Ukrainian refugees in Lincoln celebrate graduation from skills course

or months now, refugees from Ukraine have made their way to Lincoln to start a new life.
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 10:11 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - For months now, refugees from Ukraine have made their way to Lincoln to start a new life.

Part of that new life is getting back into the workforce and a program offered through the Lincoln Manufacturing Council is aimed at helping them get their foot in the door with jobs in the manufacturing industry.

The class, which celebrated its graduation Tuesday night, was offered and aimed at those Ukrainian refugees and was presented in their native language as well.

Tuesday night was capped off with certificates, photos, and a job fair featuring companies that offer this type of work in the area. The group celebrated the milestone of graduation just months after making the journey to America.

Many are also still learning English and spoke with 10/11 Now through the help of an interpreter.

Alla Polischuk got here just months ago and with the help of that interpreter told her reasoning for taking the class. She wants to have her own job and responsibilities in a factory setting, with a desire to work and be productive in society.

That course was split into six weeks of three-hour classes, where the group learned things like soft skills, looking at site plans and creating resumes. Those involved had similar jobs back in Ukraine.

“These individuals come from a wide variety of backgrounds we have some business owners, we have some that worked in manufacturing with professional certification, but now that they are starting over they need to find stability and a good paying job and benefits and this is gonna do that,” said Chloe Higgins with the Lincoln Partner for Economic Development.

Many of those who completed the course said that their time in the U.S. has so far been peaceful and they’re happy to call Lincoln home, but having a network of Ukrainians for the cultural aspect remains important.

Ivanna Kovalchuk expressed through the interpreter that her dream was always to come to the United States before the war broke out and since she’s come here she plans to stay.

Right now, it’s unclear how many Ukrainians are living in Lincoln, but those at the event said many are still in the process and for some, there are those left behind, like Alla, who has family like her mother in Lincoln, but explained through the interpreter that she’s left her husband and two sons behind who are fighting on the frontlines in Ukraine.

The graduation Tuesday also overlapped with Ukraine’s Flag Day and Wednesday is their Independence Day, something they said is even more important now.