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Gov. Wolf Open to Ukraine Refugees

Gov. Wolf says the state is already home to one of the largest Ukrainian American populations in the U.S. and with the situation growing more dire there, he says he wants to Commonwealth to open its arms to Ukrainians fleeing conflict.

As millions flee Ukraine

The images of the dire humanitarian crisis striking a nerve across the world and hear at home.

“The people of Pennsylvania have personal, cultural, and business ties in Ukraine. Ties that further deepen our grief and our outrage at the tragedy they are now suffering.”

Gov. Tom Wolf now urging the legislature to approve $2 million to help support community based resettlement agencies across Pennsylvania to provide faster and more flexible resources for those who decide to come here.

“Our commonwealth stands ready to welcome refugees from Ukraine and to help all those fleeing violence find safety here in Pennsylvania.”

Wolf cites last year’s effort to bring refugees from Afghanistan into Pennsylvania when the U.S. Pulled out of the nation to show how the Keystone State can help.

“Pennsylvania became a place for Afghan refugees to come and that was a partnership between Pennsylvania, we had some Pennsylvania dollars in that, and federal money.”

“Diversity is economic development, diversity does grow business it does bring jobs to the area, and it helps to create a 21st-century environment for any city. ”

That was Mike Tedesco, the President and CEO of Vision 2025 Together, in a recent conversation with us about their plans to bring in 100 Afghan Refugee families last year to Johnstown in an effort to fill what they say are about 1,000 open job positions a plan that we documents published last week showed seemingly changed as the idea was criticized upon becoming public to, a few legally vetted immigrants.

“Plans evolve all the time. Bringing in legally vetted immigrants has been part of the plans for months now.”

I asked Tedesco if Vision 2025 made any formal inquiries to the State or the Feds about bringing Ukrainian Refugees to Johnstown. He told me they have not made any formal requests… when I asked if the possibility was on the table for later, he said yes, if they are vetted and legal, we’ll help match them up to the needs of employers to grow the economy and tax base.

With the United Nations now saying the number of refugees leaving Ukraine has now grown to 2 million people, the efforts to help them in their plight, also grows.

“It is abundantly clear that the people of Ukraine are strong, and they are united as a nation. But it is heartbreaking to see what they have been forced to do in this war.”

During his address this morning announcing a ban on Russian oil and gas, President Joe Biden said that Vice President Kamala Harris will be traveling to meet with allies in Poland and Romania later this week to discuss the refugee situation, adding that he has vowed to share in the responsibility of caring for the refugees so it doesn’t fall entirely on the countries bordering Ukraine.

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