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Job Readiness Training Program for Immigrant/Refugee Youth and Families

The Seattle Human Services Department funds community-based organizations to provide job readiness and self-sufficiency training to English Language Learner (ELL) youth and their families. The program model was developed in response to community input voiced during Youth and Families Initiative public engagement efforts and HSDs community engagement focus groups.

The program utilizes a family-based approach to job readiness training by integrating parent education and support services and by coordinating with school-based services to help ELL youth overcome multiple barriers to school success, obtaining livable wage jobs and becoming self-sufficient. The program’s focus is on providing youth training along with parent education and support services critical to helping ELL youth stay engaged in school, gain skills and knowledge to be job ready, to navigate career pathways and postsecondary education options and to achieve financial self-sufficiency.  By including services for parents, parents can then begin to develop the skills and information to support, encourage and advocate on behalf of their youth as well as progress toward self-sufficiency.

Participants receive the following services and activities at the various HSD funded community-based organizations during the summer and academic school year:

Bilingual/Bicultural Youth Services

  • Stipend paid job readiness training and group project in summer
  • Case management for school engagement and academic support, career and post-secondary education planning
  • Visits to college campus, companies for higher education, job and career exploration
  • Educational and Cultural activities
  • Stipend paid spring work training

Bilingual/Bicultural Parent/Guardian Services

  • Parent education classes
  • Case management for school engagement support
  • Referral services

Joint Youth and Parent/Family Services

  • Training on family self-sufficiency/post-secondary education planning

Participant Eligibility and Applications

The program is restricted to serving a target population of youth and their families that meet the participant eligibility requirements specified below. This target population has a very low high school graduation rate (45.3% on-time graduation) in Seattle Public Schools (SPS) with few options for pathways that lead to livable wage jobs.

To be eligible to participate, participants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • English Learners Language (ELL) Immigrant/Refugee youth from families speaking one of the following nine most common languages currently spoken by ELL high school-age youth in Seattle Public Schools:
    • Amharic
    • Cambodian
    • Chinese
    • Filipino
    • Oromiffa
    • Somali
    • Spanish
    • Tigrinya
    • Vietnamese
  • ELL youth currently enrolled in a Seattle Public School and receiving ELL services
  • ELL youth from low-income families. Low-income families
  • ELL youth ages 15-20 years old
  • Parents and/or older relatives of youth

Applications are available at the offices of the funded agencies.

2013 Funded Agencies and Programs


For more information about this program and other Seattle Human Services Department-funded youth programs, call 206-386-1017 or e-mail

Seattle Human Services Department
Street address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 5800, Seattle, WA 98104
Mailing address: PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA 98124-4215

Phone: 206-386-1001
Fax: 206-233-5119
TTY/TTD: 206-233-2778

Accommodations for people with disabilities provided upon request.