Press Release: San Diego Selected to National Skilled Immigrant Integration Program

February 5, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                      

SAN DIEGO, CA — San Diego has been chosen as one of eight U.S. communities to receive customized technical assistance to advance its skilled immigrant integration efforts. The San Diego Workforce Partnership, as a partner of Welcoming San Diego, was selected for the program.

Based on their track records of supporting immigrant professional success through local programs and initiatives, the cities of Anchorage, AK; Boston, MA; Des Moines, IA; Lincoln, NE; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, ME; and San Diego, CA; as well as the state of Texas (where the program will be anchored in Austin); were chosen to participate in the 2019 program by the Global Talent Bridge program of World Education Services (WES),a national organization dedicated to helping skilled immigrants fully utilize their talents and education in the United States.

“By learning from peers across the nation, we envision all civic, business and government leaders in our region to see immigrants of all skill levels and their children as vital to the talent pipeline for economic growth and a critical source of cultural dynamism that will elevate the region’s global competitiveness,” says Brooke Valle, Workforce Partnership VP of Strategy.

Through this program, the Workforce Partnership and Welcoming San Diego plan to:

  • Develop a mechanism to pursue additional funding to establish credentialing guides, pilot, fast track or bridge programs and identify innovative ways—such as microloans, grants, social impact bonds and income share agreements—to finance recredentialing processes.
  • Conduct research to better understand regional and statewide patterns of foreign-trained health care, education and tech professionals and evaluate existing program effectiveness in employing and upskilling immigrant professionals.
  • Explore the launch of an internship program for skilled adults using Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians’ International Professionals Program

This work is aligned with the spirit of the Welcoming San Diego strategic plan on immigrant and refugee integration, which was launched at a press conference with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer on February 4, 2019. The plan is a comprehensive blueprint for the San Diego region to bridge newcomer and native-born communities toward shared prosperity and a common future.

“Our congratulations go out to these hard-working communities,” says Paul Feltman, deputy executive director for global talent policy and programs at WES. The program offers an opportunity for communities to further their state and local skilled immigrant integration initiatives, explains Feltman. “We are very encouraged by all the work each of these communities has already done in local immigrant integration, and are looking forward to working closely with them to take their efforts to the next level. If they are able to accomplish anything approaching what the first eight communities accomplished last year, we’ll be very proud.”

Over the course of the year, the Global Talent Bridge team and other national experts will provide each of the communities with a total of 24 hours of hands-on coaching, advising and technical assistance as well as four interactive web-based training sessions on immigrant professional integration. Global Talent Bridge will lead monthly calls where communities will share ideas and provide updates on their progress. Additionally, Global Talent Bridge is sponsoring delegates from each of the eight communities to participate in a working cross-border conference in Toronto, Canada this summer.

“We look forward to convening our Welcoming San Diego partners to identify ways our system can better align needs of our growing industries—biotech, health care and tech—to immigrant professionals who are seeking training and credentialing, and to compete for the best global talent by building a more inclusive, welcoming and culturally dynamic ecosystem,“ says Workforce Partnership CEO Peter Callstrom.

San Diego Workforce Partnership

The Workforce Partnership is the leader for innovative workforce solutions in San Diego County. Since 1974, the organization has funded and delivered job training programs that enable all job seekers to develop the skills and knowledge needed for in-demand careers. The Workforce Partnership also provides ongoing labor market research on the region’s workforce trends and key industries. Our vision is to ensure that every business in our region has access to a skilled workforce and every job seeker has access to meaningful employment. For more information, visit workforce.org.

Welcoming San Diego

Welcoming San Diego is a multi-sector effort to advance the civic, social and economic integration of immigrants and refugees. They envision a vibrant, inclusive, and safe binational region that attracts families and businesses from around the world and that all San Diegans can flourish in. For more information, visit welcomingsd.org.

Contact
Brooke Valle, VP of Strategy
(619) 228-2900
brookevalle@workforce.org