WES Global Talent Bridge COVID-19 Resource List

The WES Global Talent Bridge COVID-19 Resource List covers a range of pertinent resources in the field of skilled immigrant integration, including funding resources for immigrant service providers, Adult Education/Workforce resources, updates on immigrant and healthcare research, and government actions/policy updates. We will keep this list current, so be sure to check back often for the latest information.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for additional resources, we would love to hear from you!

To date, six states have issued executive orders to address health care shortages arising from the COVID-19 crisis by adjusting licensing requirements to allow internationally trained health care professionals to practice on a temporary basis.

The application process guides below provide context and guidance navigating state portals and offer additional state-specific information:

For more information, check out IMPRINT’s policy page Opening Pathways for Immigrant and Refugee Health Professionals

We Speak, We LEAD is a free online learning program from New Women New Yorkers for immigrant women, focusing on workforce development and professional English skills aquisition through interactive workshops and personalized support

As demand for contact tracers increases throughout the U.S., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers a free online course to train individuals on the fundamentals of contact tracing

The Emergency Fund for Story County is a collaborative fund created for immigrant residents who require assistance with rent, utilities, and other basic needs

Immigrant Connections provides resources for English Learner (EL) and immigrant parents to support them as they help their children complete school assignments and online learning. The resources include videos, clips, articles, toolkits

Switchboard has released multiple blog posts on topics related to the COVID-19 crisis, including making remote work successful, helping refugee clients navigate economic hardship; using virtual job readiness resources; helping clients cope; and getting started with video remote interpretation

Upwardly Global has a list of national and state-level programs to connect and support immigrant and refugee professionals with government, nonprofit, and other services that can supplement family income, nutrition, healthcare, and other needs 

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is seeking responses from immigrants and refugees who have an international degree or certification in the healthcare field and are now interested in assisting in the COVID-19 emergency response  

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has print resources free for download to support COVID-19 recommendations in 21 languages 

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement “COVID-19 Resources” includes a link to Multilingual Resources from Switchboard 

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division’s COVID-19 and the American Workplace resource page has employee rights fact sheets in 10 languages 

The COVID-19 Health Literacy Project created in collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing provides fact sheets in 30+ languages 

Local non-profits such as the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) are compiling web-based resource toolkits with a range of information for constituents. Check to see if there is an NPNA member organization in your area with similar resources 

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides an introductory video course, available in multiple languages, with an overview of emerging respiratory viruses, including novel coronaviruses, and strategies to communicate risk and engage communities to detect, prevent and respond to the emergence of a novel respiratory virus 

Whitetulip Health Foundation (WHF) is asking internationally trained healthcare professionals who are not yet licensed in the U.S. to fill out a questionnaire if they would like to assist in the COVID-19 emergency response. Their Emergency Financial Assistance Program for Internationally Trained Healthcare Professionals during COVID-19 Outbreak is accepting applications until April 30, 2020. It is not necessary to be a member of the foundation to apply for the funding: rather, applicants need to elect to be mentees on their application 

Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation offers COVID-19 emergency funding for undocumented and mixed-status families 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, searchable by state

One Fair Wage offers temporary cash gifts for service workers as funding becomes available 

Refugee and Immigrant Fund (RIF) has emergency cash assistance grants for asylum seekers. Due to the number of responses, new applications are currently not being accepted. Check back for updates 

The Resilient Rapid Response Initiative through Welcoming America will assist local government and nonprofit members with immediate needs in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This will include grants, resources, trainings, and a community of practice for members to exchange knowledge and collaborate. Grant applications are due May 15th and notifications of decisions will be announced by May 22nd

NonProfit Quarterly provides an analysis of how nonprofits can utilize the funding available through the CARES Act  

The Council of Non Profits provides a list of loans available for nonprofits in the CARES Act, including links to applications 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans by the Federal government through the U.S. Small Business Administration provide resources for small business relief through $10,000 grants and/or low-interest loans available to small businesses. Loans may become eligible for forgiveness if small businesses are able to bring back their workforce following the COVID-19 pandemic and meet additional requirements outlined by the Small Business Administration 

The CDP COVID-19 Response Fund (Disaster Philanthropy) will focus on supporting nonprofit organizations working directly to respond to the pandemic among the most vulnerable populations to help build their capacity for response. These will include social service organizations focused on supporting hourly wage earners, workers in the gig economy, immigrant/New American populations, older adults, people with disabilities and other communities vulnerable to the physical health, and the mental health and economic impacts of the pandemic 

Mother Cabrini Health Foundation is dedicating $50 million to respond to COVID-19 through their Coronavirus Emergency Support GrantsOrganizations in NY state may submit proposals for projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic via the online portal, open through June 3, 2020 

The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help small businesses, including nonprofits keep their workers on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis. Open April 3, 2020-June 30, 2020, first-come-first-served. The SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program based on available appropriations funding but has links to other resources. 

Economic Opportunity Finders (EOF) created a list of resources on philanthropic response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic

World Education has launched the webinar series “Distance Learning Strategy Sessions” to address different aspects of distance learning and share resources, promising practices, and examples with educators across the country

Upwardly Global is now offering free, self-paced job search and skill-building digital tools to help all jobseekers — regardless of immigration status — to navigate the job search process. Jobseekers who would benefit best from these free digital learning tools should have an intermediate to advanced level of English, and have some vocational training, technical certification, or a Bachelor’s degree or higher

National Skills Coalition’s (NSC) COVID-19 page includes latest podcast episodes, op-eds, press releases, blogs, toolkits, virtual events, and action alerts based on resources shared by hundreds of NSC’s member organizations

World Education has launched the webinar series “Distance Learning Strategy Sessions” to address different aspects of distance learning and share resources, promising practices and examples with educators across the country

NYATEP provides a searchable database with useful resources for workforce professionals during COVID-19 including federal and state policy, funding opportunities for nonprofits, and other resources for small businesses

Welcoming America has compiled COVID-19 resources for the public and members

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) Guidance for Adult Education and Family Literacy Programs Dealing with the Challenges of COVID-19 – This memorandum provides clarification and supports to State Adult Education Offices as States seek to provide continuity of operations for adult learners in the current COVID-19 environment 

In response to COVID-19, The Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) has created page with useful resources and trainings to help adult education programs

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced the availability of up to $100 million in National Health Emergency Dislocated Worker Grants to help states, territories, and tribal governments respond to the workforce-related impacts of COVID-19 

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has developed a series of technical assistance resources, trainings and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to address grants management questions related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) to help state and local workforce leaders, and other stakeholders and partners to assist the public workforce system during this crisis

This Cato Institute articles identifies the crucial role immigrant health care workers provide to the health care system

The Migration Policy Insitute’s (MPI) recent brief highlights the high percentage of U.S. workers represented by immigrants in numerous essential occupations, including health professions

This opinion piece from the Sun Sentinel discusses the need for further integration of internationally educated healthcare professionals to fill current healthcare shortages, specifically referencing brain waste

Open Society Foundations, with More in Common and YouGov, conducted a survey asking Americans if they would approve of foreign doctors working on the front lines of the pandemic. By a 6/1 margin, Americans support overseas-trained doctors and nurses being able to temporarily practice medicine in America to help care for COVID-19 patients

This New Yorker article highlights the actions taken by some states to help integrate foreign educated medical graduates into the fight against COVID-19

New data from Center for Migration Studies (CMS) estimates that 19.8 million immigrants work in “essential critical infrastructure” categories. The report goes into detail about the amounts of immigrants working across specific industries

Brooking’s Institute, “Don’t Forget to Thank the Immigrants Too” discusses the contributions of immigrants across sectors and industries, highlighting the role immigrants are playing in helping humanity during the COVID-19 crisis and advocating for an ease in regulations preventing immigrants from utilizing their skills 

Center for Global Development (CGD)“Migrant Health Workers Are on the COVID-19 Frontline. We Need More of Them” advocates for reducing barriers to help immigrant healthcare professionals practice in the U.S. and other countries, including data on the number of healthcare professionals in the U.S., shortages in healthcare workers prior to COVID-19, and the historical resistance to migration of healthcare professions 

Immigration ImpactsImmigrant Health Care Workers Play a Vital Role in the United States’ COVID-19 Response” gives current data on immigrants in the healthcare profession/industry during COVID-19 crisis 

Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) fact sheet Immigrant Workers: Vital to the U.S. COVID-19 Response, Disproportionately Vulnerable” shows that immigrants account for larger shares in coronavirus-response frontline occupations, and discussing opportunities for practitioners to address the additional challenges faced by immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Migration Policy Institute (MPI)“As U.S. Health-Care System Buckles under Pandemic, Immigrant & Refugee Professionals Could Represent a Critical Resource” gives commentary on the role of immigrant healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 crisis including some valuable data about the underutilization rates of their skills and talents 

New American Economy (NAE)“Immigration and Covid-19” contains useful data pertaining to immigrants and the COVID-19 pandemic 

Center for American Progress (CAP), “Removing Barriers for Immigrant Medical Professionals Is Critical To Help Fight Coronavirus” highlights unique ways that state and federal stakeholders can lift barriers and enable immigrant and internationally trained healthcare professionals to work in their field in the COVID-19 crisis. It encourages USCIS and the U.S. Dept. of State to remove roadblocks, such as visa and interview requirements, and ease residency requirements to allow more immigrant doctors to practice 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Refugee agency (UNHCR) have temporarily suspended refugee resettlement travel  

International Rescue Committee (IRC) discourages blanket policies preventing people from seeking asylum and urges resettlement countries to ensure measures restricting entrance are temporary, proportional to public health needs, and not otherwise different than restrictions for people who are not refugees

On April 3, 2020 Representatives Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) introduced H.R. 6432, legislation to address the physician shortage in the United States by taking the first step in removing unnecessary barriers for doctors trained abroad who now reside in the U.S.  

CO Executive order No. 2020 038, April 15, 2020, in which Colorado Gov. Polis authorized creating pathways for internationally trained nurses and doctors to provide healthcare services in response to the pandemic

MA – The Baker administration announced several executive orders to support the health care workforce and expand its capacity, including easing licensing restrictions for internationally educated doctors 

MI – On April 26, 2020, Gov. Whitmer issued an emergency order that provides for temporary licensing of individuals with international healthcare experience and education in a variety of health care professions. Executive Order 2020-61 permits the licensure of physicians, physician assistants, RNs, LPNs, and respiratory therapists licensed in another country who have at least five years of practice experience and who have practiced for at least one year in the last five years

NJ – Executive order No. 112, April 1, 2020, in which New Jersey Gov. Murphy authorized immigrant doctors licensed in another country to practice medicine in the state, allowing state officials to grant temporary licenses to doctors who have a medical license in another country. New Jersey also passed legislation, S-2333/AA-3910, on April 13, 2020, which was signed by Gov. Murphy on April 14, 2020. The new law delegates to the director of the state licensing department the ability to temporarily suspend licensing requirements in all licensed health professions during the pendency of the emergency  

NY – Executive order, No. 202.10, March 23, 2020, in which Gov. Cuomo temporarily modified requirements for graduates of foreign medical schools to practice medicine in NY state 

NV  Nevada Gov. Sisolak issued an executive order authorizing the waiver of licensing requirements for a wide range of medical services providers with training from another country, including doctors, nurses, and behavioral health professionals

IMPRINT’s Policy Map now features “COVID-19 Emergency Response” as a searchable issue area highlighting executive orders authorizing internationally trained healthcare workers who are not yet licensed in the U.S. to join the fight against COVID-19 in certain states

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