March 22, 2023

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A workplace safety training took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Western Safety Institute Training Center in to help nine Afghanistan refugees and other young adults prepare to join the workforce. 
Students learned a variety of safety and job readiness skills to help them prepare for their future careers. The North State Building Industry Foundation along with the Health and Education Council partnered to make the two-week training event happen.
“We’ve brought in over 31 students to experience safety training, harness fall protection, first aid and CPR. We’ve been working with them for over two weeks now,” said La Vonnia De Loach-Haggerty, director of Workforce Programs at North State Building Industry Association Foundation. 
“Each of the kids in our program are getting $500 stipend. They’re earning while they’re learning,” said Martin Ross, deputy director of External Affairs & Partnerships and Workforce Development for the Health and Education Council. 
Students also got hands-on experience with a forklift and learned how to descend into a manhole, crawl through narrow underground pipes and build scaffolding. 
“In this program, I want to learn about construction and everything and think it’s a good program,” said student Mohammad Karimy.
The training comes a year after the Taliban’s resurgence in Afghanistan, which led many people to flee their country and seek refuge in the U.S.
“It’s so hard to find a job right now in Afghanistan. It’s a very bad situation right now in Afghanistan,” said student Najia Karimy. 
With a new life in Sacramento, the refugees in the program are walking away with valuable knowledge and skills and hope to put them to good use in the near future. 
“I’m here to learn how to be successful in life,” Karimy said. 
Afghan refugees in Sacramento: One year after U.S. withdraw
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