Helping Skilled Immigrants Integrate into Workforce
There are many initiatives the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development is taking to keep the best and brightest in Lincoln after they finish their education and enter the workforce, including a new effort to bring in talented people from all over the world to Lincoln and the surrounding area.
The Skilled Immigrant Integration Project is a way Lincoln can attract those with foreign education and present them with opportunities to work at skilled and in-demand jobs. Lincoln’s New Americans Task Force has been selected as one of eight participating communities and states for World Education Services and its Global Talent Bridge program in 2019. The Task Force brings together all agencies focused on immigrants and refugees to coordinate resources and efforts. Administrators for WES were in town on March 7 to discuss the program and detailed their services.
A recent survey by New American Economy found that nearly 29% of immigrants in Lincoln over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, which is close to the national average. The same study found that of the 7.6 million college educated immigrants in the United States, 1.9 million of them—or nearly one in four—are either working in low-skilled jobs or are unemployed, an effect known as “brain drain.”
The goal is for the program to build on partnerships, specifically with health care providers in the region to forge better connections and hire the most talented people possible. LPED Director of Workforce Development Bryan Seck is excited to link area employers with skilled people from all over the globe who have decided to forge a new path in Lincoln.
“This effort will help us re-connect our newest immigrant and refugee neighbors to their skills and professions. I cannot wait to get started on this work and help a person who was a doctor, machinist, or lawyer in their home country practice their trade in Lincoln.”
WES will oversee the program and provide customized technical assistance to further and enhance the integration of skilled immigrants into the workforce. Each community in this year’s program receives hands-on-coaching, advising and web-based seminars from WES’ Global Talent Bridge team on how to maximize immigrant professional integration. After starting the program in 2018, WES Director of State and Local Initiatives, Katherine Gebremedhin, says the involvement of the cities and states in 2018 was positive, with each meeting or nearly meeting their desired outcomes through the program for skilled immigrant integration into the workforce.
The efforts of the New Americans Task Force, EmployLNK and other organizations in Lincoln relating to immigration, such as Lutheran Family Services, Catholic Social Services, Center for People in Need, Appleseed, the Asian Community and Cultural Center, and many others, have provided a track record of success that ultimately enhanced and secured Lincoln’s selection to participate in the WES program.
If you or your business would like to be involved in the program, please contact Bryan Seck at firstname.lastname@example.org / (402) 436-2365.
The Chamber’s mission is to improve the lives of Lincoln residents by providing increased economic opportunity and can only be accomplished together. For more information on the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, (www.lcoc.com) please contact Jaime Henning at email@example.com.