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Press Release: New Director Appointed to Lead the Office of New Americans to Ensure Immigrants and Refugees Thrive in Colorado

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For Immediate Release | June 28, 2022

DENVER  Today the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced Dee Daniels Scriven as the new Director of the Office of New Americans. 

Dedicated to advancing the integration and inclusion of immigrants and refugees across the state, the Office of New Americans facilitates successful economic, social, linguistic, and cultural integration in Colorado communities. The office was created in Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment through House Bill 21-1150, signed by Governor Jared Polis on June 25, 2021, and has expanded the work done by the New American Integration Initiative which launched in November of 2019. 

“I am pleased to have Dee join our team and lead the Office of New Americans,” said the agency’s executive director, Joe Barela. “I am confident that her stakeholder-centered focus, diligence, and ability to strategize, innovate and collaborate will support all immigrants and refugees living in Colorado make a seamless transition and thrive in their new communities.”   

Governor Polis recently signed new legislation to support New Americans. The Office of New Americans is charged with their implementation:

  • SB22-140 sponsored by Senators James Coleman and Bob Gardner and Representatives Judy Amabile and Barbara McLachlan which expands use of funds to support English Language Learners in equitable economic recovery through English language learning, who are often left out of career training and credentialing, and/or are not equipped with English skills to support their success.
  • SB22-234 sponsored by Senators Chris Hansen and Bob Rankin and Representatives David Ortiz and Marc Snyder which creates a Benefit Recovery Fund for certain eligible individuals, regardless of their immigration status, who were separated from employment through no fault of their own.
  • HB22-1050 sponsored by Representative Naquetta Ricks and Senator Janet Buckner which cuts red tape and outlines a path forward to utilize Colorado healthcare workers who are internationally trained to become licensed in the U.S. and Colorado. The Department's implementation of the programs outlined within is dependent on securing sufficient funding.

“As the daughter of immigrants, born and raised in Colorado and having worked with refugees for over a decade, I know firsthand the potential that New Americans hold and the barriers that may hinder them from thriving and achieving their dreams,” said Dee Daniels Scriven, the Director of the Office of New Americans. “It is my honor and privilege to continue the good work that has been started to eradicate those barriers and to work with immigrant and refugee communities, community based organizations, the Governor’s office, and state agencies to promote the wellbeing of New Americans in Colorado; because when New Americans prosper, Colorado prospers.” 

For more information about the Office of New Americans and its resources for immigrants and refugees, please visit



Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment