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Commissioners Approve Refugee Resettlement Program, Workforce Training Center

Commissioners are giving support for refugees forced from their homeland due to war, persecution, and other reasons. During their meeting on May 18, Commissioners unanimously approved support for the Refugee Resettlement Program. Since 2016, the Catholic Charities’ initiative has been operating in Buncombe County and provided assistance to 373 Asheville-area refugees in the past five years.

The program helps provide the following resources:

  • Assistance with housing
  • Social services
  • Health care referrals
  • School registration
  • Community and cultural orientation
  • Budgeting and financial education  

The County has not dedicated any funding or resources toward the program but has directed staff to see how it can support the initiative. You can learn more about the Refugee Resettlement Program here.

Workforce Training Center Gets Go-Ahead

As Buncombe County continues to increase economic opportunities, it’s also helping ensure that those looking to capitalize on new job opportunities have access to training. Commissioners unanimously approved the creation of a training center in partnership with A-B Tech and Pratt & Whitney. The County is dedicating upward of $5 million for site improvement, facility design, and construction of the new training center.

This 20,000 square-foot facility will give Pratt & Whitney direct access to many of the new 800 specially trained workers its new plant will employ. This also highlights the importance of our partnership with A-B Tech as it shows its ability to be nimble in providing specialized training for the County’s workforce needs.