Equipping Immigrants with Workplace Skills

IINE-Boston’s Service Industry Training Program prepares immigrants for hospitality, healthcare, and banking jobs

In April 2014, Asma Amahri came to the U.S. from Morocco knowing little English. Shortly after her arrival, however, she took a job as a cashier at Dunkin’ Donuts in East Boston. While this position did not meet her  career goals, it allowed her to strengthen her language skills. She knew that in order to advance in any career, she needed to achieve a higher level of fluency in English. A close friend referred her to the International Institute of New England and mentioned
its English and skills training programs. Asma knew this was her opportunity.

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Asma enrolled in the Institute’s Service Industry Training Program (SITP), a 12-week course that equips students with the skills they need to start a career in the hospitality, healthcare, and banking industries. During the program, Asma participated in industry-specific skills and customer service training, intensive English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, and computer literacy training.

Following her graduation in December 2016, Asma worked with Skills Training Program Coordinator Chloe Walker and Skills Training Program Specialists Kelson Brighton and Maureen Carani to find a full-time job. It took less than a month for her to land a well-paying housekeeping position at Boston Medical Center, a large hospital with many opportunities for growth.

On December 2, 2016, Asma Amahri attended her Service Industry Training Program graduation ceremony at the IINE- Boston office. She is pictured above with Skills Training Program Coordinator Chloe Walker and Skills Training Program Specialist Kelson Brighton.

On December 2, 2016, Asma Amahri attended her Service Industry Training Program graduation ceremony at the IINE- Boston office. She is pictured above with Skills Training Program Coordinator Chloe Walker and Skills Training Program Specialist Kelson Brighton.

“I had a great experience at the Institute, and they gave me confidence in my abilities,” Asma said. With a laugh and a smile, she added: “I think they helped me so much. I recommend that all immigrants go through the program at the Institute because even if they don’t realize it, they need help and support.” Asma demonstrated her language abilities during a recent lecture event at the IINE-Boston site office, where she participated in a dialogue about integrating immigrants into the workforce.

While she’s only worked at Boston Medical Center for a short time, Asma continues to plan for the future.“I want to become a nurses’ assistant, and then maybe pursue something completely different,” she said. “I have a lot of dreams, and thanks to the Institute I have the skills and confidence to pursue them.”

To learn more about the Institute’s programs and services visit iine.org.