The sixteen sites in SIIP’s fifth cohort represent a combination of new communities and SIIP network alumni communities that are committed to advancing the workforce inclusion of immigrants and refugees across the U.S. Anchorage, Alaska; Brattleboro, Vermont; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Eugene, Oregon; Lincoln, Nebraska; Louisville, Kentucky; New York, New York; Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; South Bend, Indiana; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and the states of Colorado, Utah, and Virginia join a network comprising 40 communities across the nation, from Alaska to Texas to Maine.
Participants in the 2022-2023 program comprise four cohorts focused on the following themes: building career navigation tools and resources for internationally trained immigrants and refugees; advancing and retaining internationally skilled employees; connecting local workforce boards with untapped talent pools; and developing and expanding contextualized digital literacy programs.
SIIP Demonstration Opportunity
WES Global Talent Bridge has launched its inaugural SIIP Demonstration partnership opportunity to support promising workforce inclusion initiatives.
Organizations selected for the SIIP Demonstration will receive technical and financial assistance to increase their impact and advance their capacity to develop programs with potential for replication throughout the U.S.
The application process was open to members of the SIIP network and other WES Global Talent Bridge partners. Proposals focused on bridging initiatives for internationally trained health care workers and programs that leverage immigrant and refugee professional networks to promote workforce inclusion—areas with high demand for promising programs and initiatives that can be implemented at scale.
The five selected partner organizations are:
- African Bridge Network (Massachusetts)
- Governor’s Office for New Americans (Nevada)
- Office of Global Michigan (Michigan)
- Synergy Texas (Texas)
- Washington Academy for International Medical Graduates (WAIMG) (Washington State)
Success Stories From Previous Years
Each of the 32 communities in the 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 programs took full advantage of the partnerships and resources to develop and execute plans to advance their immigration and refugee inclusion 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.
SIIP Program Partners
- Community College Consortium for Immigrant Education
- National Skills Coalition
- Upwardly Global
- Welcome Back Initiative
- The Welcoming Center
Photo: At the Toronto convening, our partners in the program, left to right: Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, National Skills Coalition; José Ramón Fernández-Peña, 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.
The Teacher Bridge Project
The Teacher Bridge project builds on WES Global Talent Bridge’s long-standing efforts to support the career advancement of internationally trained educators in the U.S. Through Teacher Bridge, states and local partners collaborate to strengthen pathways to teaching for internationally trained educators, supporting more robust and inclusive educator workforces.
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.