Employment Specialist

Reports to: Harrisonburg Director
Team: Immigration & Refugee Program
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
Grade: 2
Starting salary: $24,670 - $27,495
Status: Non-Exempt, Non-Bargaining Unit
Deadline: September 5, 2014

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 below 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 is responsible for providing employment assessment, job counseling, job development and placement, coordination of employment-related translation and interpretation services, and case management to eligible clients in a timely, appropriate and effective manner ensuring the client’s early employment and self-sufficiency.

Essential Duties:

  • Determines clients’ eligibility for the various programs and identifies specific needs and qualifications, including English language ability, transferable job skills, personal objectives, and barriers to employment through intake and assessment process.  Works with client to prepare job resume based on intake and assessment.
  • Provides individualized job development and job placement services to program participants.  Completes the Comprehensive Resettlement Plan with the client, counsel 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, assists in filling out applications, sets up interviews with potential employers, accompanies clients to interviews, follow up with employers until decisions are made.  Negotiates job advancements when warranted.
  • Provides transportation in own vehicle to client appointments.
  • Performs all duties in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.
  • Provide interpretation as needed.
  • 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.
  • Maintain office records and update appropriate data bases.
  • 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 child care, and makes appropriate referrals.
  • Identify and develop partnerships and communication with local employers, job training programs, business and immigrant organizations and faith based organizations to ensure broad employment opportunities and support for the clients.
  • Keeps informed about refugee and immigrant issues, and available services to refugees, using current information to better identify and serve refugee clients.
  • Advocates on behalf of refugees, and refugee-serving voluntary agencies.
  • Represents the program at meetings and speaking engagements relevant to the responsibilities of the position.
  • Attend and participate in staff meetings and training sessions.
  • Maintain confidentiality standards.
  • Account for any money and expenses and complete appropriate forms.
  • Undertakes other duties as assigned.
  • Works varied hours, including some night and weekend work.



B.A. and 1 year experience in refugee resettlement or immigrant-related services or related field preferred.


Previous work experience and interest in refugee resettlement or other direct social services is desired.  Ability to provide culturally sensitive counseling and case management is essential. Familiarity with U.S. refugee and/or immigration issues and terminology helpful. Experience working with churches or church-based organizations is preferred.

Other Skills:

Fluency in a refugee language is strongly desired.  Superior written and verbal communication skills are required. The successful candidate must be computer literate, with proficiency in MS Office (Excel, Word and Access) and Internet applications. Must be able to climb stairs, move furniture and donations. The candidate will be expected to transport clients in their own vehicle (mileage will be reimbursed) and must have a valid driver’s license and reliable working car with insurance for this purpose. Ability to work in a flexible and creative manner desired.



Ensure effective exchanges of information with others.  Examples of skills and behaviors include speaking to others respectfully; expressing ideas in a logical, organized way; sharing information appropriately; and clarity and conciseness in written communication.


Ensure constructive and supportive interactions with others.  Examples of skills and behaviors include being positive and supportive when working with others; sharing information and resources freely; resolving conflict constructively; and proactively working to remove obstacles to success for others.

Job Knowledge

Utilize and apply job related knowledge to complete job tasks at a level that meets or exceeds expectations.  Examples of skills and behaviors include utilizing job knowledge to solve problems or develop new approaches; maintaining or enhancing skills through continuing education; and taking on projects that will develop or enhance skills.


Work effectively and contribute as a member of a team.  Examples of skills and behaviors include supporting other team members by sharing information; covering the work of others during absences, vacations, etc.; and actively participating in developing ideas for ways to increase team effectiveness.

Problem Solving

Analyze information and develop solutions to challenges that arise during the course of performing a job.  Examples of skills and behaviors include researching and collecting facts; defining the issues and the parties affected; formulating options/solutions for addressing the problem; and engendering support for and implementing the solution.

Program Planning and Management

Organize work and/or plan projects and ensure timely completion and/or successful implementation.  Examples of skills and behaviors include identifying and analyzing program options; identifying the tasks and deliverables required for successful completion; managing one’s time; monitoring the resources involved and ensuring that they are directed most effectively; and working with all involved to ensure successful completion.


Guide and direct oneself or other individuals and groups toward a desired outcome.  Examples of skills and behaviors include taking the appropriate level of initiative to resolve problems or remove obstacles, bringing individuals together around a common goal; evaluating information and making decisions; navigating conflict and obstacles; and ensuring that communication takes place between all parties involved.

Resource Building and Stewardship

Balance the acquisition or investment of organization resources with responsible use of those resources in line with the organization’s mission.  Examples of skills and behaviors include taking advantage of all opportunities to cultivate potential donors; evaluating situations to identify the best use of resources; and making responsible investments of resources that increase organization effectiveness.

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