In launching the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program, WES Global Talent Bridge looked to harness the momentum started in 2016 at the federal Task Force on New Americans National Skills and Credential Institute, which assembled communities that had been promoting skilled immigrant and refugee integration locally. After a successful pilot in 2018, more than 25 sites across the U.S. applied to be part of the 2019 program. Each of the eight communities selected committed to achieving two or three outcomes to advance skilled immigrant integration efforts locally.
The 2019 Cohort
WES Global Talent Bridge selected eight communities to receive customized technical assistance to help advance their skilled immigrant integration efforts. The eight communities join eight “alumni” localities from a 2018 pilot that will stay connected to the growing program by mentoring and providing other support going forward. Thus, 16 cohorts across the country – from Maine to Alaska – are now working with WES to meaningfully integrate the professional skills and talents of immigrants into their local economies.
Success Stories From the Pilot Year
Each of the eight communities in the 2018 program 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Who can apply to be a part of the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program?
The application process for the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program is currently closed. To read the criteria for the 2019 program, access the request for proposals here.
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 participated in the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program in 2018?
Eight communities – Denver, Louisville, Santa Clara, St. Louis, and Boise and its regional partners Twin Falls and Salt Lake City, as well as the states of Ohio, Michigan, and Maryland – received customized technical assistance from WES Global Talent Bridge and leading national organizations to advance their skilled immigrant integration efforts during the first year of the program in 2018. Read more about their accomplishments here.
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.