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Letter: Fluency in English important in North Dakota

Of the 100,000 of them promised admittance to the U.S. how many will come to North Dakota? Could they be the answer to our labor shortage as some state officials suggest? What do we need to do to

Letter to the editor FSA
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“I want to go to America where it’s safe.” The speaker, a little boy, is one of 4.2 million Ukrainian refugees. Of the 100,000 of them promised admittance to the U.S. how many will come to North Dakota? Could they be the answer to our labor shortage as some state officials suggest? What do we need to do to make that happen?

After all, many of them are highly skilled professionals – doctors, nurses, agricultural experts, teachers. They can do far more than work at WalMart or dead-end factory jobs as other New Americans are doing.

To use their skills in North Dakota, what they will require is fluency in English. Many of them already know English, but they may need to be brought up to speed in the English used in their field. Those who are in their late teens – soon to join the labor force or enter college – may need intensive classroom training to learn the English they need for future success in this country. Furthermore, where American licensure is required in fields like medicine, teaching and the like, organizations like Sanford might do well to develop programs that expedite obtaining American credentials.

With a little effort we can provide the safety the little boy begged for while we fill gaps in our own labor force. All that just for being the kind and generous people that we are.

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