Getting a call from the Red Sox to come on down to Fenway Park is the dream of many a New Englander. Even though he wasn’t being asked to suit up, IINE Career Service Manager Nico Britt was thrilled when it happened to him shortly before the start of the baseball season.
“Our [employment] partnership with the Red Sox and Aramark, [who provides their concessions], was one that started because they reached out to us,” Nico explains. “We jumped on this opportunity and reached out to Jeff Carson who is the head of recruitment for Fenway. He invited us to tour the facilities. He has experience working in refugee resettlement and feels passionately about giving refugees and immigrants an opportunity in the American workforce. Our clients were really excited to work at Fenway as it is a famous stadium. The schedule is super great as it allows clients to pick their shifts—a lot of flexibility.”
In April, several IINE clients—refugees seeking their first job in the U.S. who had prepared with IINE Career Services staff—headed down to America’s favorite baseball park for a recruitment event. They learned about job opportunities with Aramark at Fenway and then had on-the-spot interviews. Three clients, from Yemen, the Central African Republic, and Ukraine, were handed offer letters for jobs in custodial services.
So far, their Fenway work experience is going better than the slow-starting 2023 Red Sox season. “It’s a great job. I like it a lot!” says Osamah, a recent refugee from Yemen. “Aramark is a good employer.”
So, has the partnership created some new baseball fans?
IINE Employment Case Specialist Sean Burke enjoys a visit to Fenway Park, where his refugee clients have landed their first jobs in the U.S.
Sean Burke, an IINE Employment Case Specialist says that in conservations with the clients placed at Fenway, he finds that “they don’t necessarily follow everything that’s going on [on the field] but they appreciate the enthusiasm—how everyone is just thrilled to be there.”
Sean and his colleagues certainly were when IINE’s Career Services team was invited to the park to watch the Sox “perform tremendously well in a riveting game vs the Seattle Mariners” as a thank you for helping Aramark staff up.
Maryna Vernyhora, a refugee from Ukraine who now works as an IINE Employment Specialist is officially a convert. “It was my first game. I would gladly go again. It was incredible! To be honest, before I did not watch baseball at all, but now I am a fan of the Red Sox!”
Inspired by the mid-game heroics of the Sox (who won their fifth World Series title in 1918, the year IINE was founded in Lowell), Sean offered this final reflection, “It’s been a really great opportunity. Baseball’s an important part of American culture, and as the crew came out to clean up the field after a dramatic sixth inning, I came to realize how much the Red Sox and IINE Career Services have in common: we’re both signature New England teams.”
IINE provides job placement and targeted skills trainings so refugees and immigrants can earn a steady income and build a career path. Learn more about our employment services.