We invite you to join a webinar exploring approaches to help immigrant job-seekers access opportunity and integrate into the US economy.

Invitation to Living Cities' Webinar: We invite you join us in learning about what it takes to better prepare low-income people for quality jobs by participating in a webinar exploring approaches to help immigrant job-seekers access opportunity and integrate into the US economy. The webinar will occur on September 17th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm EST.

Studies have found that the U.S. is facing a significant skills gap between ready-to-work job-seekers and ready-to-be-filled jobs. Given the rate at which we currently prepare Americans with the necessary post-secondary skills for in-demand jobs, researchers predict that we will be 5 million workers short of demand by 2020.

At the same time, we know that the U.S. is not fully maximizing the potential of current working-age adults to take part in the national economy. Access to quality employment continues to be a critical issue for many communities. Not only are 1 in 4 Americans blocked from entering the workforce by prior criminal records, but we also have 25.3 million foreign-born workers who similarly face unique obstacles in preparing for and accessing quality jobs. And since immigrants & their children will constitute 83% of the growth in the workforce through 2050, they are crucial for meeting our national labor needs and meaningfully addressing the predicted skills gap. Indeed, as communities of color become a larger portion of our national labor force (and population in general), we need to better align workforce efforts to improve their employment outcomes.

Yet our current approaches to equip immigrant workers with the resources, supports and skills they need to access and retain quality jobs are often insufficient. Discussions about immigrant integration and workforce development largely occur in siloes, leading to missed alignment opportunities such as linking immigrant youth who are deferred from deportation to post-secondary programs or occupational training providers. And even when there is alignment, local policy environments often raise additional barriers that keep immigrants from accessing jobs, such as limiting access to drivers licenses which affects people’s ability to get to work.

Thankfully, a number of promising approaches are being tested and scaled to address these issues. From the emergence of immigration integration efforts within city government to the rise of worker centers where community organizations act as brokers between immigrant job-seekers and businesses in need, there have been encouraging strides to better welcome immigrants into the US economy. National attention on the issue is also growing, as evidenced by last month’s first ever White House National Convening on Immigrant and Refugee Integration.

Join Us in Learning More about Immigrant Worker Integration Efforts

At Living Cities, we’re actively working to understand what it takes to better prepare low-income people for quality jobs. By looking more closely at the challenges facing different groups of low-income job-seekers (such as formerly incarcerated or foreign-born individuals), we hope to contribute to the broader workforce development field’s efforts to prepare low-income people for quality 21st century jobs.

We invite you join us in this learning process by participating in a webinar Wednesday, September 17th that will explore approaches to help immigrants access quality jobs and integrate into the US economy. You can register and receive more information on how to join here..

We encourage funders, government agencies and on-the-ground practitioners interested in issues of immigrant worker integration to join the webinar. You can expect to hear perspectives on the following questions and more:

  • What challenges do immigrants face in preparing for and accessing quality jobs?

  • What are some promising policies and practices that help integrate immigrants into the US workforce?

  • What roles can the public sector play in moving this work forward?

  • How can efforts better engage businesses to directly connect immigrant job-seekers to available jobs?

We’re excited to host a panel of leaders currently working in the field to tackle these issues. You’ll hear from Flavia Jimenez, National Skills Coalition, Gustavo Torres, CASA de Maryland, Cristina Tzintzún, Workers Defense Project, & Hilary Stern, Casa Latina.

The webinar will take place on September 17th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm EST. Please email any specific questions in advance to jarias@livingcities.org.

We will be tweeting about the event with the hashtag #welcome2jobs and invite everyone to share their thoughts and questions with us @Living_Cities.

We hope that you will join the conversation!