It’s likely when you first read the title you assumed the other language found at MWCold is Spanish. And while you might not be wrong for some warehouses, that isn’t the case for ours. Would you like to make another guess?
A year after the end of the war on terror, many refugees have resettled in Indiana, and they need jobs to help contribute to our community and provide for their families. With our own ties to Afghanistan at MWCold, we knew they’d fit right in. Here’s how:
There Are a Lot of Refugees in Need
Nearly 800 Afghan evacuees have resettled in Indiana, according to the Indiana State Department. In many cases, these are individuals who worked to provide intelligence and resources to American troops during the war and were relocated with their families to the U.S. for their safety. But now they need new jobs, housing, and opportunities locally—something quite difficult to rebuild from scratch when you don’t know the local language or customs.
MWCold knows this in part because we have team members with experience. Our CEO Tim Siddiq and Business Development Manager Sharif Siddiq carry on their grandfather Howard D. Foley’s legacy on their mother’s side, but their father was Mir Siddiq, who met their mother while pursuing a doctorate in education at Indiana University. Eventually, they moved to Mir’s home country of Afghanistan, where he worked as the Minister of Education. But they were forced to move back to Indiana in 1978 at the dawn of the Saur Revolution.
These experiences make MWCold uniquely qualified to help create opportunities not only by knowing the language these refugees speak but also by knowing what it takes to build a life in the U.S. including taking the first steps to learn English.
It Doesn’t Hamper Communication or Production
As you can probably already tell from our story, MWCold is a family affair, and we have enough family that speaks Dari to quickly and easily close any language barriers an evacuee might have. Repeating instructions in English and Dari creates a quick opportunity to build the language skills they need to integrate into American society.
At MWCold, we’re big believers that good communication is frequent, functional, and fun (or at least friendly). And what could be more friendly or functional than providing instruction to a new member of the community in their native tongue? Only creating more opportunities to learn English.
It Helps Us Overcome Warehouse Labor Shortages
Remember when shipping timelines were impacted by the supply chain labor shortage? Well, providing opportunities to Dari speakers has opened our recruitment to a whole new community when we’re in need of expanding our team. It’s a win-win-win for the company, the community, and our clients, who don’t have to worry about long lead times.
Our Non-English Speakers Are Highly Qualified
According to Conexus, 77 percent of hires for manufacturing and logistics in Indiana have an education requirement of a GED or equivalent. And while very few of our Dari speakers are educated in the U.S. to have a GED, many have significantly more education from their mother country. We can train a team member how to operate a forklift, but the qualities that we can’t teach are professionalism and respect, two of the MWCold guiding values. And each and every non-native speaker we hire carries them both.
Building a Community of Joy Matters
Ultimately, MWCold is a place of business, but it’s one that we’re shaping to be a community as well. Tim and Sharif have the ability to recreate a small piece of their childhood by working with refugees and honoring the nearly 30 members of their family who fled Afghanistan while keeping an eye on the more than 60 still there today. Not only that, they can open the doors to opportunities for other refugees from across the globe to support what they help create in a way that their team and clients love to be part of.
Today, there are 12 Afghan evacuees employed by MWCold as well as a diverse group of employees from elsewhere in the world. This team gives back to the community, but it’s a great business decision as well and creates new opportunities for our clients. To learn more about how you can be part of our community, reach out to our team.