Story by Chris Miller
Many of Akron’s resettled refugees were restricted from working during their time in the camps. Now that they’ve resettled, they’re excited to enter the workforce and form a sense of identity and independence, says Tiffany Stacy, regional manager of employment services for the International Institute of Akron (IIA).
“A lot of our clients come from situations where they were refugees in countries where they did not have the right to work, so for many years they couldn’t work; all they could do was live off the food rations they were given,” she adds. “That has an effect on people; it’s demoralizing. You don’t feel a sense of control over your own destiny. When people get here, they’re very excited to get a job, they’re excited to work for something, to have a purpose. They come alive, their demeanor often changes.”