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Hiring fair for new Afghan refugees coming to Tysons this week

Staff from the nonprofit Talent Beyond Boundaries helps an Afghan refugee create a job profile at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin (courtesy Operation Allies Welcome at Fort McCoy)

Several nonprofits dedicated to helpting refugees in the U.S. are joining forces to organize a job fair for new arrivals from Afghanistan who have resettled in Northern Virginia.

The hiring fair will take place at the Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center (7901 Tysons One Place) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (May 6-7).

More than 250 job seekers and approximately 25 employers are expected to participate in the event, according to Talent Beyond Boundaries, an international nonprofit that helps refugees and other displaced people find jobs.

“There is a substantial talent pool among Afghan new arrivals in the DMV area across sectors and yet many are still seeking employment opportunities that leverage their skills and backgrounds,” said Melissa Diamond, the lead for the organization’s Afghan Talent initiative.

Talent Beyond Boundaries partnered with fellow nonprofits React D.C., the Afghan Refugee Crisis Committee, and the Tent Partnership for Refugees to host the hiring fair. The event is being sponsored by Welcome.US, a national coalition that formed last year to organize support for refugees who fled Afghanistan in the wake of the U.S. military’s withdrawal from the country on Aug. 30.

An estimated 4,000 Afghan evacuees had been resettled in Virginia by the end of 2021, Inside NoVA reported in December. Between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2021, the state saw a total of 8,560 refugees from Afghanistan — by far the most of any country, according to Virginia Refugee Resettlement Program data.

While the Fairfax County government and community mobilized to assist the newcomers last year, many refugees across the D.C. area are still struggling to find stability, as federal aid runs out, donations dry up, and demand strains the staff and resources at resettlement agencies.

With finding a job among the top challenges facing refugees, resettlement agencies have turned to hiring fairs as a way to connect job seekers with potential employers. A job fair at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus earlier this spring drew more than 500 participants, according to DCist.

In addition to meeting employers in person, attendees at the upcoming hiring fair in Tysons will get assistance in creating profiles on Talent Beyond Boundaries’ Afghan Talent job-matching platform, Diamond says.

“Registering on the platform will allow their profiles to be seen by employers in the Afghan Talent network for consideration for job opportunities even beyond those available on the day of the hiring fair,” Diamond said.

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