Global Talent Bridge Partner Blog

News on practice and policy affecting internationally trained immigrants and refugees

Immigrant Heritage Month: Recognizing the Value of Immigrant Contributions

Thursday June 22, 2017 | by Debra Means-West

June is Immigrant Heritage Month, a time to reflect on our shared legacy as a nation of immigrants, and fully realize the economic and professional potential of newly arrived immigrants across the country.

In the U.S. today, it is estimated that approximately 1.9M highly-skilled immigrants are working in low skilled jobs or are unemployed – a phenomenon known as “brain waste.”  The cost in lost wages, for this group, is estimated at $39.4 billion per year.

48% of newly arrived immigrants hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, a figure that has been steadily increasing since the 1990s.  Harnessing the skills and experience of this population is an economic imperative for the U.S. labor market, yet significant barriers to employment inhibit their full integration.

IMPRINT, a coalition of organizations active in the field of immigrant professional integration, seeks to mobilize this underutilized talent pool to meet critical workforce demands in key sectors such as healthcare, teaching, and STEM. To this end, WES Global Talent Bridge has joined in efforts to advance a set of five principles to serve as a foundation from which the movement can grow.

Join us in promoting economic integration among immigrants and refugees who are working to use their talents in the United States. Have your organization endorse IMPRINT’s statement of principles and help us in advancing the integration of America’s skilled immigrant population.

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Debra Means-West is Director of Network and Resource Development at WES Global Talent Bridge.