Refugees resettled in chicago help make its most famous cheesecake _ kucb

“People who come as refugees have great skills,” says Marc Schulman, the president of Eli’s Cheesecake, which has sold cheesecakes and other baked desserts since 1980. Decoration home 2013 One-third of adult refugees arriving in the U.S. Home decorating tips for renters have college degrees, according to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., a think tank that tracks the movement of people worldwide. Home decorating ideas bathroom makeover And refugee employment is a successful model for finding skilled workers for a food business that has become high tech, says Schulman.

A cheesecake at Eli’s is still based on the simple recipe of the founder, the late Eli Schulman, Schulman’s father, who served his famous confections to political leaders and Hollywood stars. Home decorating ideas for christmas photos Marc Schulman wears the Cartier watch that Frank Sinatra — a regular customer — sent his father in 1987. Home decoration pics This Chicago food factory now produces 300,000 portions of cheesecake a day, in addition to tarts and cookies for restaurants, airlines and grocery freezers.


Home decoration photos “The line has certainly evolved over time,” says Schulman.

The mixing and baking are computerized, so the 220 employees have to be highly skilled. Home decoration ideas for wedding Schulman recruits about 15 percent of the workforce from refugees resettled in Chicago. Interior home decoration images The employee list reflects the waves of flight from war-torn countries — Iraq, Bhutan, Kosovo, Congo, Myanmar.

Elias Kasongo began working at the bakery in 1994 after fleeing unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Home decorating ideas painting walls Having completed a year of college before fleeing his country, he found a job in the dish room at Eli’s. Room decoration with pictures He was eventually promoted to the executive suite, getting a business degree at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago along the way. Home decorating tips for small spaces Today, he is the purchasing manager, pricing Madagascar vanilla and organic cream cheese. Home decoration photos interior design He also serves on the board of RefugeeOne, a Chicago nonprofit that helps refugees start new lives.

“I’ve been here at Eli’s for the past 22 years. Ganpati decoration photos at home It’s my home; it’s a beautiful thing,” says Kasongo, who is now a U.S. Handmade home decor ideas videos citizen. Home decorating ideas glass vases The job was all he had when he was starting his new life in America. Home interior design johor bahru Today, he’s a homeowner.

“These are great performers, great people,” says Schulman, and he is ready to hire from the latest wave of Syrians, the most recent arrivals in Chicago.

To see how Eli’s Cheesecake is made you have to dress up like a scientist — white coat, covered shoes and hair, a mandatory hand wash before entering the factory floor. Decoration home 2015 Inside, the mixing bowls are as big as bathtubs. Home decoration tips in hindi The computerized production line is a complex alliance between workers and machines that pump out 6,000 pounds of batter a day. Home decor ideas craft A two-story conveyor belt delivers the cooled cakes, 57 varieties, for hand-finishing and boxing.

The production leader is 46-year-old Zamira Bejrektarevic. Decoration at home She was a refugee from Bosnia, settled in Chicago in 1999. Home decor tips and tricks When she arrived she didn’t speak much English, but she had a decade of factory work experience in Bosnia.

It’s a common story, says Schulman. Decoration of small home Refugees tend to make long-term commitments to work, he says, at a time when there is a talent shortage for highly skilled jobs. Ganesh decoration at home They are highly motivated, he says. Home interior design low budget They have to be motivated just to get to the U.S. Home decoration ideas for diwali It can take years of interviews and security screenings. Interior home decoration games Then there are the hurdles of a new country, a new language and culture.

It is hard work, but it paid off for Ray Hermez, who works on the production line boxing finished cakes. Home decor ideas small apartment He was a car mechanic in Iraq and was resettled in Chicago five years ago.

“We have many success stories,” Schulman says about his hiring strategy, which he insists is not charity. Decoration of ganpati at home It’s good business, he says. Interior home design vancouver “We have celebrated citizenship ceremonies with a number of our associates; we’ve seen individuals have children and buy homes.”

“Every major hotel works with a refugee agency,” says Sean Heraty, manager of workforce development at RefugeeOne. Home decoration images “Job retention is through the roof.”

Employers have “awakened to the potential of refugees,” says Kathleen Newland, at the Migration Policy Institute. Home decorating inspiration pictures That’s because they are hardworking and loyal and tend to stay on the job longer than American-born workers, she says.

“It takes someone to take a chance on you and say, ‘Hey, let’s see if he has the talent,’ ” says Kasongo, who turned his chance into a career. Home decorating ideas for thanksgiving “It takes the talent.”

On this program, we have been talking about the refugee crisis. Home interior ideas uk It is the largest displacement of people since World War II. Interior home design for small spaces This year, the United States took in more than 85,000 refugees. Home decoration ideas for ganesh chaturthi Voluntary agencies have been helping to resettle them, and private companies have been employing refugees.

We’re going to talk about that side of the story with NPR’s Deborah Amos, who has been reporting on resettlement in the United States. Home interior design wall colors Deb, good morning.

GREENE: So I know you’ve been following this story around the country in different places, but in the city of Chicago, you’re looking at some companies who have been hiring refugees. Home decoration ideas 2015 Who are these companies?

AMOS: In Chicago, it’s Tyson’s Food, Scrub, a company that runs a cleaning service – also some of the biggest hotel chains in Chicago, even Trump International Hotel. Room decoration pictures in pakistan These jobs are important to newcomers because the U.S. Interior home remodeling ideas Resettlement Program requires them to find employment quickly because their benefits run out within months.

GREENE: OK, so it’s a process that happens pretty quickly. Home decor ideas for kid bedrooms And, Deb, you visited a factory that makes cheesecake in Chicago. Decoration outside home This is not a Cheesecake Factory restaurant, this is something else.

You have to dress up to see how Eli’s Cheesecake is made like a scientist – white coat, covered shoes and hair. Interior home designs rossendale A hand wash is a must before stepping onto the high-tech factory floor. Home decoration pictures pakistan These famous cheesecakes are shipped across the country and around the world.

AMOS: That’s Mark Shulman, president of Eli’s. Decoration home modern He says he still uses his father’s simple recipe, but now the mixing and baking is all high-tech so the 220 employees have to be highly skilled. Home decorating ideas country style He recruits about 15 percent of his workers from refugees resettled in Chicago, those with college degrees and technical backgrounds.

AMOS: One example is Elias Kasongo, who arrived at the bakery in 1994. Home decor ideas kenya Like every refugee here, he was fleeing a war zone. Home decoration with photos For him, it was the Democratic Republic of Congo.

AMOS: Kasongo went from the dish room to the executive suites. Christmas home decorating ideas videos Now he’s Eli’s purchasing manager, pricing Madagascar vanilla and organic cream cheese. Interior home design color schemes He also serves on the board of RefugeeOne, a Chicago nonprofit that helps refugees start new lives. Decoration home pinterest When I look at the list of some of the employees and their home countries, they come from the world’s toughest conflicts.

AMOS: Here on the factory floor, the mixing bowls are as big as bathtubs. Interior home lighting design A two-story conveyor belt delivers cooled cakes, thousands a day ready for toppings and boxes. Home decorating ideas kitchen To make sure the production runs on time, there’s a production leader – Zemira – from Bosnia.

AMOS: She’s a manager now, but that’s not where she started. Home decorating pictures on walls She was hired because of her technical background, but didn’t speak much English.

AMOS: As her language improved, she was promoted. Home interior design kochi A common story here, says Shulman. Interior home design kerala Refugees tend to make long-term commitments to work at a time when there’s a talent shortage for high-tech jobs.

AMOS: And are highly motivated, he says. Images for home decoration A refugee has to be motivated just to get to the U.S. Home decorating ideas low budget It can take years of interviews and security screenings. Decoration home and garden Then there are the hurdles of a new country, a new language and culture. Interior decoration of a home It’s hard work, but it paid off for Ray Hermez. Decoration of entrance of home He was resettled in Chicago five years ago.

SCHULMAN: We have the success stories. Birthday home decoration pics I mean, we’ve celebrated citizenship ceremonies with a number of our associates. Modern home interior design lighting decoration and furniture We’ve seen individuals have children, you know, buy homes and saying, hey, you know, who’s the American here?

AMOS: The hiring strategy at Eli’s is used at other well-known American companies – Marriott International, Wells Fargo, Western Union, says Kathleen Newland at the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.

KATHLEEN NEWLAND: Employers who have awakened to the potential of refugees have been very satisfied with their experiences. Decoration home online You know, they find that they’re hardworking, that they’re loyal, tend to stay in the job longer. Home decoration tips It’s a win-win.

AMOS: This is the dish room, where the cake pans are hand scrubbed. Home decor craft ideas diy It’s where Elias Kosanga started more than 20 years ago. Home decorating ideas living room curtains He turned a chance into a career.

KASONGO: Just imagine if I didn’t have the job. Home decor ideas living room budget What would I be, a homeless somewhere? So it takes someone to take a chance on you and say, hey, let’s see if he has a talent. Interior home decoration for christmas It takes the talent.

GREENE: All right, listening there to my colleague Deborah Amos who’s still on the line. Home decor ideas on a budget pinterest And, Deb, important to remember probably numbers wise, tens of millions of people displaced over the past few years. Interior home lighting ideas This is just one factory in one city.

AMOS: It’s true. Home decorating ideas modern living room But little by little, more Fortune 500 companies are starting to recruit refugees. Interior home decoration design One example is Oliver Wyman, a global consulting firm, recruited five refugees for the first time this year. Home decoration tips for indian homes Listen to John Romeo. Home decorating ideas uk He runs the North American division. Home decoration pictures free And he says hiring refugees is a diversity hire. Decoration home style Here’s what he said.

JOHN ROMEO: Many refugees have shown a determination, a perseverance that is so critical to being successful in your career. Decorating home gym ideas We’d love to hire more including in the U.S.

AMOS: You know, that’s what I thought when he first said it, but no, he means something different. Home interior design websites india He means that the experience of being a refugee, crossing a border, thinking on your feet, surviving are all the things that make a good employee, a successful employee.