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Skilled Immigrant Integration Program

Through policy advocacy, research and content creation, partnership building, and direct programming, WES Global Talent Bridge works to help skilled immigrants and refugees in the United States fully use their educational credentials to integrate into the workforce. The Skilled Immigrant Integration Program offers communities an opportunity to leverage technical assistance from WES Global Talent Bridge and its national partners and join a network of communities to further their state and local skilled immigrant integration initiatives.

The mission of the Program is to help create and expand proven and promising immigrant professional integration approaches by assisting communities to advance their skilled immigrant integration efforts.

The 2021 Cohort

WES Global Talent Bridge selected eight communities to receive customized technical assistance to help advance their skilled immigrant integration efforts. Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; South Bend, Indiana; Howard County, Maryland; Northwest Arkansas; and the states of Minnesota, Utah, and Virginia join 24 alumni communities from 2018 – 2020 that will stay connected to the growing program by mentoring and providing other support going forward. This network of cohorts across the country—from Maine to Alaska—are working with WES to meaningfully integrate the professional skills and talents of immigrants and refugees into their local economies.

Success Stories From Previous Years

Each of the 24 communities in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 programs took full advantage of the partnerships and resources to develop and execute plans to advance their skilled immigration integration efforts. The communities focused on local needs in areas that included employer engagement, local and regional partnership building, and engaging community colleges, among other options.

Our Partners in the Program

Photo: At the Toronto convening, our partners in the program, left to right: Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, National Skills Coalition; Jose Ramon Fernandez Pena, Welcome Back Initiative; Nicole Pumphrey, The Welcoming Center; Teresita Wisell, Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education; and Jill Casner-Lotto, Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Who can apply to be a part of the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program?

Communities interested in applying should include a strong lead agency to take responsibility for coalescing, convening, and supporting the work with WES Global Talent Bridge and technical assistance providers. Participation in the program requires a robust network of multi-sector stakeholders with a commitment to engage as a community of practice, both during and after the conclusion of the program.

Q2: Who has participated in the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program?

WES Global Talent Bridge selects eight new communities annually to receive customized technical assistance to help advance their skilled immigrant integration efforts. For the 2021-2022 program year, Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; South Bend, Indiana; Howard County, Maryland; Northwest Arkansas; and the states of Minnesota, Utah, and Virginia join 24 alumni communities from 2018 – 2020 that will stay connected to the growing program by mentoring and providing other support going forward. This network of cohorts across the country—from Maine to Alaska—are working with WES to meaningfully integrate the professional skills and talents of immigrants and refugees into their local economies.

Q3: How does the WES Global Talent Bridge Skilled Immigrant Integration Program training model work?

Over the course of the program year, WES Global Talent Bridge and other national experts provide each of the communities chosen to participate with 24 hours of hands-on coaching, advising, and technical assistance as well as four interactive web-based training sessions on immigrant professional integration. Additional support and training is provided at an in-person convening that takes place in Toronto, Canada, where participants can visit program models and engage in round-table work sessions to move forward with their goals.

Q4: How is the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program “moving the needle” for participating sites?

Based on feedback from our participating pilot sites in 2018, the WES Global Talent Bridge Skilled Immigrant Integration Program has helped local initiatives by:

  • Providing a framework based on tangible goals and a condensed timeline within which communities can form new partnerships and strengthen existing relationships.
  • Helping participating sites develop new resources and plan convenings to share resources and strategies that improve the career advancement opportunities of skilled immigrants.
  • Leveraging a national network to improve resources locally, including the sharing of best practices and inspiration to try new approaches.
  • Building deeper connections with peers and forming new connections to revitalize initiatives and engage government and community stakeholders.

 

For more information about the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program at WES Global Talent Bridge, click here.