Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Desperate for Residents, Cities in New York See Lifeline in Refugees

Over the past few decades, as a manufacturing decline left homes vacant and storefronts dark, New York’s upstate cities opened their doors to refugees.

By Christina Goldbaum

Over the past few decades, as a manufacturing decline left homes vacant and storefronts dark, New York’s upstate cities opened their doors to refugees. The influx, while modest, gave new life to neighborhoods, helped alleviate labor shortages and shored up city budgets.

But that rejuvenating bounce for cities such as Utica, Buffalo and Syracuse ended after the Trump administration drastically cut the number of refugees allowed into the country. New York received 1,281 refugees in the last fiscal year, compared with 5,026 just two years before, according to the State Department. Officials in those cities worried they had lost a small but important bulwark against population decline.

Now, some are testing out a new strategy: luring refugees who have settled in other parts of the United States to move to New York. They are advertising job placement, English language and housing services, hoping to draw enough people to offset the shortfall.

New York is not alone in trying novel ways to reverse its dwindling population. Maine, for example, has offered an outstretched hand to refugees in hope of expanding its work force. Vermont has dangled $10,000 grants to entice people to move to the state and to work from home, in a bid to attract young tech workers. And Wyoming is trying to woo people born there back home by deploying recruiters to help them find jobs.

 

Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
Sponsored
The latest news about government abuse can make state and local lawmakers feel powerless to act to protect their constituents.
Sponsored
CareStart, On/Go, iHealth, QuickVue manufacturers increase production.
The 2021 Ideas Challenge recognizes innovative public policy that positively impacts local communities and the NewDEAL leaders who championed them.
Sponsored
Drug coverage affordability really does exist in the individual Medicare marketplace!
Sponsored
Understand the differences between group Medicare and individual Medicare plans and which plans are best for retirees.
Sponsored
For a while, concerns about credit card fees and legacy processing infrastructure might have slowed government’s embrace of digital payment options.
Sponsored
How expanded financial assistance, a streamlined application process and creative legislation can help Black and brown-owned businesses revive communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
Sponsored
In recent years, local governments have been forced to adapt to a wildly changing world, especially as it pertains to sending bills and collecting payments.
Sponsored
Workplace safety is in the spotlight as government leaders adapt to a prolonged pandemic.