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Ready to Work

In 2015, HomeSight launched a new innovative pilot program to address unmet needs of adult ESL students.

Ready to Work (RTW) is an innovative program that combines English Language proficiency, digital literacy and job skills development to prepare students to enter or advance in the workforce. Unlike more traditional English language programs, RTW teaches basic internet skills and directly connects students with potential employers. The 22 students who completed the program in its inaugural year (2015) were very low income and came from a broad range of Seattle’s immigrant communities including Ethiopian, Eritrean, Mexican, Vietnamese, Somalian, Chinese, Guatemalan, Thai, and Cambodian.

Download a flyer about RTW: Amharic / English / Somali / Spanish

Top 10 Learning Goals

  1. Increase understanding and use of English
  2. Develop career goals, job search skills and quality distinctions
  3. Develop a curiosity about and motivation to learn
  4. Cultivate a belief in self, build self-confidence and develop a unique voice
  5. Enhance communication, literacy, critical thinking and problem solving skills
  6. Learn how to learn: develop skills to prepare for ongoing education
  7. Make educated decisions based on background and abilities
  8. Identify a short term job and develop longer term goals
  9. Utilize “everyday” digital tools such as email, Skype and the internet
  10. Navigate financial systems: electronic banking, lowering debt, increasing credit score




Organizational Roles: Funded Partners

The Seattle Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs; HomeSight; Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS); Associate CBOs – East African Community Services, Ethiopian Community Services, Horn of Africa Services, El Centro De la Raza; RTI International; Literacywork International; Seattle Colleges (South and Central); Literacy Source.

Organizational Roles: Other Ready to Work Partners

Seattle Housing Authority; Seattle Goodwill; Neighborhood House & City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD); One America; Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance; Office of Economic Development (OED); Workforce Development Council (WDC); Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI); Port Jobs; Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges; City of Seattle Priority Hire Advisory Committee; City of Seattle Dept of Information Tech; Seattle Adult Literacy Coalition; Seattle Public Library; Seattle Parks Dept.

Cultivating Key Relationships with Potential Employers

Students in the Ready to Work program have visited the following businesses as part of their classes.

  • Airport Service: Airport Jobs
  • Apparel Manufacturing/Sewing: MUSES Fashion Conscious Studio (i.e. Filson)
  • Building Services: University of Washington and The Seattle Center
  • Construction Industry: Seattle Pre-Apprentice Programs and City of Seattle: Labor Equity Team (bridging to Pre-Apprenticeship)
  • Early Learning/Child Care: Child Care Resources and Seattle Colleges
  • Healthcare: Labor Management Partnerships (Acute Care, Long-Term and Home Care)
  • Retail: PCC Natural Markets and Nordstrom’s
  • Seattle College Higher Level ESL, Occupational ESL, and IBEST Programs
  • SJI Career Pathways and Goodwill Vocation Training Programs