UTICA, N.Y. -- New opportunities are on the horizon for refugees and immigrants in the Utica area. The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees is one of the organizations chosen to receive grant funding through the Regional Economic Development Council awards.
The Mohawk Valley region was a top performer at Wednesday's award ceremony, walking away with $85.5 million, which will support 101 different projects.
The refugee center received two separate grants. Nearly $80,000 will go toward workforce training for immigrants and refugees, while another $248,000 will help establish the "One World Welcome and Opportunity Center," a resource which will better connect newcomers with the local community.
"I expect to see the colleges to have a presence here and maybe the Health Department, the UPD, the fire department, any service providers that want to work with our community will be able to have presence here and make those connections directly," said Shelly Callahan, executive director of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees.
Officials say by connecting refugees and immigrants with these resources directly, they will become self-sufficient quicker. In turn, they believe that will decrease the area's poverty levels.
Click here to see all of the projects receiving funding through this year's awards.