Linita Design & Manufacturing Corp. has had a measurable level of success hiring immigrants during COO Sean Greenhouse’s 10-plus years with the hydro product supply business in Lackawanna, N.Y.

“The success rate with immigrants is usually high,” Sean says, “really due to their work ethic.”

Serhii Zameniahre, a Ukrainian refugee, has only continued that trend.

When the quality of candidates on traditional job boards dried up late last year, Sean turned to Joblio to help him source the type of skilled welders he needs – and it identified one who was already living in the Buffalo area in Serhii.

While language was the biggest barrier during Serhii’s first couple weeks, his daughter speaks very good English and acted as his translator early on. Colleagues have also learned to communicate with Serhii through a translator app on his phone.

“We’d give him notes, he’d take it home, he’d go over it and come back to work the next day ready,” Sean says. “He really, really picked up on the processes and procedures quickly. Within a month of onboarding, he knew any one of them.”

Serhii Zameniahre works on a welding project at Linita Design & Manufacturing in Buffalo on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. (Photo by Mark Mulville)


The quick on-the-job success led Sean back to Joblio, which provided him with additional candidates from overseas. Following a second round of interviews, Sean extended offers to two more Ukrainian refugees who are due to arrive in the U.S. as soon as their immigration paperwork is complete.

“When I think back through this whole process, one thing that touched my heart is that my family personally escaped Ukraine and immigrated to the U.S. in 1918 or 1919 when the Russians invaded then,” Sean says. “To be able to almost 100 years later be able to do this for others, on a personal level, is a very touching and satisfactory feeling – besides the actual work.”

Serhii Zameniahre, left, and Sean Greenhouse, right, at Linita Design & Manufacturing in Buffalo.

Sean says he had some skepticism at first about hiring someone after a virtual interview without having seen them perform the welding work in front of him, but he decided to trust Joblio’s ability to find laborers who align with Linita’s needs.

“The Zoom interviews are great, so I wasn’t skeptical of the person, but it was a completely new concept that I hadn’t experienced,” Sean says. “But I needed the people, so I thought to myself, ‘Give them a shot.’ I went for it back in December, and so far, so good.”

Sean has also learned to appreciate Joblio’s wrap-around services and how they handle the paperwork and travel arrangements once he identifies which candidates to offer. The smooth process already has Sean looking toward future prospects.

“I see Joblio as being a big part of our growth,” he says. “I need to add about eight or nine guys in the shop. I’m going to test run with the first couple. If they’re a complete success, I plan on hiring three to four more guys on top of the three I’ve hired – all in a span of six or seven months.”

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