Kent-Ionia Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class

KICLC Community Action Team discusses refugee resettlement at February meeting

GRAND RAPIDS February 18, 2016– At the February meeting of the Kent-Ionia Labor Council’s Community Action Team (CAT), we discussed the topic of refugee resettlement in Grand Rapids. A representative from Bethany Christian Services, one of two refugee resettlement agencies in west Michigan, was on-hand to give information and answer questions on refugee sponsorship opportunities. We also discussed other ways the labor community might be able to help refugees as they settle in west Michigan.

Refugee family from Jordan

Refugee family from Jordan

The United States government is planning to take in 85,000 refugees in 2016. Agencies like Bethany partner with organizations who sponsor a family for their first six months in the United States.

In October of 1998, Bethany Christian Services’ resettlement program was approved to do reception and placement by becoming a Michigan resettlement affiliate of the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (CWS-IRP), working with the U.S. State Department to resettle refugees in the United States.

The CAT meets monthly, and is open to anyone interested in partnering with west Michigan union members to give back to the community. For more information, contact Steve Veldheer at

Bridging the gap between labor and community groups is critical for growing the labor movement. But we can’t do that without resources; even a small donation to the Labor Heritage Society of West Michigan will help us continue to partner with groups that share our mission of helping others.


This entry was posted on February 18, 2016 by in Community service news and tagged , , , .

Kent-Ionia Labor Council

The Kent-Ionia Labor Council, AFL-CIO is a coalition of west Michigan labor unions in Kent and Ionia Counties, based in Grand Rapids.

Address, phone, email

918 Benjamin NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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