Career help now available to Afghan refugees in Maine

Workforce Solutions recently received part of a $750,000 grant to support new immigrants from Afghanistan, by helping them find great jobs. In 2022, Maine welcomed over 500 new immigrants, including over 250 from Afghanistan and more arriving in 2023. New arrivals often have trouble finding jobs, don’t realize they are eligible to work, or just need help advancing beyond the survival jobs they got when settling in Maine. 

“It’s hard enough moving to a new country, let alone dealing with the pressure of finding a job. Many new immigrants don’t think they’re even eligible to get a job. This new Program will help them make a smooth transition into the workforce and into their chosen careers, getting them much closer to personal stability,” said Nadia Safi, Career Advisor with Goodwill’s workforce services. “Maine businesses need skilled workers. We’re happy to make those job matches.” 

The Maine Refugee Career Pathway program provides participants with the job training and education they need to help with career advancement in their chosen fields, or help them find new career paths. In addition, a career advisor from Workforce Solutions gives participants one-on-one career counseling and works with local Adult Education providers to develop and execute a Career Development Plan for each participant. 

English language proficiency instruction, foreign credential evaluation and American workplace culture and work-readiness classes are among the services provided under the Program. But participants often face additional barriers while they work toward their career goals. Some don’t have childcare or a car. The Maine Refugee Career Pathway program includes support with tuition, credential evaluation, costs for transportation and even childcare. 

“People come here with the skills Maine needs, like engineering or nursing, but they are unable to work in their fields because they aren’t credentialed in the U.S. So it’s up to us to assist with credentialing and also help employers see the value and experience in the potential employees we present them with,” said Nadia Safi, Career Advisor with Goodwill’s workforce services.

The Maine Refugee Career Pathway program will provide services to Afghans residing in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox, Waldo, Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford and Somerset Counties. The funds for the program are the result of a successful grant application by Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

For more information regarding eligibility and services visit or reach out to Nadia Safi at or (207) 930-7047.

Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI) is overseeing and managing the grant for the Coastal Counties region of Maine. Their service provider, Workforce Solutions (operated by Goodwill NNE) will perform the work.

A workforce services client fills out an application with their career advisor.
This Workforce Solutions client gets support from a Career Advisor. [For clarity: He is not part of the new Afghan program.]
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