Background: Right now, the Virginia General Assembly is considering an important proposal, called a “budget amendment,” that would establish a workgroup to study the challenges refugees’ face in utilizing their professional credentials earned outside the United States and to facilitate their workforce development. This is an important pro-refugee proposal that would help strengthen refugee integration in Virginia and help them continue to thrive.
Refugees are beloved members of our communities and vital to their prosperity. However, many refugees remain unable to fully contribute their talents to the workforce because of systemic barriers, including the lack of recognition of their international education and experience, outdated occupational and professional re-credentialing processes, and insufficient access to meaningful workforce development and adult education services. The underutilization of refugee talent has devastating effects on individuals, local communities, and Virginia’s economy. As we recover and rebuild, the need to integrate talented refugees into the workforce is increasingly urgent.
This is a new exciting opportunity to ensure our state is supporting an inclusive economy and welcoming refugees – but we need you to take action and let policy makers know this is important. This budget amendment will be considered by the House Appropriations Committee soon, so Delegates on that Committee have the power to advance this to the next stage in the legislative process.
Click “Send Email” on the right to Contact the Virginia House Appropriations Committee
Make sure to insert your name and the name of your city or town in the first line!
Sample Script: “Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m from [CITY, STATE]. As your constituent [and as a person of faith / former refugee / immigrant / person who cares about our neighbors], I urge you to support refugee integration and a budget amendment that establishes a workgroup to study the challenges refugees’ face in utilizing their professional credentials earned outside the United States and to facilitate their workforce development. This budget amendment is critical to strengthening refugee integration in Virginia and helping them continue to thrive. Many refugees remain unable to fully contribute their talents to the workforce, and the underutilization of refugee talent has devastating effects on our community. We are a country with a proud legacy of refugees who helped found this nation, and we recognize the valuable contributions they bring to Virginia communities. I urge you to support this budget amendment and demonstrate moral leadership around the imperative to love our neighbor.”
Thank you for taking action and please share this action alert with your networks!