NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — World Education Services (WES) has announced the 14 communities selected to join the sixth cohort of its Skilled Immigrant Integration Program (SIIP). Communities selected for the 2023–2024 SIIP cohort are Austin, Texas; Central Massachusetts; Eugene, Oregon; Metro Atlanta, Georgia (Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s service delivery area includes DeKalb, Newton and Rockdale Counties); South Bend, Indiana; St. Louis, Missouri; and the states of California, Colorado, Maine, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin.
These sites represent both new communities and SIIP alumni that are committed to advancing the workforce inclusion of immigrants and refugees across the United States.
“We are incredibly excited and honored to have been accepted into WES’s Skilled Immigrant Integration Program,” said Mary Baxter, instructional coordinator for GPTC’s adult education division. “Many of our adult education students are internationally trained professionals who face barriers to employment. Participation in this year’s SIIP cohort will provide a supportive network, expertise, and needed resources to help us and our community partners improve the economic inclusion of these students and further GPTC’s mission of workforce development.”
The SIIP network now comprises 45 communities across the nation. The 2023–2024 SIIP cohort will have three primary focus areas: creating strategies to promote employer engagement, developing initiatives in the field of immigrant and refugee economic inclusion, and the SIIP alumni exchange. Selected communities will receive customized technical assistance from WES and its national partners, as well as access to a collaborative network of SIIP alumni who have identified tools and strategies needed to promote inclusive economies.
“This newest cohort of participants in the Skilled Immigrant Integration Program is part of a nationwide effort to deepen the reach of immigrant and refugee workforce inclusion efforts in communities,” said Katherine Gebremedhin, Director of State and Local Initiatives, Global Talent Bridge at WES. “We look forward to continuing the program’s holistic approach to promoting inclusion with an intentional focus on employer engagement. We will also increase the impact of our network by collaborating with communities seeking to develop new initiatives in the field and by creating a space to promote best practices through an alumni exchange model.”
Launched in 2018, the SIIP Program is intended to improve the situation of the more than two million college-educated immigrants and refugees who are unemployed or underemployed in the U.S. An estimated 60 percent of these newcomers hold credentials earned abroad, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Underutilization of their skills and training results in almost $40 billion in forgone annual earnings and $10 billion in unrealized federal, state, and local taxes yearly. SIIP focuses on identifying and implementing pragmatic solutions that take root in communities.
To be selected for SIIP, communities must be part of a local, regional, or state network of stakeholders that includes immigrant- and refugee-led organizations and communities of color. They must also demonstrate a commitment to and leadership of initiatives that foster the professional success of immigrants and refugees who have international education and experience. Past SIIP participants have developed new frameworks, resources, and initiatives to address common barriers to immigrant employment; increased funding for workforce development and adult education; and developed state and local networks that advance the economic inclusion of immigrants and refugees.
“The SIIP Network helps to foster more inclusive economies and communities,” said Monica Munn, Chief Social Impact Officer at WES. “New members have the opportunity to collaborate with one another, with WES and its partners, and with SIIP alumni to develop and streamline pathways to skills-commensurate work for immigrants and refugees. I am excited to see the program enter its sixth year.”
About World Education Services (WES)
World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise that supports the educational, economic, and social inclusion of immigrants, refugees, and international students. For nearly 50 years, WES has set the standard for international academic credential evaluation, supporting millions of people as they seek to achieve their academic and professional goals. Through decades of experience as a leader in global education, WES has developed a wide range of tools to pursue social impact at scale. From evaluating academic credentials to shaping policy, designing programs, and providing philanthropic funding, we partner with a diverse set of organizations, leaders, and networks to uplift individuals and drive systems change. Together with its partners, WES enables people to learn, work, and thrive in new places.
The Skilled Immigrant Integration Program (SIIP) offers communities an opportunity to leverage technical assistance from WES and its national partners, and to join a network of communities to further their state and local immigrant economic integration initiatives. The SIIP Network consists of 45 member communities from cities, states, and regions across the United States. The current member communities are Anchorage, Alaska; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho, and Salt Lake City, Utah; Boston, Massachusetts; Brattleboro, Vermont; Buffalo, New York; California; Central Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Colorado; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Des Moines, Iowa; Eugene, Oregon; Howard County, Maryland; Indiana; Lincoln, Nebraska; Louisville, Kentucky; Maine; Maryland; Metro Atlanta; Michigan; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New York, New York; North Dakota; Northwest Arkansas; Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland, Maine; Portland, Oregon; Salem, Oregon; San Diego, California; Santa Clara, California; Seattle, Washington; South Bend, Indiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Utah; Virginia; and Wisconsin.
For more information, contact Ashley Craddock, Senior Director Social Impact Communications, World Education Services at email@example.com or 1.512.212.3998