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Denver launching Work Ready program to integrate new immigrants into labor force


DENVER — A new program will soon make it easier for new immigrants in Denver to get jobs.

The Denver City Council on Monday approved a $2,250,000 contract between the city and Centro de Los Trabajadores (Center for Workers) to build a pipeline that funnels talent into jobs experiencing significant labor shortages.

The new program, which is part of the Denver Asylum Seekers Program (DASP), will provide individuals on a path to work authorization access to education, training and employment opportunities city-wide.

Dauli Pagua immigrated to the U.S. from Colombia with his 8-year-old son, Emmanuel. The two attended the DASP registration at Mullen Home on Tuesday.

“I’m a single father. It’s not easy but we’re getting there,” Pagua said in Spanish. I would take any job.”

Myra Juárez-Denis, executive director for Centro de Los Trabajadores, said once new immigrants, like Pagua, are referred through the DASP, they will provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

“We’re very grateful that we’re going to be working with the city and that they trust in us with this task,” said Juárez-Denis. “Which is very good for the community, that this particular part of the program is run by a worker center, because we have the experience and all of the parts that a worker needs to be successful.”

Juárez-Denis said they will train people for jobs and educate them about their rights.

“It is very important that these workers gain the dignity of the work, and that includes knowing their rights, getting a good pay and having their rights protected, as well” she added.

The city said one of the requirements for the DASP program is that at least one adult per household must sign up for the Work Ready program.

Juárez-Denis said they will begin connecting with new immigrants in the upcoming weeks. It can take around six months to integrate them into the job force.

According to Denver Human Services, around 800 newcomers will be signed up for the Denver Asylum Seeker Program once registrations are complete.


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