Employment Specialist

Reports to: Employment Services Coordinator
Team: Immigration & Refugee Program (IRP)
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Grade: 2
Starting salary: $28,500
Status: Non-Exempt, Non-Bargaining Unit

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, religion, age, disability or veteran status in employment or in the provision of services.

To Apply:

Please visit the link provided to apply directly online to this position.


Please note that CWS does not accept resumes for positions that are not posted.  All applicants are required to submit their resume using the on-line applicant tracking system.


CWS uses Applicant Stack for all communications, please be sure to check your e-mail frequently and please check your junk/spam folder.  Due to the volume of applications that we receive, only those individuals shortlisted will be contacted.

Primary Purpose:

The Employment Specialist offers support and employment services to refugees to help them reach financial self-sufficiency in the United States.

Essential Duties:

  • Welcome and orient refugees to the community.
  • Empower refugees to formulate realistic yet ambitious employability plans.
  • Assist refugees to implement their employability plans.
  • Provide individualized job development and job placement services to program participants.  Develop plan of action and counsel clients in areas such as job interview skills, expected behavior on the job, and workplace hygiene.  
  • Identify job opportunities suitable for clients, assist in filling out applications, set up interviews with potential employers, accompany clients to interviews, and follow up with employers until decisions are made.  Negotiate job advancements when warranted.
  • Document all contacts and services in client case files and maintain case note logs. In addition to documenting all services, record clients’ employment-related progress in case file, including compliance, job offers, all placements, job retention, public assistance usage, follow-up on placements, and possibilities of upgrades. Complete all required reports. Documentation demands are rigorous.
  • Work with clients to remove barriers to employment and realize the goal of family self-sufficiency. Connect clients to in-house support and make referrals to external service providers. Identify support services that may assist clients in becoming self-sufficient, such as ESL, transportation, immigration services, and child care.
  • Assist clients with identifying training and apprenticeship programs related to their career goals and make referrals.
  • Offer interpretation and translation services to refugee clients, as well as transportation to interviews and appointments as necessary. (Compensation is paid by CWS for mileage when using personal vehicle.)
  • Advocate on behalf of refugees, and refugee-serving voluntary agencies.
  • Attend trainings and conferences as requested by supervisor.
  • Keep informed about refugee and immigrant issues, and available services to refugees, 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.
  • Perform all duties in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • Undertake other duties as assigned.
  • Work varied hours, including some early morning, night and weekend work.
  • Must have valid driver’s license and suitable vehicle for transporting clients.


Education: B.A. or experience in refugee resettlement or related field.

Experience:  Previous work experience and interest in refugee resettlement or other direct social services is desired. Cultural sensitivity is essential.


Communications: Able to communicate thoroughly and with self-confidence a broad range of information relating to program or department. Communicate detailed and/or technical information clearly, in writing and orally. Speak publicly with defined constituencies regarding specific assigned topics. Anticipate constituent needs and interests and take proactive steps to respond to them. Promote “transparency of information” by sharing relevant information with staff and other stakeholders.

Constituent Relationships: Understand the history of relationships with stakeholders and their structures to support effective relationships in ongoing work activities. Coordinate specific program activities with counterparts and include them in planning. Find way to work around issues of concern to stakeholders.

Job Knowledge: Knows a broad range of information regarding specific program or department and use that knowledge to perform effectively and independently. Apply a depth of knowledge within area of responsibility to implement assigned activities.  Interpret CWS’s policies and procedures for staff and stakeholders, keeping the “human” side in sight. Identify learning opportunities for self and others and take/recommend action.

Leadership: Accept accountability for assigned activities and adapt work style to perform independently or within a team. Recognize strengths and weaknesses in others and share knowledge to develop their abilities. Facilitate the use of skills and resources within CWS. 

Problem Solving: Identify problems in procedures that affect program work and recommend changes in systems or procedures to address them, and then implement approved changes. Understand and apply knowledge of the context in which CWS works, including global trends and issues. Provide guidance and direction to others in resolving problems, as well as independently resolving problems. Determine the scope of problems, gather all necessary information, analyze impact on other areas and implement or recommend solutions. Enable others to learn from the problem-solving experience by involving them in examining and resolving problems, ensuring solutions are appropriate to the scope of the problem.

Program Planning and Management: Anticipate work flow and take proactive steps to balance work priorities.    Gather, analyze and make use of information and resources necessary to complete work.  Successfully balance multiple activities, in support of program or departmental goals.  Manage contacts with internal and external stakeholders to ensure flow of information and coordination of efforts.  Verify the accuracy and quality of own work and the work of others. 

Resource Building and Stewardship: Promote CWS’s mission, programs and services with donors and stakeholders to assure continued support. Understand stewardship role in working within budget and monitoring finances.

Teamwork: Contribute program expertise to the work performed by the team. Promote effective interactions among team members and facilitate group discussion. Participate in identifying and establishing work needs and time lines for completion. Network with other teams to discuss activities. Identify opportunities for skill development among team members and share knowledge and experience with them. Negotiate issues that cause conflict within the team to support effective team functioning. Prepare reports about team activities and progress in achieving results.

Other Skills:

Superior written and verbal communication skills are required. The successful candidate must be computer literate, with proficiency in MS Office (Excel and Word) and internet applications required. 

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