Hundreds of people attended a job fair for Ukrainian refugees Wednesday at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn.
Refugees met employers from 80 different companies and got help navigating the local job market.
Olka and Volodmyl Demanova both worked as engineers back in Ukraine. Now, they clean homes and work in construction, but hope to soon find new opportunities.
They lived in a town that became occupied by Russian forces last February. Six months later, they decided to flee Ukraine with their 19-year-old son.
"We were worried, not that he would be drafted into the Ukrainian army, but the Russian army, because our city was occupied by Russian forces," Olka Demanova said through a translator.
The Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst is a nonprofit organization that has been helping immigrants find housing and employment for nearly a century.
"It’s part of our value system to welcome others, to welcome a stranger. We were strangers once," Gelena Blishteyn, the center's chief operating officer, said.
Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Millions of refugees have fled Ukraine since the start of the war.