Unskilled Immigrants in US – Upskilling an untapped resource

In communities across the country, many employers are having trouble finding enough skilled workers, especially to fill middle-skilled positions that require some postsecondary training but not a four-year college degree. They may be overlooking an untapped resource.

Immigrants in those communities could potentially meet these labor force needs, but many are in lower-skilled jobs with limited access to the education and training they need to advance their careers. Workforce development services could help them develop their skills, earn higher wages to support themselves and their families, and meet employer demand.

To support upskilling efforts, we took a closer look at characteristics of the immigrant workforce. What we found suggests how important it is to consider immigrant workers when developing local workforce development strategies.


State and local policymakers can put more resources into English language instruction, track gaps in service for immigrants, and actively engage immigrant-serving organizations to ensure policy is grounded in community needs.

Workforce development service providers can strive to make programs more accessible and relevant to immigrant community members.

Funders interested in supporting equity and economic mobility can work to ensure that grantees engage immigrant populations.

Employers can invest in upskilling their immigrant workers and collaborate with immigrant- serving organizations to ensure that industry needs inform training programs.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Upskilling the immigrant workforce to meet employer demand for skilled workers

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