FARGO (KVRR/KFGO) – Some North Dakota employers are jumping at the opportunity to partner with Afghan refugees to fill thousands of job openings in the state.
Dan Hannaher, Field Director for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service North Dakota, says North Dakota is expected to settle 49 Afghan refugees. He says the Afghan Placement and Assistance program has the attention of local businesses who are badly in need of help.
“When the news came out that we were going to resettle 49 Afghans, one employer in particular called and said, ‘if you’ve got 49 coming, I’ll take them all,’” Hannaher said.
Mike Arntzon, who manages Fargo glass window manufacturing plant Cardinal I-G and served in Iraq as an Army officer, called the refugees heroes. Cardinal I-G has hired several Afghans and, given the opportunity, Arntzon said he would hire more.
“We have the jobs available,” said Arntzon. “We just love to give folks like this an opportunity to start a new life here in the U.S.”
To date, more than 25,000 Afghans have been resettled across the U.S. with dozens expected to settle in North Dakota where 23 have arrived thus far. Most have settled in the Fargo area where family or friends are already living.