With many parts of their home still devastated by Hurricane Maria two months later, hundreds of individuals and families from Puerto Rico are coming to Buffalo in search of a place to live and work. The International Institute of Buffalo will hold an event next week to help those arrivals find a job.
Local relief organizers suggest hundreds of families and individuals are arriving in Buffalo and Western New York and many are expected to stay for the long term. Laura Caley, the Employment Services Manager for the International Institute, says while her organization is better known for working with foreign refugees, Puerto Ricans relocating in Buffalo and Western New York face similar challenges, even as U.S. citizens.
"I think they have a lot of shared obstacles with our refugee populations that we work with, due to the English capabilities. They come from all different walks of life," Caley said. "Some have more employment experience than others. We think we can pull them into our employment services pretty easily with the clients that we serve."
The workshop will be held Wednesday, December 6 from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the International Institute's offices at 864 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Interpreters will be there to assist.
Caley welcomes the idea of displaced Puerto Ricans staying in Buffalo and Western New York on a long-term basis.
"It's an opportunity for Buffalo to bring another population in and find jobs and help in those sectors that are looking to fill employment voids, manufacturing, hospitality, the restaurant industry," she said.