WebLinc, Bluecadet join effort to connect refugees to tech jobs - Technical.ly Philly

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Jun. 21, 2017 11:57 am

WebLinc, Bluecadet join effort to connect refugees to tech jobs

The program was announced yesterday at City Hall, as part of World Refugee Day.
Stacy Wyn Sarno, leader of WebLinc’s community engagement program alongside refugee and front-end intern Abdul Kamara.

Stacy Wyn Sarno, leader of WebLinc's community engagement program alongside refugee and front-end intern Abdul Kamara.

(Courtesy photo)

Full disclosure: This reporter's immigration case is being handled by Nationalities Service Center. It was not involved in this report.

While basic goods and supplies always come in handy for refugees in need, access to a job is usually a game-changer for those settling into their new host nation. A WebLinc-led effort announced yesterday at City Hall, as part of World Refugee Day, is hoping those jobs can be in tech.

In partnership with the nonprofit Nationalities Service Center, the company will be pairing up refugees that have the right set of skills with entry level jobs in tech. Fishtown design firm Bluecadet also joined the program.

“Today WebLinc proudly calls two refugees employees and members of our WebLinc family,” said Stacy Wyn Sarno, leader of WebLinc’s community engagement program.

One of those employees is Abdul Kamara, a refugee from Sierra Leone who is now a front-end intern at the Old City software company.

“Abdul’s story is incredible and how grateful he is to WebLinc really blows my mind,” said spokesman John Forberger. “He’s been through a lot including losing his mother in January before coming to the U.S.”

Indeed, the immigrant’s tale is worthy of admiration: Kamara’s family spent 17 years at the Krisan Refugee Camp in Ghana, after leaving Sierra Leone at the peak of the armed conflict.

"Seek out and help the refugees in your community, in any way you can."
Abdul Kamara, WebLinc

“Before we left, and during our journey, we suffered hunger, fear and intimidation,” Kamara said in a speech during the ceremony, which also featured words from Mayor Jim Kenney.

After migrating to Guinea, the family passed trough the Ivory Coast and into Ghana before finally hearing the good news in 2013: the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees accepted their application for resettlement to the United States.

“I urge Philadelphia businesses to take a page out of WebLinc’s book and play a part,” Kamara said.  “Seek out and help the refugees in your community, in any way you can, to become better Philadelphians and better Americans. I’m here today because NSC, Stacy and WebLinc stepped up in supporting me.”

Companies that want to join the effort can reach out to the program director at outreach [at] weblinc [dot] com.

Companies: Bluecadet, WebLinc
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