Who we are
Partner in Employment(PIE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organisation that aims to address the challenges of employment among Washington foreign-born populations. Thanks to the hard work of our diverse faculty, and philanthropic efforts of our donors, we are able to create liveable wage employment opportunities for immigrants and refugees in Washington State.
PIE’s staff, board members, and volunteers, bring a deep understanding of the diverse needs of South King County’s new communities. By providing in-language, culturally-competent program designs that responsively support the goals of each client, we are able to build sustainable self-reliance in the immigrant and refugee community.
Partner In Employment (PIE) works to guarantee the long-term economic stability of newly arrived refugees and immigrants in King County (KC) by providing tailored assistance in language acquisition, housing stabilization, workforce entry, and job training in higher-wage industries.
How Our Model Eliminates Generational Poverty
Reducing long-term dependency and creating self-reliance is a process that starts at home, which is why we plan our direct assistance services around the cultural and familial needs of each client.
To do this our approach involves:
1) Leveraging both TANF (Transitional Assistance for Needy Families) and Non-TANF resources to achieve the goals of Work First and emerging communities.
2) Establishing peer and professionals mentoring activities and opportunities.
3) Collaborating with other agencies supporting employment for refugees and immigrants.
4) Engaging professional immigrants and refugees of all genders to participate and make input in the program development and evaluations
5) Contributing to community initiatives as and when needed.
6) PIE advocates for policy changes for services that eliminate poverty among refugee and immigrants communities.
7) Engages and energizes communities in systems changes.
8) PIE will implement a pilot project to demonstrate that community desired system changes and services are successful and fruitful for products consumers.
Fields where our clients are employed
2. Health Care
4.Sales and marketing
5. Social Services
7. Maintenance and Repair
8. Creative and Media
9. Airport Jobs
12. Data entry
Lois Schipper, Board Advisor:
Lois Schipper brings over 25 years of program management and services delivery expertise to her role as Board president of Partner In Employment. Her career includes direct services and program planning in developing nations in African and Asia as well as over 20 years of public health and community based work in the U.S.
Jonathan Weinstein, President/Treasurer:
Jonathan’s 30-year career has spanned for-profit business and non-profit projects in the United States and emerging markets. His business career in technology included senior roles at technology startups, Microsoft, and Apple Computer's software subsidiary Claris Corp. He pursued interests in global development and social enterprise joining Unitus in 2007, a leader in microfinance for the Indian market. He has spent years in Nicaragua where he lives part-time and helped found a triple bottom line housing business. Jonathan graduated Bachelor of Arts with honors from Brown University.
Laura Gardner, Secretary:
Laura has been a practicing architect for 25 years and owner/manager of GM Studio for the past 15 years. Working with a varied client base, she has delivered creative design solutions, managed budgets and construction teams. In addition to architectural work, her small business requires marketing, accounting and tax filing. Volunteering has included community advisory council member/president as well as a board member /fundraiser for Seattle Public Schools. Serving on the board of P.I.E. is a privilege to serve a broader community in the greater Seattle area.
Saido Alinur, Board Member:
Saido left for the border of Somalia and Kenya in the early 1990s with her family, where they spent three years in a refugee camp located in Mumbasa Kenya. In 1993 she came to the US, helping Somali families with interpretation, translation, filling out immigration papers and job applications in her free time, leading to her current work at Neighbourhood house as an Employment Specialist. She began her career as a case manager at African Mutual Assistance Association in St. Louis, Missouri from 2000 to 2003 which gave her the ambition to pursue social work. She has provided resources for the East African communities, held Women’s Support Groups to empower the ladies who were new to the country, and also did bookkeeping for the agency. She has since relocated to Seattle, WA with her family and feels blessed because her clients motivate her as much as she does for them.
Left to right: Abdul Tamim (Employment Practitioner, speaks Pashto, Dari, Farsi & English), Mohamed Abdirahman (Employment Practitioner, speaks Arabic, Somali, Swahili, & English), Susana Roman Ruiz (Community Economic Development Coordinator, speaks Spanish and English), Liz D'Angelo (Fiscal Specialist, speaks Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, & English), Hien Kieu (Chief Operating Officer, speaks Vietnamese, Cham, & English), Aisha Fandhe (Case Manager and Receptionist, speaks Somali and English), Amina Ahmed (Executive Director, speaks Somali, Swahili, and English), Rother Rashid (Youth and Family Homeless Prevention Initiative Coordinator, speaks Somali, Swahili, & English).
“ My name is Ngun Kung, I came to the U.S. five years ago as a refugee from Burma. I worked as a construction worker in Malaysia for many years, but here in America, I couldn’t do the same because everywhere I go to apply for a job they asked for my certificate in this training or that training, which I don’t have. I found Partner in Employment recently and they immediately connected me with a short-term training that would allow me to work in construction upon completion making over $26 per hour plus full benefit.”
Ngun Kung, from Burma
“ I am a mother of two children. I was a construction worker back in my home country. I’m so thankful that Partner in Employment has connected me with construction trainings here in the United States, which will allow me the opportunity to earn high paying wage in construction and to be able to make a difference for me and my family.”
Jeanne Ndayisenga, from Burundi
“ I currently work in construction, but it doesn’t pay as much as I’d desire. Partner in Employment introduced to me an opportunity to earn higher wage, which I greatly need to adequately support my family.”
Ahmed AlBaidari, from Iraq
“ I am a refugee from Somalia and have been in the U.S. for less than five years. I have been working, but the job pays minimal. Partner in Employment helped me to obtain a training that will lead me to earn high wage. On behalf of me and my family, we are very happy for this opportunity.”
Mahad Ahmed, from Somalia
“ I have been working multiple short-term jobs and Partner in Employment helped me find a career, not just a job.”
Junior Biayi, from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Meet Amina Hassen,
A Refugee and a Mother from Ethiopia
Amina Hassen arrived confused and anxious to Seattle Washington on May 6th 2016 as a refugee from Ethiopia. Knowing that this was the best option to improve her and her family’s life she left the refugee camp in Ethiopia and left behind her family. Ever since stepping feet in the US, Amina has experienced change and instability. She came across Partner in Employment (PIE) through her roommate, who shared positive experience with the staff and encouraged Amina to enroll into PIE’s ESL and employment program. Soon after the suggestion, Amina became a client.
Amina enrolled into PIE’s ESL class starting at level one. Each week she was slowly starting to improve in her English skills. In three short months she moved from level one to level two (an increase in all four skills: Speaking, Listening, Reading & Writing). Amina says that what helped her in her learning journey was that one of the instructors spoke her language and came from the same culture. She felt comfortable in asking questions about the English language and the American culture. This positive engaging atmosphere encouraged her to be a productive student.
“PIE’s Case Manager helped me with interpretation with employer, getting health insurance and learning English. After a while I realized that for the most part I was able to communicate for myself. The Case Manager helped me navigator the area, telling me where the busses are, and what bus routes take me to the places I usually go to. Once I was enrolled into the job search I got a job and was able to pay all my bills. I still work at the same job I was placed at and now I feel more stable.”
Initially Amina was living with her relative free of charge; however, as soon as she started working she started paying her share of the rent and bills. She is now also able to pay for the school fees for her four children who are still in the refugee camp in Ethiopia. As a mother, she can now feel a little relieved and peace of mind knowing that she can provide for her children’s needs.
I am a single father. Last year my daughter came from Ethiopia to live with me, but I had lost my job and was struggling to pay rent. For a while I had no income at all, and we were almost homeless.
As a parent I was scared because I didn’t know how we were going to survive, but luckily my community helped me get in contact with a case manager at Partner in Employment who could speak my language.
I am so thankful for the great help and security that I've received from PIE - it has been a turning point for the success of my family.
PIE paid my rent for two months, and also got me enrolled in an aerospace manufacturing program which I just completed, and now they’re helping me with my resume so that I can get a job which will let me support my family. PIE also enrolled my daughter in their youth mentorship program so that she will continue to be successful in school, and get life success mentorship from someone who understands our culture and speaks our language.
Training and Education
Train and Educate nearly 150 individuals on skills for successful employment and labor law to protect refugees and immigrants from employment violation