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Afghan refugees in Utah need long-term housing, says Governor Cox

With the arrival of most of the more than 900 Afghan refugees who are expected to relocate to Utah, Gov. Spencer Cox announced on Wednesday that efforts are moving to a second phase of education, training and employment.

State leaders, the Utah Resettlement Agency and the Office of Refugees have teamed up in a partnership as efforts to integrate Afghans and their families into the workforce and society. The second phase includes homework assistance, mentoring programs through the Utah Refugee Center, English language training, and technology courses.

“We help families ensure that they have what they need for their children to be successful in our schools and communities,” Cox said. “We recognize the incredible talents, abilities and life experiences that these Afghans bring to our workforce. They will be a great addition and will provide much-needed vacancies. With the lowest unemployment rate in the country, we really need them.”

Cox pointed to Ahmad Navid Shirzad, a newly arrived Afghan, as one of many with skill sets that will benefit Utah.

Shirzad spoke about his experience in the resettlement process and shared hopes for the future. Shirzad, an entertainment producer, said he was making a documentary in provinces near Kabul when the Taliban began to take power. Shirzad and his team fled to Kabul and were attacked by Taliban members.

After boarding a U.S. military plane leaving Kabul, he spent time at Fort Knox with other refugees before settling in Utah.

“I would like to thank the government of the United States and the state of Utah in particular. I felt very safe here, and I considered Utah a symbol of humanity, democracy and freedom by all means,” Shirzad said.

Many industries across the state are struggling with labor shortages. Recent surges in COVID-19 in communities have led to an increase in vacancies that have been difficult to fill amid low unemployment and deficits in Utah. With proper training and support, Afghan refugees can fill the gaps, Cox said.

“We also turn to the private sector. We know where we have a shortage, we know where we have vacancies. We try to match the job skills they have with the job opportunities they want and how we bridge that gap with preparation, ”he said. “Right now, there are endless opportunities. Every industry in Utah is in short supply, so we’ll find a way to meet them.”

Part of the training will be supplemented by funds from the Utah Afghan Community Foundation, he added. The fund has raised about $ 1 million and has already helped purchase laptops, cell phones and legal support.

Newly arrived Afghans receive applause and applause from members of the House of Representatives during the start of Afghanistan Day on a hill in the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

The $ 1 million donated to the Utah Afghan community is just one part of the community’s response to the emergency evacuation and resettlement of Afghan refugees. State lawmakers have introduced several bills to support Afghans during the resettlement process.

These accounts include:

  • HB130allowing the Driving Rights Division to start administering certain exams in languages ​​other than English, and allowing an interpreter for some driving test exams.
  • HB163which adds humanitarian parolees to the list of groups allowed to use an interpreter, or allows for translation upon receipt of a driver’s license.
  • HB230, which changes the rules and requirements regarding the enrollment of immigrant or refugee students. These amendments include exceptions for students who are unable to present a birth certificate or a certificate that does not accurately reflect the student’s age, conditional enrollment in the full list of vaccinations and previous reports.

“Our hope for our Afghan friends is the same for all Utah residents, build a happy and successful life and become active and interested members of their community. We are grateful for the legislature’s willingness to take on issues that affect not only Afghan arrivals but also refugees.” who come to the state, ”Cox said.

Cox noted that the bills, if passed, would help expand employment opportunities and meet common transport needs for Afghans.

Although the initial phase has been completed and many problems have been resolved in resettlement, housing remains a challenge. The struggle for long-term housing has been a constant challenge for many not only in the state but across the country, Cox said.

“The piece of housing was probably the part that worried me the most and still worries me just because we have a housing shortage anyway – not just in our state, but across the United States. So make sure we can find permanent housing for these refugees, it remains a very high priority. We still lack it, and here we may need help, “Cox said.

To meet the needs of the remaining 220 refugees without long-term housing, the governor is seeking help from Utah. An additional 50 units should be housed to meet the needs as more people arrive. The initial estimate of the number of Afghans increased to more than 900 due to the number of people arriving in groups and those who made their way to Utah on their own.

2-year-old Madina Amy watches people attend the start of Afghanistan Day on a hill in the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

2-year-old Madina Amy watches people attend the start of Afghanistan Day on a hill in the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t lose sleep because I lost a little sleep because of it,” Cox said of the resettlement process. “It was a very large number, and I fully believe in our resettlement agencies – and also in our government-level teams that have worked with these resettlement agencies. But even they knew it was a huge challenge.”

The Cox administration has urged anyone with affordable housing to send a message to refugeehousing@utah.gov.

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Afghan refugees in Utah need long-term housing, says Governor Cox

With the arrival of most of the more than 900 Afghan refugees who are expected to relocate to Utah, Gov. Spencer Cox announced on Wednesday that efforts are moving to a second phase of education, training and employment.

State leaders, the Utah Resettlement Agency and the Office of Refugees have teamed up in a partnership as efforts to integrate Afghans and their families into the workforce and society. The second phase includes homework assistance, mentoring programs through the Utah Refugee Center, English language training, and technology courses.

“We help families ensure that they have what they need for their children to be successful in our schools and communities,” Cox said. “We recognize the incredible talents, abilities and life experiences that these Afghans bring to our workforce. They will be a great addition and will provide much-needed vacancies. With the lowest unemployment rate in the country, we really need them.”

Cox pointed to Ahmad Navid Shirzad, a newly arrived Afghan, as one of many with skill sets that will benefit Utah.

Shirzad spoke about his experience in the resettlement process and shared hopes for the future. Shirzad, an entertainment producer, said he was making a documentary in provinces near Kabul when the Taliban began to take power. Shirzad and his team fled to Kabul and were attacked by Taliban members.

After boarding a U.S. military plane leaving Kabul, he spent time at Fort Knox with other refugees before settling in Utah.

“I would like to thank the government of the United States and the state of Utah in particular. I felt very safe here, and I considered Utah a symbol of humanity, democracy and freedom by all means,” Shirzad said.

Many industries across the state are struggling with labor shortages. Recent surges in COVID-19 in communities have led to an increase in vacancies that have been difficult to fill amid low unemployment and deficits in Utah. With proper training and support, Afghan refugees can fill the gaps, Cox said.

“We also turn to the private sector. We know where we have a shortage, we know where we have vacancies. We try to match the job skills they have with the job opportunities they want and how we bridge that gap with preparation, ”he said. “Right now, there are endless opportunities. Every industry in Utah is in short supply, so we’ll find a way to meet them.”

Part of the training will be supplemented by funds from the Utah Afghan Community Foundation, he added. The fund has raised about $ 1 million and has already helped purchase laptops, cell phones and legal support.

Newly arrived Afghans receive applause and applause from members of the House of Representatives during the start of Afghanistan Day on a hill in the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

The $ 1 million donated to the Utah Afghan community is just one part of the community’s response to the emergency evacuation and resettlement of Afghan refugees. State lawmakers have introduced several bills to support Afghans during the resettlement process.

These accounts include:

  • HB130allowing the Driving Rights Division to start administering certain exams in languages ​​other than English, and allowing an interpreter for some driving test exams.
  • HB163which adds humanitarian parolees to the list of groups allowed to use an interpreter, or allows for translation upon receipt of a driver’s license.
  • HB230, which changes the rules and requirements regarding the enrollment of immigrant or refugee students. These amendments include exceptions for students who are unable to present a birth certificate or a certificate that does not accurately reflect the student’s age, conditional enrollment in the full list of vaccinations and previous reports.

“Our hope for our Afghan friends is the same for all Utah residents, build a happy and successful life and become active and interested members of their community. We are grateful for the legislature’s willingness to take on issues that affect not only Afghan arrivals but also refugees.” who come to the state, ”Cox said.

Cox noted that the bills, if passed, would help expand employment opportunities and meet common transport needs for Afghans.

Although the initial phase has been completed and many problems have been resolved in resettlement, housing remains a challenge. The struggle for long-term housing has been a constant challenge for many not only in the state but across the country, Cox said.

“The piece of housing was probably the part that worried me the most and still worries me just because we have a housing shortage anyway – not just in our state, but across the United States. So make sure we can find permanent housing for these refugees, it remains a very high priority. We still lack it, and here we may need help, “Cox said.

To meet the needs of the remaining 220 refugees without long-term housing, the governor is seeking help from Utah. An additional 50 units should be housed to meet the needs as more people arrive. The initial estimate of the number of Afghans increased to more than 900 due to the number of people arriving in groups and those who made their way to Utah on their own.

2-year-old Madina Amy watches people attend the start of Afghanistan Day on a hill in the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

2-year-old Madina Amy watches people attend the start of Afghanistan Day on a hill in the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

“I would be lying if I said I didn’t lose sleep because I lost a little sleep because of it,” Cox said of the resettlement process. “It was a very large number, and I fully believe in our resettlement agencies – and also in our government-level teams that have worked with these resettlement agencies. But even they knew it was a huge challenge.”

The Cox administration has urged anyone with affordable housing to send a message to refugeehousing@utah.gov.

Reported by Source link

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