Immigrants represent a critical component of virtually every WE Global member state’s efforts to close the middle skills workforce gap. Whether you take a five-year, ten-year, or fifteen-year horizon, immigrants account for most, if not all, of the population and workforce growth in most Midwestern states.
In fact, between 2000-2015, immigrants make up about half the population growth in the Great Lakes Region (as defined by the New American Economy’s October 2017 report “New Americans and a New Direction: The Role of Immigrants in Reviving the Great Lakes Region”). The National Skills Coalition fact sheets highlight an even greater impact of immigrants on population growth in Michigan and Maryland.
National Skills Coalition’s research also highlights important federal funding sources to help prepare immigrants with the skills demanded by Michigan’s economy, including opportunities within the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training program. The Michigan research credits the work of Governor Snyder’s Michigan Office for New Americans (MONA) as playing a leading role helping to build more inclusive workforce development policies.
Michigan and Maryland have leaders who have created specific state goals around insuring that a majority (60% and 55%, respectively) of the state’s workforce has a post-secondary credential by 2025. Both states will need to insure that training and workforce development programs are inclusive of immigrant talent to meet these goals. If you are interested in learning more about the opportunities to insure that your local training and workforce programs are inclusive of immigrants, please contact Amanda Bergson-Shilcock at the National Skills Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org.