For Omega Thompson and his family, refuge in the United States meant the ability to reunite after years of separation.
Omega was born in the coastal country of Liberia, in West Africa. He doesn’t remember the passing of his father at a very young age, nor the bloody civil war that killed more than 200,000 Liberian natives in a seven-year span.
Fearing for their lives, his mom moved the family to the neighboring country of Ivory Coast, where they settled in the port city of San-Pedro. Omega fondly remembers this time, when he says he made many friends, who became like family.
When Omega was 17, his mom left him in the care of his four older brothers, to try her luck at life in the United States, as a refugee. Met with promising opportunities, she eventually applied for family reunification, a program available to the children, spouse or parents of refugees who have been resettled.
In 2008, Omega and two of his older brothers were approved, and left the Ivory Coast to pursue a new future in the United States. They reunited with their mom in the small town of Clarkston, Georgia, a popular hub for refugees in the state.
When asked about the transition, Omega says, “It was difficult, but not too difficult,” adding that his fluency in English has been his biggest asset. Through the help of World Relief, the brothers were able to secure jobs and move into an apartment together.
After working at several jobs, in the U.S., Omega was looking for a good opportunity to grow his skills and move up in a company. While working the overnight at a local bakery, a friend told him about a local business helping refugees find good work. Intrigued, Omega immediately called and set up an appointment to learn more.
He met with Amplio employee, Stephen Assink, a company new-hire with a passion for connecting local companies with dependable refugees. After completing his application, Omega left hopeful for a job that would utilize his talents and help him achieve the independence he longed for.
Soon after, Omega received the phone call he’d been waiting for—a warehouse position had opened at a local hair and beauty product manufacturer, House of Cheatham.
“Stephen said, ‘If you want to do it, I can text you the address and start tomorrow,’” he shares, “So I said, ‘Okay!’”
Omega went to the Amplio office where they equipped him with the protective shoes and clothing required for the job. After catching a ride with a friend, Omega started the next day, stacking boxes in the warehouse.
“That was a Thursday,” he remembers, “On Monday I went back and was promoted to another department.”
A company challenged by the current labor shortage, Omega’s supervisor recognized his unprecedented work ethic and moved him to a department known as “the compound”, where product is mixed and held in large tanks. Within days of starting he received a $3/hour raise and an increase in hours.
Pride rings in his voice as he praises the company he so loves working for. “I enjoy everything,” he says, “We laugh all day. The department I work in is like a family.”
He says the job has grown him, and given him the ability to become independent; a significant triumph since Omega has plans to marry the love of his life next month.
But he is most thankful for the ongoing support from Amplio. Mainly Stephen, who checks in on him regularly.
“He helped me a whole lot. Every day he would call over and check on me,” he shares. “Most [staffing] companies only care if you are showing up to work, but he checks on me all the time to see how I’m doing.”
Omega tries to “pay it forward by” helping other refugees, translating and telling them about Amplio. “They really need help,” he says, “It’s really difficult for refugees that come to this country and don’t speak or understand English. If there’s any assistance you can offer these people, it would be very awesome.”
Thanks to House of Cheatham, and their partnership with Amplio, Omega and other refugees are able to experience career success, dignity, and the ability to provide for their families. And because of the dependable and driven individuals that make up the refugee workforce, companies like House of Cheatham are experiencing a significant increase in productivity.
Amplio is the only staffing company connecting you with the legal and motivated refugee workforce. We would love to tell you about our distinctive services and the benefits of hiring from this untapped labor pool.
Visit our website to learn more at www.ampliorecruiting.com or give us a call today.