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IIB in the Media! Buffalo News Features Local Businesses Thriving with Refugee, Immigrant Hiring

By December 20, 2023January 8th, 2024No Comments
Photo Credit: Derek Gee, Buffalo News

Photo Credit: Derek Gee, Buffalo News

The Buffalo News recently interviewed Executive Director Jennifer Rizzo-Choi about the many advantages employers across Western New York find in local refugee and immigrant communities, part of an in-depth piece into how and why immigrants are integral in bridging hiring gaps for regional businesses.

“To have a steady increase in people coming here who are ready to work right away on day one would have a huge impact on people to have growth,” said Rizzo-Choi. “To come here and be able to make a paycheck and pay for your family and buy your house and know you’re going to be safe and what you earn is yours, you can’t replace that in work ethic with anyone who hasn’t had that experience.”

The feature interviewed local experts and employers who highlighted the invaluable traits they see specifically in these employees. Those include low turnover rates, work ethic, and commitment, all saving valuable time and money typically dedicated to cyclical training. With a local unemployment rate currently at just 3.7%, employers are looking closer at refugees to fill their employment needs and find the stability that recently evaded them.

For example, Confer Plastics President Bob Confer extolled the refugees and immigrants who’ve helped stabilize a workforce hindered by a decreased enrollment in Niagara County school districts over the last 20 years. Additionally, Canterbury Woods boasted the 14 refugees and immigrants they employ have allowed them to meet the standards their residents expect.

You can read the full Buffalo News feature here.

Last month, Executive Director Jennifer Rizzo-Choi participated in the “Growing Western New York’s Economy through New American Talent,” panel hosted by The Buffalo News and Joblio, highlighting how the power of immigrants and refugees can add to the economy. Click here to watch the entire roundtable discussion.

Learn more about IIB’s Job Club, which provides our newly arrived neighbors with the skills needed to enter the workforce quickly and successfully.