IMPRINT: Immigrant Professional Integration
Eighty-seven programs that represent a range of efforts to empower foreign-trained immigrants and refugees are now featured in the updated IMPRINT Program and Service Map. The IMPRINT map reveals the breadth of approaches across the country to support individuals seeking to reenter their professions and contribute more fully to their communities.
Initiatives include mentorship, educational advising, job fairs, and soft skill training. They support those who need to be re-credentialed or relicensed, supplement their education, have their credentials evaluated and potentially recognized, improve their English, and/or learn how to navigate the American labor market. For the first time, the map has pins in Florida and Arizona.
We found that a growing number of immigrant advocacy organizations have also begun calling for stronger policies specifically focused on helping skilled immigrants rejoin their professions. The New York Immigration Coalition in its state policy blueprint called for more tailored ESL programming and highlighted the need to streamline credentialing for foreign-trained professionals. Similarly, in its New American Dreams Platform, the National Partnership for New Americans touched upon the need to help foreign-trained medical professionals overcome employment barriers, and called for improvements in programming for professional immigrant integration.
The Immigrant Welcome Center in Indianapolis also recently called for new policies aimed at fast-tracking the professional recertification and licensure of highly-skilled immigrants who arrive in Indianapolis with advanced degrees and in-demand skills but face licensing barriers when they attempt to rejoin their profession. And in the City of San José, after an eight-month development process, city officials and partners issued a three-year immigrant integration plan outlining a series of recommendations for moving forward, including promoting skill development and career pathways, improving access to job training for professional immigrants and refugees, and reforming licensure and recertification requirements.
In its WIOA State Plan, Maryland created a skilled immigrant task force for WIOA partners and immigrant-serving communities to improve service delivery to Maryland’s skilled immigrant population. In New York City, the Workforce Development board recognized in its WIOA Local Plan that 38 percent of foreign-born New Yorkers with limited English proficiency have earned college degrees in their home countries and that without necessary English language skills these individuals take lower-skilled employment. After the March 15, 2018 deadline to submit updated WIOA plans, we hope to find additional examples to share.
Despite an ongoing scarcity of resources devoted to the issue of brain waste, there are policy advances and new program initiatives to celebrate. Please take a peek at the IMPRINT Program and Service Map here – and be sure to let us know if we’ve missed anything!