I use, careerbridge.wa.go, Market Information,,,, etc. while helping my clients reach their training and employment goals.

  15. naimowyusuf says:

    In my role as a career specialist for neighborhood house I play a crucial role in supporting individuals. I focus on assisting individuals from low-income communities and diverse ethnic backgrounds who are recipients of food benefits. I guide them through various stages of the employment process, including job searching, training, resume building, and job applications. The services I use includes sites like: CareerOneStop, CareerBridge, WorksourceWa and plenty more. My commitment is to provide them with support and guidance in building sustainable livelihoods. By offering assistance in completing certification trainings, professional/technical career trainings, targeted resources, support, personalized career counseling, and skill development programs and . I aim to empower these individuals on their path to economic self-sufficiency and career success. This focus extends to long-term career building, ensuring that individuals not only secure employment but also develop the skills and strategies needed for sustained professional growth and success.

  16. hstapleton says:

    Most of the clients my organization works with are all job seekers but will come from a variety of backgrounds. I would say the majority have a long attachment to employment but have now been laid off. They may have no experience, or no recent experience, with job searching. The key resource they will need is learning how to job search in the current climate, creating or updating a resume, and learning and practicing interview skills.

  17. ksingh says:

    As my role as a employment specialist at the Worksource Auburn, the clients I service come from many different backgrounds and diverse backgrounds. Many come with different job roles and different industries. The individual has no experience or no training at all. Being patient and understanding their circumstances and being able to provide support is crucial. Providing training or job search support will give the individual the confidence they need.

    1. ksingh says:

      Some key resources I use are, Career OneStop and Careerbridge to help individuals with the support they are needing.

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