Despite recent contention regarding resettlement, Texas continues to be home to a growing and vibrant refugee community. In 2016, Texas received 7,803 refugees, the second-most of any state, falling just behind California. The Dallas-Fort Worth area was responsible for settling more than 4,000 of these—the highest of any city in the U.S.
In Dallas, nearly 1 out of every 4 inhabitants were born outside of the United States. One factor could be that Texas actually lives up to its reputation of being “The Friendly State”. Former Amplio Dallas recruiter, Abby Davis, explains, “There is a great openness to refugees, and learning about them. I may be biased, but this is the friendliest place you could ever live. There’s a spirit of helpfulness.”
That spirit lives on even, at times, against political opinion. In September of last year, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he would be pulling the great state out of the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program, citing security concerns toward Syrian refugees fleeing the country’s civil war.
“America is a charitable nation,” Abbott declared, “But we cannot allow charity for some to compromise security for all.” Protests broke out, as nation-wide headlines took sides on the matter. Texas received more than 800 Syrians in 2016, who now faced an unsure future.
Fortunately, withdrawal from the program did not put an end to Texas resettlement. Instead, nonprofits formerly took over, continuing to funnel government funds and personal donations down to the displaced. Catholic Charities of Fort Worth was assigned services in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas. The organization is responsible for helping refugees find housing, register for school and apply for jobs and other services during their first 3-5 months after arriving.
Faith-based groups have also played a significant role in the success of integrating refugees into the Dallas community. Gateway of Grace is one of these, leading the way in connecting local churches to the refugee community to bring help and hope.
Other ingredients turning Dallas into “the melting pot of America”, are the affordable housing and a flourishing economy. Dallas was declared Forbes’ 2017 best city for jobs, having experienced “rapid” job growth since 2011.
This rapid growth has led to big problems for the construction industry, which is experiencing a “significant” shortage of skilled labor. Estimates show that somewhere between 10-20,000 jobs remain vacant. Dallas Builders Association executive director Phil Crone is quoted as saying, “I think it’s going to take a long time before [the worker shortage situation] gets better around here.”
“There are cranes everywhere,” Abby says. “Our economy is really incredible. There’s a spirit of entrepreneurship in our city. So many people are open to new ways of doing business; new ways of thinking about efficiency and productivity.”
Despite this receptiveness, Amplio is the only Dallas staffing company connecting the talented and dependable refugee workforce to these unfilled jobs.
The table is set for a mutually profitable relationship between the growing refugee community and Dallas businesses. Local Amplio Managing Director, Richard Brindley’s background in international partnerships and the Dallas Fort-Worth community mean you can rest assured he’ll find the right fit for your workforce needs every time.
To learn more about whether or not the refugee workforce could be the right fit for your company, contact us today.
Let’s join together for a bright and prosperous future for Dallas-Fort Worth.