Unlocking the Keys to Refugee Integration

Oct 25, 2017

Session Description

To realize their prosperity dreams, cities overcome challenges — just as refugees do. Shelly Callahan runs the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees in Utica, NY where her one-stop shop has resettled, trained, and integrated more than 16,000 refugees into the community. Her partnership with the Mayor, community college, county executive, police department, economic development commission and other key institutions has enabled this city to thrive with open arms. Shelly will recount their approach, strategies, and success stories that have enabled waves of refugees to not only benefit from new urban economic opportunities but to become a linchpin of those developments and of the community.

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Shelly Callahan, Executive Director, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees


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  1. In which industries are these refugees training and becoming employed? Are you offering entrepreneurship classes (and more importantly, capital!) so they can launch their own businesses? And how are you creating a sustainable program for the long term?

  2. How can helping refugees supersede people who live here now and still unemployed and disenfranchised makes no sense


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