Testimony to The Vermont State House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development

By USCRI February 13, 2023

On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, USCRI Vermont Field Office Director Amila Merdzanovic and Afghan Resettlement Case Manager Sayed Khalilullah Anwari provided testimony to members of the Vermont State House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development on the status and trends of refugee resettlement in Vermont as well as specific challenges and a few notable successes from our resettlement work in 2022. They spoke about the unique and powerful experiences of the clients and families served by USCRI Vermont. They also emphasized the ongoing and growing need for additional resources to continue providing culturally and linguistically appropriate workforce development, employment training, intensive case management, interpretation, and translation services to the growing population of refugees, asylees, and new Americans in Vermont.

During the hour-long testimony, they reiterated that economic self-sufficiency is the overriding goal of the services we offer new arrivals and new Americans—that workforce training that meets the unique needs of our clients is a truly essential resource which benefits working families, businesses, and the economy of Vermont. As an example, USCRI Vermont’s on-site workplace English Language Learning has been an enormous benefit and has helped clients find and maintain good jobs, and we support expanding those kinds of critical services. Our worksite programs have changed people’s lives for the better in so many ways.

We would like to thank the members of the Vermont State House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development for the opportunity to answer their questions and outline the many positive impacts and successes we have achieved with our clients over the last year as they resettle and begin to thrive in our communities.

For a video of the testimony, click here.

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