New Initiative Helps Immigrants Find Dream Careers In Tulsa

Saturday, January 9th 2021, 8:34 pm

TULSA, Okla. -

Flourish Tulsa is part of the New Tulsans Initiative.

The new program focuses on helping immigrants and refugees find jobs in the fields they studied in their native country.

The project creates career pathway guides for immigrants and trains employers on increasing immigrant recruitment.

Leticia Calvillo with the City of Tulsa said these resources can be crucial for those who come to Tulsa with a formal education. 

"We've often seen that immigrants are told that they have to start from zero,” Calvillo said. “That their education isn't valid here in the U.S., which is not true.”  

Martha Zapata, who came to Tulsa from Columbia, knows first-hand how hard it is to start from scratch.

When Zapata moved here in 1998, she didn't know her neighbors or English. 

“You have to lose so many things," Zapata said. "You have to give up so much in order to be here." 

In 2018, there were 55,000 immigrants living in Tulsa County alone, according to nonprofit research center The New American Economy.

The organization found that, in 2015, more than 21 percent of those immigrants have a Bachelor's degree or another higher level of education. 

Zapata said Flourish Tulsa is something she wishes she had in the past. These kinds of programs are going to help those who were lost feel like they've been found.

"These initiatives are really important for our city," Zapata said. "Because I think there a lot of immigrants in the shadows, and they don't realize that sometimes because we are not very visible sometimes.”

If you are an employer or service provider who want to know more on how you can support immigrants and refugees, we have more details here