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WES Mariam Assefa Fund Announces $1M in Grants to Advance Inclusive Employer Practices and Career Pathways for Immigrants in the U.S. and Canada

NEW YORK, July 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The WES Mariam Assefa Fund today announced US$1 million in grants to eight organizations in the U.S. and Canada working to shift employer practices and develop career pathways that support the economic mobility and success of immigrants and refugees.

In the U.S., the Fund awarded grants to African Bridge Network, Center for Southeast Asians, New Mexico Dream Team, and One Fair Wage.

The organizations selected for funding in Canada are Diversity Institute at Toronto Metropolitan University, the Momentum Centre, Venture 2 Impact, and World University Service of Canada.

These grants build on an earlier round of funding awarded an open call for grant applications in the U.S. and Canada. The selected organizations are leading a range of approaches to effect greater economic opportunity for immigrants.

"To build a more equitable labor market and inclusive workplaces for immigrants and refugees, we must reimagine the role of employers in supporting our increasingly diverse workforce," said Monica Munn, managing director of social impact at WES. "The WES Mariam Assefa Fund is proud to partner with these eight organizations that are working to ensure that employers across the U.S. and Canada meet the unique needs of immigrant job seekers and workers so they can achieve their goals and thrive."

Several grants announced today focus on specific sectors, including hospitality, technology, and human services ? industries which offer plentiful employment opportunities to immigrants, but which often engage in unfair labor practices and have an insufficient focus on job quality.

In addition to supporting sector-specific practices, the Fund will back organizations working to ensure long-term paths to employment and advancement which specifically address the needs of youth and international students in the early stages of their careers.

Lastly, a grant to the Center for Southeast Asians (CSEA) in Rhode Island seeks to support immigrants who are small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs through business coaching, loans, and networking opportunities. This funding will expand CSEA's employment programs and enable partnerships with local employers hiring immigrants.

About World Education Services and the Mariam Assefa Fund

World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. For more than 45 years, WES has set the standard of excellence in the field of international academic credential evaluation. Its philanthropic arm, the WES Mariam Assefa Fund, supports catalytic leaders and organizations working to build inclusive economies and to ensure that immigrants and refugees can achieve their aspirations and thrive. For more information, visit wes.org/fund.


Silan Akgul, Senior Communications Manager, sakgul@wes.org

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