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NEW YORK, NY—(November 4, 2021) Yesterday the Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate, following its passage out of the U.S. House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support in September. As the U.S. welcomes Afghan evacuees, this legislation takes a critical step toward addressing the systemic barriers that limit the employment opportunities of immigrants and refugees with international education and experience, filling worker gaps in essential industries, and ensuring an inclusive economic recovery.
The Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act calls upon the U.S. Department of Labor to study the factors that limit the employment opportunities of immigrants and refugees who hold international credentials. More than 120 national and local organizations have signed a letter urging Congress to support the legislation.
“There are at least 2 million immigrants and refugees with college degrees who are unemployed or underemployed in the U.S.; 60 percent hold international degrees. This underutilization of talent harms workers, communities, and the economy,” said WES CEO and Executive Director Esther Benjamin. “As the nation works to develop inclusive and diverse workforces, policymakers can seize this opportunity to tackle the systemic barriers that prevent immigrants and refugees from advancing their careers in the U.S.”
About World Education Services (WES)
World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. For more than 45 years, WES has set the standard of excellence in the field of international academic credential evaluation. Through WES Global Talent Bridge, the organization joins with institutional partners, community-based organizations, and policymakers to help immigrants and refugees who hold international credentials fully utilize their talents and education to achieve their academic and professional goals. Its philanthropic arm, the WES Mariam Assefa Fund, supports catalytic leaders and organizations working to build inclusive economies and to ensure that immigrants and refugees can achieve their aspirations and thrive.
Based at WES, IMPRINT is a national coalition working to advance public policy and promising models that support the economic inclusion of immigrants and refugees with international credentials in the U.S. IMPRINT envisions a United States that values the education, skills, and experience of immigrants and refugees and ensures equitable access to pathways for success. Join the IMPRINT Coalition’s #UntappedTalent: Inclusive Economies for All campaign to advance policies that are inclusive of all workers and to open pathways so that everyone has a fair chance of reaching their educational and career goals.