New Report Highlights Models for Training Immigrant Workers

June 27, 2016

Focus is on Preparing People for In-demand Jobs with Local Employers

 Washington, DC – A new report from the nonprofit National Skills Coalition (NSC) provides seven practical examples of programs that help immigrant workers build skills and meet local employers’ needs. 

Upskilling the New American Workforce uses on-the-ground examples to highlight key federal and state workforce policies that enable effective programs. Such policies include the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Community Development Block Grants, as well as state policies such as Minnesota’s pioneering FastTRAC program.

The report comes as states are slated to begin full implementation of the WIOA legislation on July 1. Among the program models highlighted are:

  • An electronics assembly training program that prepares refugees to work in the aeronautics industry in Washington State
  • A community college/nonprofit partnership that helps qualified immigrants pursue licensed practical nursing credentials in Minnesota
  • A green janitorial program that equips immigrant janitors to work in LEED-certified buildings in California

Among the types of immigrants served by the highlighted programs are adults with limited English skills; refugees; day laborers; and young undocumented immigrants who received Deferred Action (known as DACA recipients).

“The US has a middle-skill gap,” explains report author Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, a senior policy analyst at NSC. “There are more middle-skill jobs than there are workers who are trained to that level.” Such jobs require more than a high school diploma, but not a four-year degree. “Immigrant workers can be part of the middle-skill solution, and this report shows how communities can scale up innovative programs to ensure that immigrants can contribute fully.”


National Skills Coalition is a broad-based coalition of employers, unions, education and training providers, and public officials working toward a vision of an America that grows its economy by investing in its people so that every worker and every industry has the skills to compete and prosper.