IFC of Highlands to launch Career and Professional Development Center

The International Friendship Center (IFC) of Highlands, is launching a Career and Professional Development Center to help address the issues of unemployment and underemployment that have been exacerbated during the global pandemic and create serious challenges for the residents of Macon and surrounding counties. 

The service will link potential candidates with current job opportunities coupled with career coaching and mentoring to help candidates match their skills to the right job opportunities.

“The impact from COVID-19 on local immigrant families and other underserved households in our community as well as the impact to public health, the economy, and the education system has shed light on the need for additional training and access to jobs with fair pay to support the marginalized families in our communities,” said IFC Executive Director Taylor Ashley. “We envision this bi-lingual service to provide education and training focused on job-readiness, job retention, and financial literacy. This will be achieved through committed partnerships with regional entities including the Emergency Council, Literacy and Learning Center, Highlands Chamber of Commerce, Hudson Library, NC Works, and Southwestern Community College.”

Grants to develop and launch the program have been made available by Cullasaja Women’s Outreach, Nantahala Health Foundation, and Regions Bank. 

“We are grateful for these three generous gifts,” said IFC Chairman David Moore. “They will allow the IFC to develop this program to meet the employment needs of area business owners; retail operators, hospitality, golf and leisure organizations, and area construction and landscape companies while helping the people in our area who need and want to work.”

If you are a business leader in the area, please participate in either of two virtual focus groups to be held via Zoom at noon on Thursday, Nov. 12 at and at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

To sign up for this virtual meeting contact taylor@internationalfriendshipcenter.org. 

“We want to understand from our business leaders the recruitment and retention challenges they face as well as any immediate skills and/or training needs they can identify,” said Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center Director Kaye McHan.

This program aims to expand upon the current social and food services offered by the IFC to provide a path for our clients and their families toward a more secure, healthy, and fulfilling life.

About International Friendship Center

The IFC’s mission is to assist people experiencing hardship and to address concerns and challenges facing immigrants in our community by fostering understanding among all people, facilitating social and human services and providing nutrition to the needy through The Highlands Food Pantry.

For more information about the International Friendship Center click HERE.

Image at the top of the article courtesy of the International Friendship Center of Highlands

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