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Better Together

Help Skilled Refugees Boost Their Careers

Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services


Provide opportunities for skilled immigrants to attain licenses and certificates needed to secure long-term employment through this Better Together Project!

RAISED $720.00
GOAL $5,000.00

College-educated and skilled immigrants are a unique subset of the refugee population in central Ohio, but they are often excluded from the skilled job market because they cannot afford to pay for many career licenses and certificates that are a prerequisite for entry into numerous career fields.



Your support for this Better Together project will help these valuable members of our community secure professional licenses and certifications, enabling them to move out of unskilled, low-paying jobs and into long-term, sustainable employment.

“Licensing fees and other fees associated with occupational, academic, and career-related testing and registration are a perpetual obstacle for our professional, skilled, and semi-skilled refugee clients as they attempt to gain entry into jobs and occupations that will help lift them out of poverty.”


— Edward Haag, Professional Job Developer, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services

Typically forced to take on low-skilled and low paying jobs immediately after arriving in America, many immigrants continually struggle to find livable-wage jobs not only because they lack a diploma from an American college, but also because they lack the necessary (state mandated) career-related certifications and licenses that allow them to obtain better-paying, higher skilled employment.

I look forward to finishing the new work skills training program at ETSS.  I know the certification I obtain can help me get a better job and higher pay.” 


— Bhawani Khanal, Client, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services

Funds raised will help pay professional testing, registration, and college transcript evaluation fees to help skilled and semi-skilled immigrants and refugees obtain professional licenses and certifications.



While 41.2 percent of Franklin County foreign born residents have a college degree compared to 38 percent of native-born Ohioans, 18.7 percent of Ohio immigrants live in poverty compared to 14.4 percent of native-born Ohioans, according to a report from the Center for Population Dynamics, a research center within Cleveland State's College of Urban Affairs and HealthLandscape.



ABOUT ETSS: Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS) has been an active part of the Columbus community for many years, specializing in providing services to new arrivals from over 40 countries. It is unique in its ability to provide culturally appropriate services in both English and other languages for youth and adults.


Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services


Assist, integrate, and celebrate central Ohio’s immigrant and refugee population through education, services, and development opportunities.

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Better Together projects unite the community to support real-time needs, together. Whether this campaign falls short or exceeds its goal, all gifts will help skilled immigrants attain licenses and certificates to secure long-term employment.