DURHAM, N.C. — Afghan refugees are welcome in the Bull City.
That’s the message Durham city leaders are driving home, and for one Triangle-based painting company, they’re an especially welcome sight.
What You Need to Know
Triangle-based painting company hires mostly refugees
About 70% of employees at Anderson Painting are refugees
Roughly 100 Afghan refugees are expected to arrive in Durham in the coming months
Anderson Painting hires mostly refugees to work for the company. Owner Nate Anderson says about 70% of his employees are refugees.
Mansoor Nasir started working for Anderson Painting in 2016 after moving to the United States from Pakistan with his wife and two kids. The grocery store he owned there had to be left behind.
“I belonged to the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, and we are in minorities over there, and they gave me hard time, decided it’s not safe here for my family,” Nasir said.
Nasir says his Ahmadiyya community was shunned in Pakistan.
“They made a special law against my community, under that law if I say hi to them in my language I have to go to prison for three years,” Nasir said.
Nasir says Anderson Painting helps refugees adjust to American life any way they can.
“That’s our number one goal, not just the job, but helping them adjust to this culture,” Nasir said.
About 100 Afghan refugees are expected to arrive in Durham sometime this fall. If anyone understands their fears, it’s Nasir.
“They are in desperate situation, so I wish one day it will be calm down, but who knows what gonna happen, but we can try our best to help them, support them, and welcome them,” Nasir said.
Anderson says his employees start at $14 an hour even without experience.