Ni Doh Shee resettled to the U.S. with his family in 2011. They lived in Massachusetts for four months and then moved to Minnesota. He began attending school in St. Paul, and in June 2017 he graduated from Washington Technology Magnet School.
Before graduation, Employment Counselor Nilwin Tint visited his school to share an opportunity for warehouse training over the summer. Being an avid learner, Ni Doh Shee signed up.
“I want to learn new things and it will be helpful for me in the future,” said Ni Doh Shee. “I am interested in working at a warehouse someday.”
In the fall, Ni Doh Shee plans to attend Dunwoody College of Technology to study to be an auto mechanic. However, he said that the skills he has been learning in the training are applicable to his future career goals.
The warehouse training that Nilwin Tint has been coordinating is part of KOM’s Next Step program, which is funded by DEED’s (Department of Employment and Economic Development) Southeast Asian Grant. The training launched on June 19, three months after Nilwin Tint started working at KOM.
Leading up to the training, he worked on program design and recruitment. He posted flyers in apartment complexes where a large concentration of Karen families live and presented about the program at high schools in St. Paul.
“I recruited students who weren’t sure what they wanted to do after high school, but had an interest in working in a warehouse,” said Nilwin Tint. “My goal is to give them free hands-on training and credentials they can use in the future.”
Nilwin Tint enrolled 18 students in the training who are split into two classes: a morning class at Fairview Community Center four days per week and one evening class at KOM’s office three days per week. The students in the classes are Karen, Hmong, and Hispanic.
The first two weeks of the class were focused on ABE (Adult Basic Education) and ESL (English as a Second Language). KOM partnered with Roseville ABE for this part of the training to help students build their English vocabulary and math skills before moving into the warehouse training.
The core part of the class, lasting four weeks, is focused on general warehouse training. An instructor from Resource, Inc. teaches the class and Nilwin Tint provides classroom support to the students. The curriculum includes basic math, OSHA 10 safety, forklift safety training, and operation.
Although a majority of the training is in the classroom, Nilwin Tint set up one day for a hands-on training at Saint Paul College. On this day, students will learn how to operate a forklift.
Upon completion of the training, students take a test and receive a certificate if they pass. The warehouse training can be applied to a number of career fields, including construction, heavy machinery operation, manufacturing, and more. Or, like Ni Doh Shee, it can be applied to a career as an auto mechanic.
“This class is helpful to everyone,” said Ni Doh Shee. “It’s free and you can learn new skills to get a good-paying job. I hope more students will take it in the future.”