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Putting Job Seekers on a Path to Thrive

Every day in the Twin Cities, there are low-income job seekers who are eager for an opportunity to unlock their potential. To learn new skills, uncover hidden strengths, and contribute to our businesses and our community in meaningful ways.

For immigrants and refugees starting a new life in Minnesota support can be found through the Southeast Asian Refugee Community Home (SEARCH), a United Way partner who provides settlement and job training programs to improve the economic well-being of new Americans.

Job seeker getting trained in electronic soldering.

Starting over in a new place can be challenging. Learning a new language and adapting to a fast-paced culture and world of work are just a few of the barriers that new Americans face.

With these challenges in mind, SEARCH provides training programs with tailored support and a starting point for developing in-demand skills. Their training program in electronic soldering puts job seekers on a path to thrive. With certified technical training individuals can earn more than $16/hour with continued promotions available.


Through SEARCH, job seekers are connected to a comprehensive training in electronic soldering administered by a certified training site, TSC Connect LLC. The training certifies students in a rapid time-frame (only about 6-7 weeks) which means they can get out in the job market fast, earning an income to support their families and gaining valuable work experience.

Tieng Vang, instructor

“What we do here is we teach you a skill, and once you learn it that skill becomes yours, you own it,” said Tieng Vang, a certified instructor. “We find that once folks go through the program and know that they own a skill, they feel confident and comfortable with themselves when they go out to job interviews.”


Participants gain technical skills and industry knowledge, which include:

  • Setting up, operating and cleaning tools
  • How to read blueprints and follow technical instructions
  • Techniques for producing highly-detailed, highly-technical electronics

“Once they finish their certification here they’ll be able to solder just about anything on electronic products including circuit boards, computers, monitors, and products that go into airplanes,” said Vang.

To fully prepare students for the work environment, all equipment and work stations match what is found in the workplace. And after completing their certification, SEARCH helps individuals complete their resumes and prepare for interviews.

We caught up with some program participants to hear more about their experience. Here’s what they shared:

electronic soldering student, Keng


“The job training and certification I’m working towards here will open up new opportunities to provide for my family.”




electronic soldering student, Julie

“I’ve worked in different types of jobs and industries before. I enjoy learning new things, and this class has presented training that’s very new to me. It’s been a great experience.”




electronic soldering student, Mai


“I feel excited about my future.



When you donate to United Way’s work in jobs, you support over 20 high-quality programs helping job seekers on their path to thrive.

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