Global Talent, an organization based in Boise, Idaho that helps college-educated immigrants and refugees connect with professional roles in the U.S., was recently awarded a three-year Refugee Career Pathways grant through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Building on a regional partnership cultivated through the WES Global Talent Bridge National Skilled Immigrant Integration Program, this grant will enable Global Talent, in collaboration with Utah-based nonprofit One Refugee, to establish a presence in Salt Lake City, and increase our career coaching services in Twin Falls, Idaho, a refugee resettlement city located halfway between Boise and Salt Lake City.
As part of the grant, Global Talent has hired a staff member to co-locate with One Refugee and, through Upwardly Global’s curriculum, provide career services that complement their work to help students who arrived as refugees pursue higher education in the U.S. In addition to the college students in One Refugee’s program, Global Talent will also provide career coaching and resources to help internationally educated refugee professionals in the region effectively leverage their skills and degrees to obtain professional roles commensurate of their education and experience. Over the three years of the grant, we also plan to build and leverage strong business relationships in both states and create opportunities for mid-career internships to provide work-based learning to participants in our program.
As both Idaho and Utah are experiencing booming industry growth and a shortage of skilled workers, this investment to help college educated refugees become fully employed in their professional fields will increase the pool of diverse, highly educated professionals in the region who are job ready, contributing to the economic vitality of the region.
We anticipate that this regional approach to skilled immigrant integration will generate more impact than one state program alone. In addition to assisting more highly educated refugees, a bi-state partnership enables us to engage an expanded labor market throughout the region and tap into employment opportunities in both states, increasing opportunities for all highly skilled refugees in the region.
Ashley Davis is project manager at Global Talent in Boise.