On Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber hosted an information session for Lutheran Services Carolinas and their New Americans Program, which is being instituted along the Grand Strand for the first time. The program welcomes refugees to the U.S. and helps them transition into a new life and culture.
This spring, the Myrtle Beach area will welcome 75 refugees from Ukraine and other countries to the region.
More than 40 members of the community attended the session and heard a presentation from Seth Hershberger, a Columbia, S.C.-based resettlement director for LCS.
During the session, Hershberger shared details about the New Americans Program and how the business community, civic and faith-based organizations and individuals can assist.
Hershberger shared that the main goal of the program is to help welcome the refugees, integrate them into their new community and assist them in becoming self-sufficient.
To do that, LCS assists the refugees with finding housing and employment, learning English if needed, job training, transportation, setting up bank accounts, getting their driver’s license and more.
Hershberger emphasized, “All refugees and immigrants coming here have legal status to work in the U.S.”
He also noted that the refugees already have a wide range of skills that they learned in their home country, including farming, construction, trade skills, housekeeping, cooking and sewing. And some have their master’s degree and more specialized skills, including speaking several languages.
LCS will match those skills with employers needs to find them the best matching employment.
“The majority of refugees are very hard workers and often stay at a company for a very long time,” he said.
The New Americans Program is currently setting up a local office on 21st Avenue in Myrtle Beach that is set to open in March. LCS will also host another information session for the community this spring at the Shepard of the Sea Lutheran Church.
For more information and to offer employment opportunities or other services, visit LSCarolinas.net.
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