For Professionals

Welcome! Our Immigrant Professionals Career Pathways Program is designed for immigrants living in the Philadelphia region who have a college degree from outside the US, have permanent work authorization, are seeking employment, and meet other eligibility criteria.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, contact Immigrant Professionals Program Director Manuel Portillo at (215) 825-7765 or manuel@welcomingcenter.org.

Coming to the United States is an exciting process - but it can also be overwhelming. When Welcoming Center founder Anne O'Callaghan arrived from Ireland, she spent several years becoming re-credentialed and licensed as a physical therapist in the U.S.

Today, while some immigrant professionals arrive in the U.S. with a job already secured, many others are following the traditional path: Get a "survival-level" job first to pay your bills, and then work toward your longer-term career goals.

Our Immigrant Professionals Program can help. Read more about our services below.

 

Note:

The Welcoming Center offers periodic Pathways to Success workshops for college-educated immigrants. You can view copies of our most recent presentations online. 

The Welcoming Center offers a variety of services to assist you in your journey. They include:

To learn more about our services for immigrant professionals contact Bahiya Cabral-Johnson at 215-557-2868.

Note: These services are designed for immigrants who received a bachelor’s degree or higher in their home countries. If you received your undergraduate degree in the U.S., or if you do not have a degree, please see our general Employment Services page.

If you are a small business owner and want to learn about our services for entrepreneurs, visit our Small Business page.

Assessment and Consultation

How does your international degree compare to U.S. degrees and credentials? Which credential evaluation organizations have a good reputation, and which ones should be avoided?

If you’ve worked as a lawyer or engineer for 7 or 10 years in another country, how realistic is it to expect that you can re-start your career in the U.S.? What steps will you need to follow?

Our assessment and consultation service will help you answer these questions.

Who should use this service?  Immigrants who have a bachelor’s degree or higher from their home countries, who are recently arrived in the U.S. or who have lived here for some time and are now preparing to return to the job market after an absence.

What will happen? When you call to book your appointment, you will be scheduled for a free, private session with one of our employment specialists.  He or she will review your degree, credentials and licenses, and assess your familiarity with American business culture and the English language.

What you will get? Honest feedback about your career choices in the United States, and clear recommendations for your next steps. Specific names of one or more organizations that can formally evaluate your credentials and provide an official document that you can show to potential employers. Connection to appropriate professional associations.

Career Mapping and Guidance

You’ve climbed the first step on the career ladder; now what?

Who should use this service? Immigrant professionals who have worked at least 2 years in the United States, especially in the field for which they were trained.

What will happen? When you call to make an appointment, you will be matched with an employment specialist who is knowledgeable about your field. You may also receive additional advice and counsel from a volunteer mentor – someone who is currently working in or has retired from your field, and can provide firsthand information about expectations and responsibilities.

What you will get? Recommended next steps, including networking recommendations, companies in your field to research, referrals to English classes or re-training opportunities as appropriate, key exercises to practice, and a commitment stating what the Welcoming Center will do to help your career growth.

Networking and Business Skills Workshops

A critical and often under-practiced skill in rebuilding a career in the U.S. is networking. Networking means connecting with other professionals in your field or in the companies where you may want to work.

Who should use this service? Immigrant professionals who want to improve their skills in meeting and interacting with other professionals – whether fellow immigrants or native-born Americans. Workshops are open to people who are currently working as well as those who are looking for work.

What will happen? When you call our office to register, we will inform you of the next scheduled workshop. During these workshops, you will meet and talk with other jobseekers and working professionals, in your field and in others.

What you will get? An opportunity to practice your “small talk” skills and meet new people. A chance to use professional English and interact with others from a variety of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. An opportunity to meet other professionals in the field you want to enter.