CFP: National Conference on Refugee Professional Recertification
(East Lansing, MI)
jancius3022 at comcast.net
Thu Feb 5 09:38:07 EST 2009
Subject: National Conference on Refugee Professional Recertification
(June 22-24, 2009)
Call for Papers
Building Professional Pathways for New Americans:
The National Conference on Refugee Professional Recertification
Abstracts due March 5, 2009.
Foreign-trained educators, physicians, nurses, engineers and other
professionals arriving in the United States as refugees find it difficult,
expensive and time-consuming to obtain the qualifications required to
practice their profession. They receive limited financial assistance and
advice from resettlement agencies mandated to help them achieve
self-sufficiency in only a few months. In a time of economic crisis their
situation-and the task of those who work with them-is extremely challenging.
RefugeeWorks is the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement's training and
technical assistance arm for employment and self-sufficiency activities. A
national conference convened by RefugeeWorks will discuss the many issues
related to professional retraining, job-seeking and recertification for
refugees in the United States. Participants will include resettlement
personnel, refugees, employment specialists, educators, employers and others
who work with refugee professionals. The conference will take place at the
Kellogg Center of Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, June 22-24,
Sessions will cover the following topics:
Post-secondary Retraining Programs
Community colleges are at the forefront of professional retraining,
qualifying exam preparation and ESOL instruction for refugees and
immigrants. Organizers of successful CC and university programs for
foreign-trained healthcare professionals, teachers and others will discuss
their initiatives, and refugee professionals will describe their experiences
in such programs.
Partnerships across Sectors
No resettlement agency works effectively alone. Government officials,
advocacy and community organizations, professional associations, educators
and employers can join forces to help refugee professionals prepare for
work, obtain credentials and find appropriate jobs in their chosen field.
Policies, Laws and Reforms
Economic crisis presents opportunities for change. New immigration laws and
government policies could make life and work easier or more difficult for
both refugee professionals and resettlement agencies. What changes are under
consideration, and how likely is their adoption? What role can civic
organizations play in immigration reform?
Job developers, program managers and employers can point to success stories
of refugee professionals who have overcome great obstacles on the road to
integration in U.S. society. What do these stories have in common, and how
can they be replicated?
These sessions, each consisting of several 15-minute presentations and
discussion, will take place on June 22. Work groups will consider follow-up
actions and report back to the conference on June 23. In addition,
roundtable discussions will take place June 23 on the following topics: the
long-term view of integration; what happens between arrival and
recertification; refugees' professional expectations; cultural orientation;
the effects of the economic situation; and psychological counseling for
refugees. Paper presenters are welcome to participate in these groups and
roundtables. A Michigan-focused job fair for employers and refugee
professionals will follow in Detroit on June 24.
Individual paper abstracts should be limited to 200 words and sent to Linda
Rabben, conference organizer (Lrabben at lirs.org), by March 5, 2009. Proposals
for additional sessions and roundtables, as well as information inquiries,
should also be sent to Ms. Rabben as soon as possible; please include the
names and contact information for all confirmed and potential participants.
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