In a first-time cooperative effort between the Chinese and Korean communities, a new program has been launched to help low-skilled immigrant workers.
The Flushing Workforce Development Program was announced at the MinKwon Center for Community Action (formerly YKASEC- Empowering the Korean American Community) in Flushing on Friday, March 26.
A joint effort of the MinKwon Center, Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) and Korean Community Services (KSC), the program targets low-income immigrant families in the Asian community.
“Our purpose is to help people break out of our community to become self-sufficient and join the mainstream American workforce,” said Jeffrey Chen, Director of the Workforce Development Division of CPC. “The ties that bind us are more important than our differences.”
All three organizations will work together to provide free job training; job skill development, such as interviewing and computer skills; ESL and vocational education classes and legal services to participants.
Linda Lee, the Associate Executive Director of KCS, said she was excited about the cooperation. “We can use all our strengths to come together to give immigrant workers a sense of empowerment and the tools they need to get to a better place and improve where they are,” she said.
After intake, MinKwon will assess participants’ skills and needs before they are placed in CPC and KPS job training centers. Over a two month period, they will attend workshops to learn English, computer and job skills and become familiar with the American job market – while working on a schedule that meets their needs.
They will also be taught their rights as workers, provided with legal assistance and will be connected with eligible employers in the fields of healthcare, retail, hospitality and restaurants.
Flushing City Councilmember Peter Koo said that as a small businessman who started out working minimum wage jobs himself, he was “very pleased to see the Flushing community come together to benefit fellow residents.”
“This is the first time three groups are working together as Asian Americans and not just individual Chinese and Koreans. Working together can build a bright future for everyone.”
For more information call the MinKwon Center at 718-460-5600 or visit www.minkwon.org.