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13.2 Serving People with Refugee/Humanitarian Parolee/Asylee Status

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13.2.1 Overview

Effective date: October 1, 2022

WIOA Title I programs are available to individuals who are authorized to work in the United States, have registered for Selective Service, when required, and otherwise meet programmatic eligibility requirements in the Adult, Dislocated Worker, or Youth programs. This includes populations of lawfully admitted refugees, asylees, humanitarian parolees, and other immigrants.1 These populations may face unique workforce-related challenges including limited English language proficiency, the need for U.S.-based licenses and certifications related to a particular occupation, the lack of established professional networks, and mental health concerns inherent in experiencing recent traumatic events.2

Wisconsin's Department of Children and Families (DCF) coordinates refugee resettlement activities in Wisconsin through a network of Resettlement Agencies, Wisconsin Works (W2) agencies, and local task forces.3 Each of these agencies has employment-focused staff who work directly with refugee arrivals. Local Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) and their WIOA Title I service providers may be able to supplement these employment-related activities through the provision of Title I services and/or through referrals to other one-stop partners.


  • 1 WIOA Sec. 188(a)(5); 29 CFR § 38.11
  • 2 "Update on Afghans Resettling in Wisconsin and their Employment Potential" webinar hosted by Wisconsin Department of Children and Families on December 9, 2021; "Update Discussion on Afghan and Refugee Arrivals and Their Workforce Potential" webinar hosted by Wisconsin Department of Children and Families on February 24, 2022; "Town Hall: Career Support for Afghan Professional Job Seekers" webinar hosted by National Association of Workforce Boards on February 15, 2022.
  • 3 https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/refugee/about; "Update on Afghans Resettling in Wisconsin and their Employment Potential" webinar hosted by Wisconsin Department of Children and Families on December 9, 2021; "Update Discussion on Afghan and Refugee Arrivals and Their Workforce Potential" webinar hosted by Wisconsin Department of Children and Families on February 24, 2022.

13.2.2 Service Delivery

Effective date: October 1, 2022

Individuals with refugee, asylee, or humanitarian parolee status must be allowed to apply using the local WDB's standard eligibility process. See WIOA Title I Application Guidance. Local WDBs and/or their service providers must take reasonable steps to provide translation services and implement other practices to ensure meaningful equal opportunity access to programs.1

Once an individual is determined eligible for a WIOA Title I program, there is no restriction on the frequency or types of services that can be provided.2 As is the case with serving any program participant, the local WDB and its service provider(s) must follow all state and local policies, including any limitations addressed in them.

Many refugees who have been relocated by a resettlement agency to a permanent or semi-permanent residence may have been placed in employment unrelated to their past employment history, educational achievement, and/or their desired industry or occupation. In evaluating the training criteria outlined in 8.5.1, career planners may consider the individual's likelihood to retain their current employment as compared to their previous occupation, as well as their knowledge, skills, and abilities. DWD-DET also requires career planners to consider the wages the individual earned prior to relocation to the United States, converted to U.S. dollars, to determine whether they are likely to obtain employment leading to wages comparable to or higher than wages from previous employment. Training services, and other licensing/certification assistance, may be appropriate for these individuals even if they are currently employed in an occupation leading to economic self-sufficiency.

Supportive services should be provided consistent with section 8.6 of this manual. Career planners must make reasonable efforts to coordinate these services with other relevant entities to ensure that supportive services are not available through other means3 and that services are not duplicated. DWD-DET strongly encourages local WDBs to review their local supportive policies to determine whether, and if so, how, they should be adapted to better address participants facing the unique circumstances outlined in this policy.


13.2.3 Documentation

Effective date: October 1, 2022

All documentation requirements outlined in Chapter 12 of this manual apply. Individuals who enter the U.S. with refugee, asylee, or humanitarian parolee status receive authorization to work upon entry into the country and should have access to an Employment Authorization Document (USCIS Form I-766) or other documentation from list A of the USCIS I-9 form demonstrating authorization to work.


13.2.4 Nondiscrimination, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Outreach

Effective date: October 1, 2022

All nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements outlined in Chapter 5 of this manual apply. Federal regulations require that local WDBs and their service providers provide affirmative outreach to members of "protected groups," including persons of different natural origins and persons with limited English Language Proficiency. DWD-DET strongly encourages local WDBs to employ the outreach efforts outlined in Chapter 5.5.




Refugee

Effective date: TBD

Under United States law a refugee is someone who:

  • Is located outside of the United States
  • Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
  • Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
  • Is not firmly resettled in another country
  • Is admissible to the United States

A refugee does not include anyone who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Immigration and Nationality Act Sec. 101(a)(42)

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