Ukrainians Learn About Lincoln Manufacturing Jobs Under Streamlined Training Program | Local business news

Tuesday night’s event would have been like most of the dozens of other job fairs held each year in Lincoln if it weren’t for two things: the flags hung and the Ukrainian spoken in the room.

The Lincoln Manufacturing Council held a three-week course for Ukrainians who fled fighting in their country, and Tuesday was graduation night.







Manufacturing Career Fair 8.23

Representatives of local manufacturing companies meet with Ukrainian refugees who recently completed a simplified manufacturing course on Tuesday.


KENNETH FERRIERA, Newspaper Star


Chloe Higgins, Workforce Development Project Administrator for the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, said the courses are intended to teach basic skills to people with no previous manufacturing experience.

Classes are generally open to all members of the community, but the partnership decided to organize this one specifically for refugees from the war in Ukraine.

In addition to job skills, participants received dinner and free childcare, and they will also receive a $250 stipend for completing the course and applying for at least one job.

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The group of three men and nine women received their certificates for completing the course on Tuesday, but first they were able to chat with potential employers about the jobs they offer.

Representatives from Kawasaki, Garner Industries, Continental and TMCO answered questions about their pay, the benefits they offer, working conditions and English proficiency.







Manufacturing Career Fair 8.23

Bryan Seck, chief talent strategist at Kawasaki, talks to Ukrainian refugees who recently completed a streamlined manufacturing course. Kawasaki’s Eugene Korol (standing) acted as translator for the group.


KENNETH FERRIERA, Newspaper Star


The questions were all translated by Eugene Korol, general foreman of Kawasaki’s welding department.

Korol, who has worked at Kawasaki for 22 years, said the company has about 50 Ukrainian employees, most of whom came to Lincoln in the 1990s. But many have since retired, leaving only about 15. employees there now.

These people came to the United States voluntarily after Ukraine gained independence. Those who come here now are fleeing war as the country struggles to avoid Russian domination.

Alla Polishchuk has been in Lincoln for about three months. She came to the United States with her mother and brother, but her husband and two sons are still in Ukraine fighting in the war.

Polishchuk said she was grateful to the United States for taking her in and joined the manufacturing class because she “just wants to work and be productive.”

She graduated from college in Ukraine with a degree in cinematography and worked in film for many years, but the advent of the internet and cellphones meant that the industry fell on hard times at home. . After losing her job, she said she worked in factories.







Manufacturing Career Fair 8.23

Representatives of local manufacturing companies met on Tuesday with Ukrainian refugees who took a simplified course as an introduction for people considering a career in manufacturing.


KENNETH FERRIERA, Newspaper Star


Ivanna Kovalchuk came to Lincoln a few months ago to stay with her uncle and said she joined the class because she wanted to get involved in the community and make a difference.

Kovalchuk said she wanted to come to the United States even before the war and hopes to stay permanently, possibly in Lincoln, which she said she likes because it’s “pretty and quiet.”

Polishchuk, however, said she would like to return to Ukraine one day. For now, however, “I just want the war to end.”

After the graduation ceremony at the Asian Community Center, the group met with employers, including Bison Inc., to discuss opportunities.

Job offers won’t come right away, however, as all 12 class members are still awaiting their US work permits.

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Contact the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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