SUNY Career Coaches for Refugees


What?  A workforce development initiative leveraging the career experience and professional expertise of SUNY faculty, staff and alumni to help refugees find jobs and achieve career objectives. 


Why? Many refugees have professional experience and skills sought by New York employers but lack credentials and professional networks.  New York State is a top destination for resettled refugees, recently received tens of thousands of Afghan and Ukrainian refugees as well as over 70,000 asylum seekers, mostly Venezuelans.  By helping refugees get jobs that utilize their skills, this initiative will reduce “brain waste” and contribute to economic development. 


Who?  SUNY’s 90,000 faculty and staff, as well three million alumni, include those who came to the US as refugees and adult immigrants and know what it takes to succeed in their fields as well as career development professionals and others who are able and willing to provide job search and career advice to refugees.


How?  A group of SUNY faculty and staff are building a database, website and social media presence to help recently arrived refugees:



Volunteers would initially meet refugees via Zoom and, if they develop a rapport with particular refugees, serve as “career coaches” on an ongoing basis.


For information about SUNY policies regarding in-state tuition for refugees, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs and free career training programs at SUNY Educational Opportunity Centers, see Resources for Refugees


For a selection of websites, articles, reports etc. about career pathways for refugees, career coaching, workforce development in New York State, etc., see the Career Coaches' Reading Room 






To join our organizational effort and/or volunteer to advise refugees, contact:  


Rey Koslowski  [email protected]