Nebraska’s staffing shortage could be partially solved by an unforeseen source

A proposed bill would support low-income workers and refugees, giving them a chance to find a stable job.
Expanded Housing Utilities Assistance

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A proposed bill could help solve the staffing shortage in Nebraska by giving Afghan refugees a home.

Sen. Myron Dorn of Adams introduced the bill, which would allocate $10 million from the state’s American Rescue Plan Act funds toward helping refugees and people of low incomes get on their feet.  According to the Nebraska Examiner, $8 million would go to nonprofit groups to develop affordable housing, and the other $2 million would be used for job training.

Shafiq Jahish testified in support of the bill as a refugee himself who found a way to put himself through college and earn an IT professional job at an Omaha Bank, according to the Nebraska Examiner. Jahish said the reason many refugees struggle is because they don’t have money, jobs, or rental history in order to get housing.  The lack of housing leads to other problems since they won’t be allowed to get a drivers license or send their kids to school.  All of this compounds, and refugees can be stuck without housing and employment for a long time.

According to a New American Economy report, there are 73,901 immigrants in the Omaha Metro Area. Many of them found jobs in manufacturing, administrative support, and construction. They paid $483.8 million in 2019 alone.

“There’s no place like home,” said Sen. Dorn, and refugees especially “are anxious to build a new home and new life” in the United States.

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