Refugee Employment & Self-Sufficiency VISTA

Job Type

Full Time




2100 Arch Street
United States



HIAS Pennsylvania (HIAS PA) has provided legal and social services for immigrants and refugees since 1882 in order to ensure their fair treatment and full integration into American society. Early employment of refugees and their self-sufficiency is an absolutely critical component of this process. While Philadelphia as a city has been welcoming to refugees and immigrants in general, the challenges and barriers to employment can still be significant. Refugees come to the US with a wide range of previous educational and employment experiences, from educated professionals to those who have never had formal employment. HIAS PA has been successfully guiding refugees and asylees through the employment process, but many of these opportunities seem to be in only a few industries like food service and factory work. By creating group workshops and expanding the job mentorship program, the PACC*VISTA will play a critical role enhancing HIAS PA’s capacity to support newly-arrived refugees and asylees as they prepare for, find, and sustain their very first jobs in America. The PACC*VISTA will also play a role in educating Penn students about the issues addressed by HIAS PA, and in engaging students in their work. Pennsylvania/New York Campus Compact VISTAs (PA/NYCC*VISTAs) are part of a VISTA cohort of 40 members placed at higher ed. institutions across PA and NY to build campus-community partnerships. Professional development opportunities, including specialized workshops and retreats, and support to the VISTA cohort will be provided throughout the year of service.



The PACC*VISTA will develop and improve programs at HIAS PA designed to orient and engage refugees and asylees with finding work and successfully navigating the workplace in the United States. The VISTA will design orientations on workplace and workers’ rights, as well as create a mentor training system to support people providing services including resume support, mock interviews, job search assistance and guidance through the on-boarding process. The PACC*VISTA will support HIAS constituents in gaining and maintaining financial independence through conducting and leading financial management orientations and documenting the outcomes related to these orientations. Lastly, the PACC*VISTA will educate University of Pennsylvania and other college students about the issues addressed by HIAS PA, and recruit students to be involved in their work by supporting some of the above-named initiatives and activities.

Program Benefits: Living Allowance, Training, Childcare assistance if eligible, Relocation Allowance, Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend, Health Coverage*. 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

To apply, apply on the AmeriCorps website here.