Cap Metro Taps Refugee Population for Employment: Bus driver shortage and Austin’s newest residents both aided – News

Cap Metro Taps Refugee Population for Employment: Bus driver shortage and Austin’s newest residents both aided – News

Refugees obtain coaching from Global Impact Initiative (GII) (Courtesy of Global Impact Initiative)

With two new ones MetroFast traces scheduled to start service in late 2023 as a part of Link Project, Cap Metro ought to deliver extra drivers and mechanics on board. To that finish, the transit authority introduced a partnership in October with the Austin-based group Global Impact Initiative (Gii) to supply coaching alternatives for the town’s refugee inhabitants.

“Agreements like this are important to us as an agency as it’s a priority to help serve the community in any way we can. This deal is about more than just expanding our team; it’s also an opportunity to support our community and help our younger residents who may be in a vulnerable situation find secure employment and help them build a strong foundation in our region,” a Cap Metro spokesperson mentioned in an electronic mail, including that that is the primary refugee employment program within the company’s historical past.

As a part of this system, Gii, which gives schooling and workforce growth alternatives to underserved communities all over the world, will supply an entry-degree driver coaching course in order that trainees can receive a industrial driver’s license . And Cap Metro will look to rent these trainees at charges beginning at $22 an hour. Founder and CEO of Gii Anjum Malik famous in an October 14 press launch, saying the partnership that many refugees have already got abilities that would profit from Cap Metro.

While Cap Metro has not too long ago struggled to have sufficient operators and mechanics to function its bus traces, it now has satisfactory frontline employees, in response to the spokesperson. However, it’s nonetheless trying to rent to extend service ranges sooner or later and for Project Connect – it has beforehand estimated the necessity for greater than 100 bus operators for the brand new east-west Exhibition Center and north-south Pleasant valley MetroFast routes.

Gii Vice President of Operations Shawn Smith mentioned in an electronic mail that the nonprofit is at the moment working to formalize partnerships with public transit companies throughout the nation. Smith famous the twin significance of offering employment to the refugee inhabitants. “The transition to full-time, substantial employment is a milestone for refugees in two ways. First, it opens up sustainable access to resources that enable families to be self-sufficient. Second, there is great pride that comes with this self-sufficiency, as well as being contributing members of their new communities,” he mentioned.

Gii is at the moment working primarily with Afghan and Ukrainian refugees, however Smith added that they’ve additionally helped the Bosnian and Iranian populations. They even have various Austin-based companions, together with Austin Hews for Refugees, Muslim Community Support Services, and the Central Texas Food Bank.

“This is really a win-win situation,” he mentioned Bob Ewigleben, director of Gii’s industrial driver’s license program, within the press launch. “A win for refugees and members of other marginalized communities seeking economic independence, and a win for trucking companies in desperate need of qualified commercial vehicle drivers.”

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