At the Intersection of Immigration and Skills Policy: A Roadmap to Smart Policies for State and Local Leaders

Amanda Bergson-Shilcock
Date of Publication: 
September, 2018
Source Organization: 
National Skills Coalition

At the Intersection of Immigration and Skills Policy is a comprehensive guide intended to aid local and state officials in the development and implementation of education and workforce policies responsive to the needs of immigrant communities. The report examines promising initiatives undertaken by the growing network of state and local offices devoted to the integration of immigrants. Today, there are nearly 30 municipal offices of immigrant affairs, 6 state offices, and more than 90 welcoming community initiatives. Many of these offices and projects have focused their attention on education and workforce development policies and practices. The report is divided into three sections. The first provides examples of how local and state agencies have implemented immigrant skill policies. One strategy has been to fund “navigator” positions to help immigrant jobseekers access appropriate training opportunities. The second section shows how these policies can help states achieve broader skill development goals under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA); and the final section offers a series of recommendations for three different stakeholder groups: established immigrant affairs offices, newly-created offices, and personnel from state workforce and education agencies. Among the recommendations for established offices are to use their convening power to bring various stakeholders together to improve the quality of workforce programs for immigrants. The report also urges staff of immigrant affairs officers to serve on local and state workforce boards. NSC also recommends that newly-created offices be housed within a labor, education, or workforce development agency to emphasize the centrality of workforce development to the goal of immigrant integration. NSC further recommends that “gaining a seat at the table” may be more important than securing a special budget line item for stand-alone workforce development programs. (American Immigrant Policy Portal)

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Bergson-Shilcock, A. (2018). At the Intersection of Immigration and Skills Policy: A Roadmap to Smart Policies for State and Local Leaders. National Skills Coalition. Retrieved from