Job opportunities await in Finger Lakes Region for migrants

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Governor Kathy Hochul announced 400 employers in New York State are willing to hire migrants and asylum seekers. This includes more than 200 jobs in the Finger Lakes Region.

Many of the positions are in healthcare, hospitality or manufacturing.

Murad Awawdeh, executive director for New York Immigration Coalition said these job openings aren’t just for asylum seekers; they’re for any New Yorker willing to work. But, many asylees want to work, and many have degrees and advanced skillsets, he added.

Awawdeh said these jobs could range from home health aides, nurses, doctors, front or back of house in restaurants.

The coalition has an office in Rochester.

“There’s engineers,” he said. “I’ve never met so many engineers in my life, from this previous year of folks who recently arrived, a number of people who are medical professionals, people who are lawyers back home, people who have a slew of expertise and certifications.”

Getachew Beshir, with Catholic Charities Family and Community Services said he’s closely following the situation, of families seeking asylum at the Holiday Inn in Rochester.

He’s not directly involved in resettlement efforts. But, he had some perspective to share from when he came over from Ethiopia as a lawyer 20 years ago.

Beshir said the language barrier can make it difficult.

“We have doctors, nurses, and teachers, but for lack of English, they start in entry level jobs,” he said. “There are many positions, for example in the environmental services, landscaping, construction, hospitality, that do not require english language skills, or not so much.”

Tuesday also marked the first day Venezuelan asylees can apply for a Temporary Protected Status; a benefit that allows them to get to work quicker, whereas other asylum seekers have to wait months to become eligible to work.

The Rochester Chamber of Commerce said, “It is great to see employers in our region, realizing the skillset of these asylum seekers.” They said they’re working diligently to facilitate placements.