Back to Articles

Duncan Aviation hosts career fair for refugees

Duncan Aviation recently hosted a career fair tailored for local refugees with legal status to work in the U.S. and by doing so, are stepping up to the Prosper Lincoln agenda focus on Employment Skills.

Refugees are men and women who have escaped religious, ethnic or political persecution in their homelands and are welcomed by the U. S. Department of State. They arrive with their legal status intact and are ready to work.  Contrary to negative stereotypes, refugees are often skilled, capable and resilient individuals, who hold qualifications and practical experience across various areas of work. 

The career fair event was spurred from an interest to learn more about the skills and experiences of a currently untapped talent pool. Bryan Seck, one of Prosper Lincoln’s Employment Skills Developers, connected Duncan Aviation with agencies that serve refugees.

“As with every hire, we hire qualified candidates who are competitive for an open position and speak/write the required level of English,” says Leon Holloway, Human Resources Manager at Duncan Aviation. 

Refugees who are not fluent in English learn the language by enrolling in (ESL) English Second Language classes at one of the partnering organizations including: Good Neighbor Community Center, Lutheran Family Services, Center for People in Need and Lincoln Literacy or at Southeast Community College soon after arrival and progress quickly as they learn from those around them. It is not uncommon to meet a refugee who speaks two or more other languages while also learning English—a clear demonstration of their capacity to take on new challenges and learn new languages. 

Several Duncan Aviation departments hosted booths at the career fair including Facilities and Custodial Services, Material Services/Warehouse, Aircraft Interior Modifications, and Airframe Maintenance to expose jobseekers to a variety of career opportunities at the company.  The event was very successful with approximately 40 job seekers and case managers attending throughout the day. 

 “A common misconception is applicants must have previous experience working on airplanes, or have an advanced degree in Aerospace Engineering.,” said Jennifer Monroe, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist.  “That is not necessarily the case. Although we did meet a number of talented Engineers during this process, which is definitely a bonus!"  

Positions are available that require little previous experience and provide on-the-job training.

Learn more about open positions hiring now. https://www.duncanaviation.aero/careers/

Is your business hiring? Interested in hosting a similar event? Contact Josh Redfield (Joshua.redfield@nebraska.gov) of EmployLNK. EmployLNK is the new name of the Lincoln Business Task Force which continues to bring together workforce development agencies as they connect employers with job seekers.

Quotes From Our Supporters

Prosper Lincoln is one of the most exciting community engagement and community-building efforts happening in the country.  It’s a real model!

Dan Cramer, Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions, St. Paul, MN

Prosper Lincoln will not only benefit all of your kids and your community; it is also a model for similar efforts around the country, thanks to the leadership of LCF.

Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Founder Community Foundation Opportunity Network; Concord, NH

Communities across the US are searching for innovative initiatives to improve economic opportunity and mobility.  We can all learn from the amazing work of Prosper Lincoln!

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Prosper Lincoln is breaking new ground in economic revitalization without displacement.

Ellen Shepard, CEO, Allies, Chicago, IL

To see an entire community come together to ensure all Lincoln residents are successful is very inspirational.  Congratulations!

Nancy Van Milligen, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA

In my regional and national work in community development this is one of the most unique and exciting strategies for true change I have seen!

Del Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha, NE

Bringing together a multi-sector group of committed Lincoln residents will support prosperity for all.  Congratulations on this excellent collaboration.

Holly C. Sampson, President, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth, MN

Diverse voices from across Lincoln came together so that current and future generations can thrive. This is no small feat, and it’s inspiring to see that collective vision inch closer to fruition. You can consider yourselves a model for other communities starting to embark on this work.

Megan Powers, International Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation Minneapolis, MN

There is no better example of the power of convening than Prosper Lincoln! Bringing together members of the community from all walks of life to enrich the City is inspiring.

Regine Webster, Vice President Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is creating a national model for building vibrant, equitable and resilient communities.  Systems thinking + the right resources!

Sandy Wiggins, Chair, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is an important approach to solving community problems. By bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, government and faith organizations, they are bridging divides, building connections, and sparking opportunities in way that shows true community engagement.

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations

This is one of the most impressive community focus efforts I have seen. You are making considerable progress!

Cynthia Hardin Milligan, Trustee and former Chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

Lincoln is one of a few cities across America where citizens and leaders from across different sectors have come together to tackle their community’s most complex challenges. Your ability to already show results and persevere is inspiring.

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, Washington, DC

Solving tough national problems like the opportunity gap begins locally, and Prosper Lincoln is leading the way.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy and author, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

There is nothing more powerful in securing a community’s long-term health than evolving a shared vision through community engagement. Congratulations!

Rip Rapson, President, The Kresge Foundation, Detroit, MI