Our series on the WES Global Talent Bridge Skilled Immigrant Integration Program continues this month with the state of Maryland, one of the eight localities participating in the national pilot program based on their track records of supporting immigrant professional success through local programs and initiatives.
Maryland’s work with the WES project has two thrusts:
- Develop tangible licensing or career pathway guides for immigrants in the state based on the expertise of TA partners or the work of other pilot participants.
- Learn about employer engagement, and apply those lessons to inviting an employer to join the Skilled Immigrant Task Force.
“Career pathway guides specific to Maryland will prove extremely useful to new Americans in our state as they navigate the career options available to them,” says Phil Bonner, director of Workforce ESOL Programs at Montgomery College. “The guides will provide much needed information on job licensing and credentials, course offerings to obtain those licenses, and career choices aligned with the training the new Americans may already have.”
For the focus on employer engagement, the Maryland team hopes to bring state employers into the process of fully utilizing the skills, talents, experience, and expertise of its immigrant newcomers.
“Maryland is excited to work with the project’s technical assistance providers to create an employment engagement strategy for our Skilled Immigrant Task Force,” says Lauren Gilwee, New Americans Initiative coordinator at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. “We are confident that developing a unified strategy will better connect the skills and talents of immigrant professionals with the labor demands of local businesses.”
The Maryland team is hopeful that, through their work in the TA Program, their state will be able to not only accomplish these worthy objectives, but serve as a model of immigrant integration for the rest of the country.
“The technical assistance by WES Global Talent Bridge and the other providers is critical for Maryland in learning how to serve immigrants,” says Amanda Olmstead, Workforce Programs manager at the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees in the Department of Human Services. “The monthly calls and the June convening will help build capacity of the Maryland Skilled Immigrant Task Force.”
To learn more about the organizations on Maryland’s team and how they are working with new Americans, please visit the following sites: