Written by: Ellie McDermott, World Relief Seattle Employment Specialist
In 2005, Eranda started working at Global Venture, a labeling company in Kent, WA, with limited English skills.
Eight years later, Eranda has moved through the ranks from positions such as packager, rewinder, small press machine operator, and large machine operator, and is now what Hakim Merchant, owner of Global Venture, calls, “one of my best press guys.”
Eranda came to America as an asylum seeker in 2005. When the United States government granted him asylum, he was connected to the World Relief Employment Program. Within two months, he was hired by Global Venture as a packager and has since flourished in the company.
At first, Eranda reflects, it was difficult for him to communicate at his new workplace because he didn’t speak English very well. After a couple of months, though, he felt comfortable in his job at Global Venture. He says he likes working at Global Venture because he has had the opportunity to learn new skills. He plans to stay with the company for a long time.
As a partner with World Relief Employment Services for over 10 years, Merchant loves providing opportunities for refugees and asylees. Throughout the past seven years, he has watched Eranda move from a minimum wage position to a well-paying salary, from a limited-English speaker to a proficient English speaker, and from a trainee to a trainer. According to Merchant, “it’s been a very gratifying experience hiring people from World Relief.”
Walking through the production floor at Global Venture is like taking giant steps around the globe. In the front conference room, Merchant displays flags from each employee’s original country. Based on the number of flags displayed, you need more than two hands to count the countries represented at Global Venture. The collection of flags is ever-growing as Merchant continues to employ people from around the world – capitalizing on the opportunity to create an environment of mutual-learning and growth.
Eranda is just one example of how Global Venture provides opportunities for employees to make tremendous growth. From a limited-English speaker to a machine operator, Eranda certainly has grown in his time at Global Venture!