(Host) Vermont’s Refugee Resettlement Program has a new director. Stacie Lee Blake of Hinesburg will assume the job at the end of April. Blake is currently the project director of the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services. She’s a graduate of the University of Vermont.
Blake succeeds Charles Shipman who is stepping down after 16 years as director of the Refugee Resettlement Program. Shipman came under fire last year when over two dozen agencies complained he had been uncooperative, and failed to provide them with basic information about refugee needs. A community council has been created in response to those concerns. Blake says the council will help improve services to Vermont’s refugee community:
(Blake) “And I’m really excited about that piece and looking forward to working with those folks so we can insure that the work we do is comprehensive and meets the needs of the people who are coming here. And I think we have enough resources and energy and interest in this area to do that well.”
(Host) The Vermont Refugee Assistance Program is located in Colchester. Last year the program helped resettle just over 200 arriving refugees.