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Tag: Community partners

IINE Education Program Instructor Irina Lopukhina honored with Easterseals 2017 Communication Connection Award

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IINE’s partnership with Easterseals New Hampshire prepares immigrants and refugees to be residential instructors

Easterseals New Hampshire recently honored IINE-Manchester Education Program Instructor Irina Lopukhina with the 2017 Communication Connection Award. Each year, Easterseals serves 1.4 million children and adults in the United States with disabilities.

Under Irina’s leadership, IINE worked with other providers to create a program that trained immigrants and refugees to be residential instructors at Easterseals. The Communication Connection Award honors someone who makes an exceptional commitment to Easterseals.

In collaboration with staff  from the Manchester Economic Development Office and the Diversity Workforce Coalition, Irina trained people for jobs assisting men and women with disabilities in Easterseals residential units. The staff of EasterSeals gave considerable input to the design of the program, which has the potential to be a model for other employers that want to recruit and promote diverse workforces in the Granite state.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” Irina said. “This project is extremely rewarding because I’m able to see first-hand how motivated these students are to succeed and lead sustainable lives.”
The seven-week course ran for two sessions in July 2016 and April 2017, and prepared 25 pre-selected adults for jobs at Easterseals.

The curriculum Irina developed included intensive English language instruction, cultural competency, and an orientation on the specific duties of a residential instructor. Easterseals hired every graduate, providing refugees and immigrants with a good paying job and a career path.

By preparing new Americans for these roles, IINE-Manchester and our partners were able to place multi -cultural and multi -lingual staff at an organization that provides critical services to people in New Hampshire.

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Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center Supports New Americans on the Path to Success

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IINE-Manchester partners with Crotched Mountain to help refugees and immigrants begin healthcare careers

The biggest challenge for Khem Basnet when he arrived in the U.S. was studying for his driver’s license exam and buying a car, which was vital to getting a job in New Hampshire. In 2008, the International Institute of New England resettled Khem and his family from Nepal to Manchester, an area with vast expanses of highways and country roads. In order to help support his family, he needed a car.

Khem quickly achieved his goal of passing a driver’s test and buying a used car. He was able to get a job at a fast food restaurant, and for three months Khem worked 80hours a week to make ends meet. His life in America bore little resemblance to life in his homeland where he was an accomplished teacher. When he applied for a position as a residential counselor at the Crotched Mountain Foundation, a rehabilitation center in Greenfield, NH that serves students and adults with severe disabilities, he assumed this was just another job. It was on the Mountain, however, that he found something more than a job—he discovered a career.

““I was able to use my expertise and experience doing something that had meaning and purpose and this is what I share with other foreign staff. At Crotched Mountain, you have the opportunity to do incredibly important work and climb the professional ladder.”

Khem began his career at Crotched Mountain as a Community Residence Manager and worked his way up to manage three residences. He was eventually promoted to his current role as the Human Resources Diversity Recruiter.

Over the past two years, Khem recruited and hired more than 20 IINE-Manchester clients as Crotched Mountain staff members. In addition, he holds weekly meetings with the Institute’s staff in Manchester to pre-qualify and prepare new recruits for the demands of being residential counselors and paraprofessionals.“ The International Institute is incredibly supportive of us,” he says. “They are one of our strongest partners.”

Today, as he stands in his office at Crotched Mountain overlooking the sprawling horizon of the Monadnock Valley, he has found contentment in a simple truth: New Hampshire is home and is a place where he has found personal and professional success.

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