At Vickery Training Co. (VTC), we believe women and their families who have fled war and persecution deserve the opportunity to thrive. VTC is currently the only organization in North Texas that provides fair wage employment for refugee women, concurrent with vocational and career readiness training, English as a Second Language (ESL), trauma-informed therapeutic care, and individualized systems navigation and case management. Housed all under one roof, our holistic approach empowers women to build stronger families, contribute to the Dallas community, and create a path to lasting self-sufficiency.
VTC is located in the Northwest Community Center, a central hub for refugees living in the Vickery Meadow community of Dallas, TX. VTC shares the space with five other nonprofits that collaborate to meet the unique needs of refugees. Benefits include: access to complementary non-profits, multiple meeting rooms, a computer lab, and community awareness-building activities/training opportunities. VTC is open Monday - Thursday, 8:30am - 2:30pm, accommodating mothers of school-aged children, removing the burden of childcare.
VTC’s programming spans over a 21-month period (or 5 terms) of intensive training. Each term is cumulative, building on the knowledge and skills learned from previous content. Content includes VTC Vocational Training and Employment, where women gain paid, hands-on, curriculum-based job coaching and instruction, graduating into fair wage job placements; and VTC Holistic Services, where women access essential services to help them thrive in their new world.
VTC's programming encompasses the following areas:
Vocational Training and Employment - paid, hands-on vocational job training to women refugees with limited language and education skills. We equip refugee women to enter the workforce as trained seamstresses, where they acquire technical knowledge of industrial machines and learn industry-standard sewing techniques. Many refugee women come into the country with sewing experience, and known as a “show me” skill, sewing training requires little to no initial English proficiency. Our on-the-job vocational training enables VTC Women to build on their existing skills and earn immediate income, allowing families to meet basic needs while preparing for long-term employment.
Language Education - English proficiency is the #1 professional and community barrier for refugees. Therefore, a majority of our program focuses on English acquisition. For two hours per week, women learn technical English speaking, reading, handwriting, and typing skills through a formal curriculum-based class taught by a part-time ESL instructor. Additionally, Conversation Partners help to facilitate up to 20 hours of weekly, immersive conversational English. Along with assistance with ESL, Conversation Partners build relationships with Associates and help them to improve their technical and soft skills.
Therapeutic Services - Refugees face harsh conditions that put their mental health under significant stress. While many of them show remarkable resilience, some need extra support to rebuild their lives. VTC provides weekly trauma-informed yoga, healthy relationship seminars, and group therapy support for women. Most refugee populations come from collective cultures and the core traumas for most are collective identity traumas. In collectivistic culture, healing usually takes place within the group context. Utilizing group psychoeducation and art therapy treatment techniques, VTC’s licensed clinician leads women into deeper healing that decreases PTSD symptoms, increases sense of safety and stability, and increases their use of coping skills.
Trauma-Informed Yoga - VTC utilizes the expertise of a certified TCTSY yoga instructor. Trauma Centered Trauma Sensitive Yoga has been clinically proven to help those who have suffered traumatic experiences. For one hour per week throughout the entirety of the program, women reconnect with the present and regain safety within their body through intentional movement.
Life Skills, Career Support, and Cultural Orientation - Through various professional and community partnerships, VTC provides financial literacy, job readiness, and computer training onsite. Emphasized in the latter half of the training program, women receive training for resume-building, mock interviewing, financial education, personal and professional development.
Case Management and Advocacy - Resettled refugees have particularly intensive needs during resettlement, and traditional social service agencies rarely have the expertise or the resources to address them. Through VTC’s Case Management and Advocacy programming, VTC’s Program Director engages women in developing and implementing their individualized integration plans. This may include help with navigating institutions like their children’s education, gaining housing, or accessing medical care.