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Immigreat Lancaster is a nonprofit helping employers integrate the unique brilliance of refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants into their organizations.
The idea for Immigreat Lancaster originated when a large company asked psychologist Dr. Ryan Kuehner to use his private practice to support the nearly 200 refugee employees who were struggling within the organization.
“We developed a plan for my private practice clinicians to go in and assess giftedness, career path, and values in a culturally sensitive manner,” Ryan shared.
The plan was to walk alongside these employees and partner with Church World Services to find places in the company where their gifts could be used to make an impact, but the program stopped abruptly when the company underwent mass layoffs.
Even with the loss of this client, Ryan couldn’t shake the idea and founded Immigreat Lancaster to help other organizations experiencing the same need.
Working with his Board of Directors, Ryan develops partnerships with local business owners as well as organizations like Church World Services, CareerLink, and local nonprofits who are leading the way in the mental health space to provide refugees with a network of resources and support. When an employer signs an agreement with Immigreat and a refugee employee is onboarded into the program, a translator accompanies them during their first meeting to explain the services being provided.
“The translators assure them that they are here to help, explaining, ‘We know you know you have gifts and talents and you’re working hard for your family, but we want to see if we can use your gifts even more,’” Ryan said. “There are tears (on both sides) when they grasp that. It’s beautiful.”
Ryan hopes the services offered through Immigreat will save companies money and help them with productivity and retention. More than anything, it will help employees better use their talent, giftings, and intelligence—eliminating brain waste.
To learn more about how you can support Immigreat Lancaster, visit immigreatlancaster.com.