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Immigrants and refugees help bolster New Hampshire’s workforce

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Immigrants and refugees help bolster New Hampshire’s workforce


 

Nineka Cullen, a case employee on the Worldwide Institute in Manchester, emigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2016 and has since earned two grasp’s levels, together with an MBA. (Photograph by Mark Bolton)

 

 

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Editor’s be aware: This story is a part of an occasional Granite State Information Collaborative collection specializing in immigration points and the experiences of immigrants settling in New Hampshire, together with what it’s like looking for asylum right here and discovering work as an immigrant – the challenges concerned, in addition to efforts underway to assist take away obstacles and create extra alternatives for development.

In a good labor market, employers have been proposing some novel methods to fill positions. In keeping with Andrew Cullen, profession service supervisor on the Worldwide Institute of New England in Manchester, one manufacturing firm is contemplating offering a van on a short lived foundation for a gaggle of potential workers that want transportation in an effort to work.

“We’ve had a variety of employers reaching out to us, in search of assist filling labor shortages,” Cullen mentioned.

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The institute helps immigrants and refugees settle within the U.S. – connecting them with providers and serving to them to search out housing and employment. “They need assistance with transition, they need assistance with transportation, these are huge obstacles for our folks,” mentioned Henry Harris, managing director on the institute.

Employers have turn out to be “artistic” in working to take away these obstacles, Harris mentioned, serving to with transportation and English classes, in some instances. “It’s type of a brand new dialog for employers,” he mentioned. “It’s at all times been an employers’ market. Often they’re batting away folks. On this case it’s extra like, wow, we’ve put a variety of advertisements on the market and we’ve interviewed lots of people and we simply maintain falling brief.”

In keeping with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among the many elements contributing to the widespread workforce scarcity is a decline in immigration and sure longstanding points, together with restricted numbers of employment-based visa choices. The usChamber refers to those as “antiquated, arbitrary quotas” that make it “extremely tough for firms throughout a number of industries to fulfill their workforce wants.”

Beneath the Trump administration, refugee admissions dropped to the bottom ranges for the reason that resettlement program was established. This system additionally was on pause for a time because of the pandemic. The Biden administration has revised the restrict, growing the quantity to 125,000 for FY 2022, up from 15,000 in FY 2021, although the projected variety of arrivals is way decrease, between 23,000 and 25,000. The restrict for FY 2023 has been set at 125,000. For FY 2002, by means of August, 221 refugees had been resettled in New Hampshire, in response to the Refugee Processing Heart.

As an growing old state, New Hampshire is in want of employees, Harris mentioned. “So companies need to fill a variety of positions, and immigrants and refugees have that capability; they’re motivated to work, they should work to outlive as a result of they’re actually beginning over in some instances,” he mentioned. “So it’s good while you’ve acquired a pipeline of motivated folks, and when you’ve gotten a dialog with sure employers and say, ‘It’s an funding, are you able to carve out a while to incorporate English courses on web site, so perhaps an hour a day, or each different day, you possibly can maintain some English courses?’”

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NH Ball Bearings in Peterborough helped prepare carpooling for a number of refugees they employed in latest months, offering a weekly fuel stipend to an worker who drives a number of co-workers to work.

“I believe it behooves all employers to check out completely different alternatives to attempt to get folks by means of their doorways, and to take away any burdens,” mentioned Thomas Johndrow, director of human sources at NHBB. “If we will afford to do it, we needs to be that.”

Navigating a fancy system

Nneka Cullen got here to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2016 to pursue a grasp’s diploma in peace and battle research on the College of Massachusetts Lowell. She has since earned two grasp’s levels, together with an MBA and, after working in a constitution college with particular wants college students, she is now a case employee on the Worldwide Institute in Manchester.

Cullen was capable of get hold of an Employment Authorization Doc, which allowed her to work on a short lived foundation within the U.S. After she married Andrew Cullen, an American citizen, she was capable of apply for a inexperienced card, entitling her to completely dwell and work within the U.S. At one level, Cullen mentioned, she wanted the assistance of an immigration lawyer to navigate a course of that may be all of the extra complicated when language is a matter. Cullen speaks English, which is the official language of Nigeria.

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Nnekaandrewcullen 4

Nineka Cullen, left, a case employee on the Worldwide Institute in Manchester, emigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria in 2016 and has since earned two grasp’s levels, together with an MBA. She’s proven together with her husband Andrew. (Photograph by Mark Bolton)

Along with studying English, immigrants and refugees typically need assistance navigating cultural variations, Cullen mentioned. “It’s a variety of work making an attempt to get accustomed to the American tradition,” she mentioned. And employers might help by studying one thing in regards to the journeys of their immigrant workers, she mentioned. “Having an understanding of the place your workers come from and their tradition, even asking questions, making an attempt to grasp, it positively goes a great distance,” she mentioned. “I believe that’s essential for a very good work surroundings for immigrants and refugees.”

Philip Aguot settled in Manchester about 20 years in the past after fleeing battle in Sudan. Like many refugees, he didn’t have a automotive when he arrived, which made it tough to get a job. However Aguot had some benefits – he had a highschool diploma and he had studied English. Nonetheless, he mentioned, “It’s a must to battle for a bit of time – so that you can perceive folks and for folks to grasp you.”

Aguot labored in quite a lot of industries, together with textile and meals processing, and earned an MBA. He now works for a high-tech protection contractor in addition to for the Group for Refugee and Immigrant Success (ORIS) as a bilingual case supervisor and employment specialist. “I acquired assist, so I’ve to do the identical,” he mentioned.

Aguot works with employers and candidates, typically serving as interpreter throughout job interviews. ORIS gives a variety of providers, Aguot mentioned, serving to with laptop abilities and immigration paperwork, in addition to connecting folks with English classes.

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“We sit with them and see what their work historical past is,” he mentioned. “Are they in search of the identical trade or do they wish to improve their abilities and have particular coaching? We join them with all of that – what they should improve their abilities or write their resume in the event that they don’t have one, the right way to fill out your purposes on-line.”

Some folks he helps should work two jobs to help a household and make automotive funds, he mentioned. It may be a battle in these circumstances to set time apart for schooling and even one thing as seemingly primary as studying English.

Studying rights, tasks

Within the first few weeks after immigrants and refugees arrive in Manchester, Andrew Cullen meets with them to evaluate their wants and abilities. “We additionally ask about their schooling, work historical past, and any profession aim,” he mentioned. “Generally, purchasers are coming from a traumatic expertise. They’re not pondering long run, they’re pondering proper right here within the now. Different folks had careers at residence and so they wish to choose that up right here.”

Immigrants and refugees are eligible for providers with the institute for 5 years. “We have to positively empower them, and that includes resume constructing, constructing credit score, constructing generational wealth,” he mentioned. “The aim is to get everybody self-sufficient.”

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Cullen additionally informs employers on what they’re required to do on the subject of the intricacies of documentation. Employers could also be unaware, as an illustration, that refugees are allowed to work even when their work authorization continues to be in course of, he mentioned.

Orientation for workers consists of studying about their rights and about discrimination, he mentioned, “about how folks can and can’t deal with them and what they need to do in the event that they encounter this.” Afghanistan arrivals as an illustration, wanted to learn about their rights on the subject of prayer within the office, Cullen mentioned.

Institute employees additionally advocate for employees after they begin a job, he mentioned, in some instances addressing complaints about feeling unfairly handled.

“Fortunately we haven’t had this example happen, however, if obligatory, we’ll get our authorized crew or discover the correct authorized sources to handle the priority, as a result of now we have to be the most important advocate for our purchasers and meaning additionally serving to them advocate for themselves,” he mentioned.

The institute has additionally been putting larger emphasis on serving to folks advance and enhance their abilities, he mentioned, after recognizing that too typically purchasers had been nonetheless in entry-level positions after their allotted 5 years working with the institute. The group has developed partnerships that supply coaching for such careers as LNAs and presents packages that emphasize the vocabulary wanted for explicit jobs.

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At NH Ball Bearings, development can be a aim, however language obstacles can gradual progress, mentioned Thomas Johndrow, director of human sources. “Their studying curve takes a bit longer,” he mentioned. “We’re greater than prepared to carry them alongside and practice them and provides them an opportunity to progress by means of our firm, however they need to be taught the brand new job earlier than they will transfer on. So it does take a bit of bit longer.”

Translating abilities and levels

In some instances, folks arrive with superior levels and in depth work expertise however should begin from the start for numerous causes.

“It’s a battle,” Nneka Cullen mentioned. “The roles you possibly can apply to are actually restricted.” And never all employers wish to take care of the paperwork concerned, she mentioned. “It’s a must to simply stick with what you may get and get no matter earnings you may get together with your standing.”

Somebody with a medical diploma from one other nation, as an illustration, may need bother transferring that diploma to an American accreditation system. “Or they realized one thing in a distinct language and so they actually need to be taught English earlier than they will apply the abilities,” mentioned Invoice Maddocks, who teaches organizational administration and management within the UNH Carsey Faculty Grasp’s in Neighborhood Growth Program. He works as a marketing consultant on racial justice and financial improvement initiatives and labored for greater than 16 years in Sub-Saharan Africa on financial improvement initiatives.

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“There might be, and needs to be, extra recognition of the present abilities folks include to this nation, versus pushing them to start out on the backside and work their means up,” he mentioned. “And that will clearly resolve issues for employers as a result of they’re in search of expert folks, for individuals who have the flexibility to make a contribution and advance inside their group.”

Maddocks has seen some progress on the subject of creating welcoming work environments for immigrants and refugees in New Hampshire. “That dedication inside a corporation actually must be extra than simply clicking some packing containers and saying we’ve achieved implicit bias coaching and we’re all set with that,” he mentioned. “It’s actually about remodeling the group internally, when it comes to folks’s personal acceptance of individuals which might be completely different from themselves, and having the ability to work alongside somebody who may come from a really completely different tradition or racial or spiritual background.”

Beneath the U.S. employment-based immigrant visa program, employers can apply to carry overseas employees who match sure “desire immigrant” classes to work completely within the U.S. These embody sure employees of extraordinary or excellent capability and other people with sure superior levels and bachelor’s levels.

Sometimes, the employer is required to promote these job openings regionally, underneath a set of strict standards, to find out if any Individuals qualify for the place; employers should give Individuals first desire over overseas employees.

As George Bruno, a Manchester-based immigration legal professional and former U.S. ambassador, describes it, the appliance with supporting proof could also be a number of inches thick, entail hundreds of {dollars} in utility charges, bear in depth authorities data-base vetting, and may take as much as a 12 months for processing by USCIS. If profitable, the candidate will get a “inexperienced card” and turns into a “Lawful Everlasting Resident” of america.

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Alternatively, some employers search non permanent nonimmigrant employees underneath the H-1B program. Since FY 2014, the H-B1 annual quota has been reached inside 10 days of the beginning of the appliance interval, on April 1st, in response to Bruno.

The U.S. Chamber has argued that low annual visa caps make it “extremely tough for firms throughout a number of industries to fulfill their workforce wants.” In FY 2021, lower than one out of each three people looking for an employment-based visa succeeded in acquiring one.

The truth is, the H-1B program additionally has an unrealistically low quota, mentioned Bruno, at 85,000 visas granted yearly by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers, with 20,000 of those put aside for employees with grasp’s levels. By legislation, 6,800 petitions are reserved for Singapore and China underneath a free-trade settlement. In FY 2022, there have been about 308,000 petitions. Meaning employers have rather less than one in 4 possibilities of making it by means of step one of the appliance course of – earlier than deserves or {qualifications} may even be thought of, Bruno mentioned.

Bruno’s legislation agency, Mesa Regulation LLC in Manchester, submitted 5 H-1B purposes for an Indian restaurant chain within the Boston space looking for to rent a chef educated in south Indian delicacies. None made it by means of the lottery.

“So now the restaurant is able the place it could’t rent any Individuals as a result of American cooks are usually not conversant in South Indian delicacies. And the restaurant is able now to have to chop again its hours and cut back its employees,” he mentioned.

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“It wished to develop, so it creates a really tough financial state of affairs for this one enterprise. It’s in dire straits. Lots of different companies discover themselves in comparable positions.” And that may have an effect on the native economic system, he mentioned. A Derry restaurant his agency labored with had an identical expertise looking for a chef educated in Caribbean delicacies.

As well as, Bruno mentioned, employers looking for to rent seasonal employees underneath the H-2B program face difficulties discovering sufficient employees for kitchen employees, landscaping, and apple-picking, he mentioned. “It’s extraordinarily tough for the resort trade, which after all impacts the economic system of New Hampshire and all New England states.”

“If there’s something that typifies the system today is that it’s changing into extra bureaucratic – there are extra steps and hoops to leap by means of,” Bruno mentioned. “It’s changing into dearer and it’s taking for much longer to get a piece utility by means of.” The system wants a critical overhaul, he mentioned.

Given the longstanding political stalemate over immigration reform, that overhaul might be a great distance off. In the meantime, immigrants and refugees who make it by means of the system discover that the American Dream that they had in thoughts can at occasions really feel elusive.

“You get right here and attempt to obtain that dream and it won’t be as simple as you thought,” Nneka Cullen mentioned. “It doesn’t simply occur in a single day. Actuality type of hits you.”

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Philip Aguot encourages immigrants and refugees he works with to have religion that issues will ultimately get simpler.

“Someone like me, we will say, ‘Don’t fear, you may be high-quality. We went by means of all of this’” he mentioned. “And that offers them hope that they are going to be high-quality.”.

This text is being shared by companions within the Granite State Information Collaborative as a part of our Race and Fairness Initiative. For extra info go to collaborativenh.org.





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New Hampshire

Obit: ​Karen 'Chicky' Louise Acevedo Of Nashua

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Obit: ​Karen 'Chicky' Louise Acevedo Of Nashua


NASHUA, NH — Karen “Chicky” Louise Acevedo, 73, of Nashua, suddenly passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. Karen was born on March 30, 1950, the daughter of the late Althine (Knights) Therrien and James Lantaigne Sr.

She enjoyed spending time with family, dancing around the kitchen, socializing with friends, and crossword puzzles, watching game shows or “General Hospital,” and scratch tickets.

Survivors include her children Angel Boucher and her husband Kenny of Nashua, and Lisa St. Brice and her husband Arneild of Nashua, and Tina Rice and her husband John of Goffstown, and Robin Smith and her husband Shawn of Merrimack. Survivors also include her brother Frederick Lantainge and his wife Sandra of Manchester. Karen leaves behind 10 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and several nieces.

Aside from her parents, Karen is predeceased by her husband of 33 years, Ricardo Acevedo. She is also predeceased by brothers Jerry Lantaigne and James Lantaigne Jr.

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At Karen’s request, her services will be held at Mount Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum for immediate family and close friends.



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New Hampshire

Deloney leads Vermont against New Hampshire

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Deloney leads Vermont against New Hampshire


Vermont Catamounts (24-6, 14-1 America East) at New Hampshire Wildcats (15-13, 7-8 America East)

Durham, New Hampshire; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Vermont plays the New Hampshire Wildcats after Aaron Deloney scored 33 points in Vermont’s 74-62 win over the UMass-Lowell River Hawks.

The Wildcats have gone 8-4 in home games. New Hampshire has a 5-11 record in games decided by 10 points or more.

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The Catamounts are 14-1 in America East play. Vermont is eighth in the America East with 6.6 offensive rebounds per game led by Sam Alamutu averaging 1.5.

New Hampshire averages 9.0 made 3-pointers per game, 2.5 more made shots than the 6.5 per game Vermont allows. Vermont has shot at a 46.2% clip from the field this season, 2.6 percentage points higher than the 43.6% shooting opponents of New Hampshire have averaged.

TOP PERFORMERS: Clarence O. Daniels II is averaging 19.5 points and 9.3 rebounds for the Wildcats. Jaxson Baker is averaging 2.7 made 3-pointers over the last 10 games for New Hampshire.

TJ Long is scoring 12.0 points per game with 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists for the Catamounts. Deloney is averaging 14.3 points and 3.1 assists over the last 10 games for Vermont.

LAST 10 GAMES: Wildcats: 4-6, averaging 71.9 points, 35.0 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 6.5 steals and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting 40.7% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 78.6 points per game.

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Catamounts: 9-1, averaging 71.4 points, 36.3 rebounds, 13.6 assists, 5.6 steals and 4.9 blocks per game while shooting 43.5% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 59.9 points.

The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.



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New Hampshire

Conn. man, 72, rescued after fall while hiking on Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire – The Boston Globe

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Conn. man, 72, rescued after fall while hiking on Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire – The Boston Globe


A Connecticut man was rescued Friday after he sustained an injury in a fall while hiking Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, N.H., officials said.

Thomas Burns, a 72-year-old man from West Hartford, Conn., called police around 3:10 p.m. after falling while hiking the Marlboro Trail and suffering an injury that left him unable to continue the hike, according to a statement released by New Hampshire Fish and Game. Burns traveled with a hiking partner and came equipped with maps, water, food, and all the necessary hiking equipment, officials said.

Emergency responders from the Jaffrey Fire Department, departments from nearby towns, park rangers, and conservation officers found Burns and carried him to the trailhead, where an ambulance waited to transport him to Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, N.H., when they arrived about 4:30 p.m., according to the statement.

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The statement did not make clear the extent of Burns’s injury. No further information was immediately available.


Collin Robisheaux can be reached at collin.robisheaux@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ColRobisheaux.





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