Impact Challenge Winner Launches Programming

Lincoln’s 2020 Impact Challenge Winner Launches Programming for Skilled Immigrant Professionals

This week, community agencies involved in the CareerLadder project are launching unique programs that connect skilled immigrants and refugees to resuming career pathways with professional experience and education to Nebraska-based career opportunities.

Last July, CareerLadder was one of five finalists selected in the Impact Challenge Nebraska, where nonprofits across the state submitted their proposals to create economic opportunities throughout Nebraska. As a finalist, CareerLadder received a $175,000 grant and an additional $125,000 after winning the People’s Choice Award. While developed in Lincoln, the tools advanced by CareerLadder are applicable statewide and will be shared by partner agencies with communities across Nebraska.

Programming includes career pathway guides in engineering, law, nursing, accounting and education; providing step-by-step instructions for how skilled immigrants and refugees can pursue re-entering their former careers in Nebraska; digital skills training and an accelerated mentorship program connecting skilled immigrant professionals with established professionals in their fields, in addition to other valuable programming. CareerLadder partnering agencies include Lutheran Family Services, Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska, Asian Community & Cultural Center, Center for People in Need, Multicultural Coalition, Lincoln Commission on Human Rights, and the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development.

“So many refugees are desperate to use their degrees when they come to the United States. These pathways will help the under-employed former teachers, nurses, and lawyers to navigate the complicated process of degree equivalency and foreign credential evaluations. Working hard and having a strong partnership within the community will make their dreams possible,” says Nizar Rasho, Program Supervisor at Lutheran Family Services and co-chair of the New Americans Task Force Integration Committee.

“The goal of MyCity Academy (MCA) is to provide opportunities for participants to learn how local city and county government functions, what services are provided and how to become engaged in different programs, events and service opportunities. MCA aligns with Mayor Gaylor Baird’s One Lincoln initiative and is a step towards making city hall and the larger community more welcoming and inclusive,” according to Francisca Beltran, Community Outreach Coordinator of the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights.

For additional information about CareerLadder or to find out more about accessing services or volunteering, visit the CareerLadder website at

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