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$250,000 federal grant awarded for Buffalo Refugee Careers Pathway Project

The grant awarded to the International Institute of Buffalo through the Office of Refugee Resettlement to support the project.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A $250,000 federal grant has been awarded to an area organization to support the Buffalo Refugee Careers Pathway Project.

Congressman Higgins announced on Wednesday that the International Institute of Buffalo and community partners received the grant from the Office of Refugee Resettlement to help the project.

“Western New York is enriched through the contributions of those past and present who work, live and make a life here,” Higgins said. “This project will help put the skills of our new neighbors to work in a meaningful way that leads to self-sufficiency and builds a stronger community.”

The project is the result of a partnership between International Institute, Jewish Family Services of WNY, Journey’s End Refugee Services, and Jericho Road Community Health Center. These organizations are working with community organizations, educational facilities and employers to help set refugees up for success for developing a career path. 

"The International Institute is excited to implement the Careers Pathway program. We know that Buffalo has gaps in its current workforce that need to be filled and these gaps are in areas where careers can be built. Refugees are a ready, willing, and able workforce that already have useful skills and we are particularly excited to support the re-credentialing process for highly skilled refugees," Jennifer Rizzo-Choi, Interim Executive Director, International Institute of Buffalo said.

In 2018, the federal Refugee Careers Pathway Program was set up to help people develop an individualized career development plan that build on a refugee's work history and experience. Often times refugees that are highly skilled don't have appropriate certifications to work in their fields in the U.S.

This program will be used to help the up to 335 Afghan evacuees who will be settled in Western New York. 


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