Mohamad Alkenss arrived alone to Louisville in May 2015, a couple months after his 21st birthday and almost three years after registering with the United Nations as a refugee. In 2012, he and his family fled Syria for Jordan. Old enough to be on his own “case”, he was scheduled to fly alone to the U.S. His family, including his mother, father, sister, and two brothers, stayed in Jordan to await their travel plans.
While he was in Jordan, he finished high school, began interior design studies, and worked in sales. Soon after landing in Louisville, Mohamad started looking for work because he said he wanted to help support his family when they arrived. Once he obtained his employment documentation, he regularly met with job developers to create a resume and practice interviewing. When he heard from KRM’s employment team about an opening for an assembly line associate, he was eager to apply. The company had never before hired refugees through KRM, yet they were interested in meeting Mohamad because of his background and experience using AutoCAD (computer-aided design) software.
Less than two months after arriving to Louisville, Mohamad passed all of the company’s pre-employment assessments, earned an interview, and started his new job at Integrated Manufacturing and Assembly (IMA), assembling automotive seats and seat structures for Corvette and Mercedes vehicles. The following week, Mohamad reunited with his family when they arrived in Louisville, and now they are all living under one roof again.
Mohamad has been working full-time for almost two months now. IMA has agreed to pay for a portion of his education and now also welcomes referrals for other refugee applicants. On behalf of Mohamad and his family, Kentucky Refugee Ministries thanks IMA, including Brent Roth and Stacey Walker, for an employment partnership that supports refugees who are seeking self-sufficiency in a new home.