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Employment Specialist

Church World Service Harrisburg Full-time

Position Title: Employment Specialist

Reports To: Integration Supervisor

Team: Immigration & Refugee Program

Location: Harrisburg, PA

Grade Level: 4

Salary Range: $41,650 - $49,000

FLSA & Union Status: Non-Exempt, Non-Bargaining


Church World Service (CWS) is a not-for-profit organization working to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice around the world. CWS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, disability or veteran status in employment or in the provision of services.

Primary Purpose

The Employment Specialist is responsible for providing employment assessment, job counseling, job placement, employment-related translation and interpretation services, and case management to eligible clients in the Employment Program of CWS/Harrisburg. With the goal of self-sufficiency for each individual or family, the Employment Specialist works closely with clients, case managers, and employers to remove barriers to employment and secure successful job placements.

Essential Duties

  • Conducts outreach to identify and locate eligible clients through contacts with other CWS (in-house) programs, the Department of Public Assistance, mutual assistance associations, ethnic churches, mosques, temples, and other social service agencies for enrollment in the Matching Grant (MG) or Refugee Social Services (RSS) programs of CWS Harrisburg.
  • Determines clients’ eligibility for the program and identifies specific needs and qualifications, including English language ability, transferable job skills, personal objectives, and barriers to employment through intake and assessment process. Teaches employment readiness sessions in a small group or one on one to prepare the clients for the workforce. Works with client to prepare job resume based on intake and assessment.
  • Provides individualized job placement services to program participants. Develops plan of action and counsels clients in areas such as job interview skills, expected behavior on the job, and proper hygiene.
  • Works with clients to remove any barriers to employment and realize the goal of family self-sufficiency.
  • Identifies job opportunities suitable for clients as recommended by the Employment Program Coordinator, assists in filling out applications, sets up interviews with potential employers, accompanies clients to interviews and provides transportation, follows up with employers until decisions are made. Negotiates job advancements when warranted.
  • Provides employment-related translation and interpretation for clients with limited English proficiency.
  • Records clients’ progress in case file, including compliance, job offers, all placements, job retention, public assistance usage, follow-up on placements, and possibilities of upgrades. Completes all required reports.
  • Assists clients with identifying training and apprenticeship programs related to their career goals and makes referrals.
  • Identifies other support services that may assist clients in becoming self-sufficient, such as classes for English as a Second Language, transportation, immigration services, and childcare, and makes appropriate referrals.

Common Duties

  • Advocates on behalf of refugees, and refugee-serving voluntary agencies
  • Keep informed about refugee and immigrant issues, and available services to clients, using current information to better identify and serve refugee clients.
  • Represent the program at meetings and speaking engagements relevant to the responsibilities of the position.
  • Performs all duties in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • Undertakes other duties as assigned.
  • Works varied hours.


Education: Bachelor’s degree or associate degree and/or 2 years experience in refugee resettlement.

Experience: Previous work experience and interest in refugee resettlement or other direct social services. The ability to provide culturally sensitive counseling and case management is required.

Other Skills

Fluency in English is required, with superior written and verbal communication skills. Knowledge of Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Arabic, Ukrainian, Russian, or Somali are highly preferred. The successful candidate must be computer literate, with proficiency in MS Office (Excel, and Word) and Internet applications. Must have a car and a valid driver’s license with a clean driving history.

Special Requirements

  • Proof of COVID vaccination is required as a condition for employment.
  • The successful candidate must have a car, a valid driver’s license, and an insurable driving record.
  • This is a hybrid position, involving in-person and remote work.
  • Works varied hours, including possible night and weekend work.

CWS’ U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Policy requires all new staff to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as soon as reasonable, no longer than 60 days of employment. Any employee who is pregnant, who is nursing, who has a disability, or who has a medical condition that prevents them from safe vaccination, or who rejects vaccination because of sincerely held religious beliefs, may contact the CWS Benefits Administrator to request reasonable accommodation as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

CWS Offers a Competitive Benefits Package That Includes

  • 403 (b) Retirement Plan
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
  • Paid Time Off
  • Life Insurance and AD&D
  • Long-Term and Short-Term Disability
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Health Savings Account
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Commuter Benefits

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