OC Tanner Joins Forces with Refugee Education Initiative

Salt Lake City—O.C. Tanner announced Friday it will support an initiative to help young adult refugees in Utah make a successful transition from the university environment to full-time employment. The company will do so through a position created to support One Refugee, a new organization that builds upon the four years of experience of The Refugee Education Initiative.

The partnership was formalized at the organization’s One Refugee Conference 2017, which was hosted at O.C. Tanner.

Supporting refugees has always been a special focus at O.C. Tanner and the company has been an employer of refugees for decades. Through the One Refugee Education Initiative and the One Refugee Careers Initiative, One Refugee provides a holistic experience to help refugees in Utah from the beginning of their higher education journey to successfully landing a valued position at a good company.

One Refugee Education Initiative

One Refugee builds upon The Refugee Education Initiative, which was created in January 2014 to provide education for refugee students throughout college, and is supported and funded by Roger Boyer. Since its founding, One Refugee has graduated 101 students from its program and currently supports 190 students throughout higher education institutions in Utah.

One Refugee Careers Initiative

One Refugee has also created a new program called the One Refugee Careers Initiative, funded and supported by O.C. Tanner. The program will match refugees with potential employers from a network of organizations across the state and in a number of industries.

O.C. Tanner is endowing a full-time, in-house role to lead this initiative. Selma Mlikota of O.C. Tanner has been appointed to this newly created position, Manager, One Refugee Careers.

Through One Refugee Careers Initiative, Mlikota, who was once a refugee, will coach and train budding young professionals who have gone through One Refugee’s Refugee Education Initiative program. She will also develop a community of employers at the CEO level to prepare organizations throughout Utah to hire refugees.

“O.C. Tanner has always been devoted to helping refugees in our community not only get by, but thrive. This is particularly true for the young adult refugees in Utah,” said O.C. Tanner President and CEO Dave Petersen. “We’re thrilled to be creating the One Refugee Careers Initiative and appointing Selma as its head to help young refugees in Utah make a successful transition from the university environment to full-time career employment. As these former refugees exit the university setting, it’s critical that we give them the tools to be successful over the long-term and fully integrate into the community, and our mission is just that.”

“The young, single refugee population has a huge need for more resources to help them through their initial career moves,” said Raymon Burton, executive director of One Refugee. “We’re excited to be working with O.C. Tanner to do more to help these refugee students secure good employment with a strong career track through One Refugee Careers Initiative. With O.C. Tanner and the specific contributions of Selma, we’ll come closer to achieving long-term prosperity for these refugees.”

One Refugee’s new title and the One Refugee Careers Initiative were announced at One Refugee Conference 2017, One Refugee’s fourth annual conference attended by 200 student refugees within the One Refugee program. This conference provided One Refugee scholarship recipients with expert tips on cultivating employable skills and becoming a prime job candidate through keynotes by O.C. Tanner leaders and other Utah business influencers. Speakers included Mindi Cox, SVP of people and great work at O.C. Tanner; Gary Peterson, EVP of supply chain and products; and Kevin Ames, director of O.C. Tanner Institute speaking and training.

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