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Creating Economic Opportunities for Skilled Immigrants in the U.S.


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This presentation was delivered in Upwardly Global panel discussion titled Immigrant Contributions to NY's Economy, in conjunction with the 6th Annual Immigrant Heritage Week. The presentation focuses on the challenges faced by skilled immigrants in the U.S., the solutions UpGlo offers, and the economic impact to date.

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Creating Economic Opportunities for Skilled Immigrants in the U.S.

  1. 1. © 2008, All Rights Reserved, Upwardly Global Upwardly Global Creating Economic Opportunities for Skilled Immigrants and Providing U.S. Employers with Access to Global Talent 401 Broadway, Suite 800 New York, NY 10013
  2. 2. Upwardly Global <ul><li>A 501 c3 nonprofit organization, founded in 2000 with programs in SF, NY, and Chicago </li></ul><ul><li>Specializes in rebuilding careers for immigrant professionals. Considered one of the foremost experts globally in integrating skilled immigrant labor into the workforce. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognized as innovator by Ashoka and John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognized as thought leaders on immigrant professional talent inclusion by Harvard University, World Diversity Leadership Summit, and Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why does Upwardly Global exist? Global Leaders Waspada (asylee) Indonesia Auditor Manizha (refugee) Afghanistan Physician Graal Brazil Arts Therapist Faith (asylee) Kenya Social Worker Cristian Romania Engineer Evelyn El Salvador Engineer Cashier Waitress Nanny Engineer Barista Housecleaner = Invisible in US Dishwasher Barista Taxi Driver
  4. 4. Upwardly Global Clients’ Profiles <ul><li>Work Authorized </li></ul><ul><li>University Educated </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced Professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Adequate level of English proficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Literate </li></ul><ul><li>Migrate from developing countries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NY data: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asia 21% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Africa 23% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Latin American 39% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eastern Europe 12% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Middle East 5% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>entered as asylees or refugees </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why Employers Should Care About Skilled Immigrants? <ul><li>The target market is changing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From 1998-2000 immigrants accounted for population growth: 101% in Houston, 128% in NY, 357% in Boston </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The buying power of Asian and Hispanics has increased more than 200% in 10 years, while the buying power of African is $50 billion/year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Immigrants are Growing Share of Educated & Highly Skilled Workers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 800,000 legal immigrants enter the US every year with full work-authorization , and many are prime working age </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asians and Hispanics will comprise almost 50% of the growth in the workforce by 2010. Much of this growth is achieved through immigration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immigrants are 15% of all college-educated persons in US (up from 8% in 1990), 29% of the workforce with Master ’ s degrees, 39% of workers with PhDs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sources : Migration Policy Institute, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Deloitte Research, “It’s 2008, Do You Know Where Your Talent Is?” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why Employers Should Care About Skilled Immigrants? <ul><li>Diverse talent is critical to competitive edge </li></ul><ul><li>Companies with the highest level of racial diversity report: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>nearly 15 times more sales revenue </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>an average of 35,000 customers compared to 22,700 average customers among those companies with the lowest rates of racial diversity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>employees ranked “Demonstrates Strong Commitment to Diversity as the #4 lever of intent to stay with a company out of a possible 50 levers and it was ranked the #5 driver of employee engagement out of a possible 25 factors. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The U.S. is no longer the only land of opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skilled immigrants start to return to home countries for better opportunities = Reverse Brain Drain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recent research by Duke and Harvard Universities and the University of California states that 1,203 skilled immigrant have returned to China and India for a combination of work, family, culture and economic growth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Source: American Sociological Association, Corporate Leadership Council Survey, BusinessWeek </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Facts: Skilled, Educated but Underutilized <ul><li>More than 1.3 million legal and college-educated immigrants are unemployed or working in unskilled jobs </li></ul><ul><li>22% of all college-educated immigrants – or 1 out of every 5 highly skilled and legal immigrants – are unemployed or are working in unskilled jobs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Construction laborers, babysitters, file clerks, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Another 22% are in semi-skilled jobs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carpenters, electricians, massage therapist, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brain underutilization is a reality </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Migration Policy Institute </li></ul>
  8. 8. What are the Barriers to Career Re-entry?
  9. 9. Upwardly Global Solution <ul><li>Upwardly Global is working on both sides of issue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jobseeker Program Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employer Network Services </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Upwardly Global Impact <ul><li>New York economic impact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coached more than 600 skilled immigrants from 100 developing countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average starting salary of ~ $40,000 with benefits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Income increase of $20,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact of placement in the last 2.5 years in NY estimated to yield an additional $30 million in tax revenue over working lifetime or jobseekers placed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaged employers as partners to work towards systemic change </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Success Stories Before: Babysitter After: Immigration Lawyer Before: Unemployed After: Professional Recruiter JPMC Before: Cab driver After: Design Engineer, Con Edison Before: Security Guard After: Accountant, AJWS
  12. 12. Sample Placements <ul><ul><li>LEGAL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Paralegal (Colombia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Akst & Akst Law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Senior Contract Officer (Kenya) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JPMorgan Chase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Legal Assistant (Nepal) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Myers Law Firm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NONPROFIT/SOCIAL WORK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Program Associate (Bhutan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Int ’ l Center for Tolerance Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Research Associate (Uzbekistan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Committee to Protect Journalists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff Therapist (Poland) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychotherapy Institute </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EDUCATION </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Science Teacher (Somalia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>San Diego Unified School District </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BUSINESS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Marketing Manager (Thailand) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSAA </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Relationship Manager (India) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Citigroup </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- AdSense Coordinator (Peru) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Benefits Accountant (Mongolia) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>McKesson Corp </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Associate (Philippines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KPMG </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consulting Analyst (Iran) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accenture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TECH </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- End User Support Analyst (Romania) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Memorial Sloan-Kettering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Tech Project Manager (India) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>JPMorgan Chase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SCIENCE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Organic Chemist (Eritrea) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PowerVision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Analytical Chemist (India) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biokey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Post-Doc Research Associate (Mexico) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lawrence Livermore Labs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ENGINEERING </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Well Planning Engineer (Nigeria) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Halliburton </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HEALTH CARE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anesthesiology Tech (Haiti), Brooklyn Hospital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical Resident (Vietnam) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coney Island Hospital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nurse (Philippines) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SF General Hospital </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Canadian Model for Immigrant Integration <ul><li>Raise immigrant levels to offset labor shortage </li></ul><ul><li>Immigrant selection policy: points system for selecting skilled immigrants </li></ul><ul><li>Seek to be “country of choice” for skilled immigrants </li></ul><ul><li>The upside of full integration: $13 billion increase in personal income </li></ul><ul><li>Tie immigrant integration to innovation & competitive advantage </li></ul>
  14. 14. What is Possible? Individual to Global Impact Individuals and Families Dignity Self-Sufficiency Identity Companies and Communities Diverse workforce Innovation and competitiveness New economic and community leadership Global Economies and Societies Decreased xenophobia Global economic citizenship model
  15. 15. Contact Info: 401 Broadway, Suite 800 New York, NY 10013 Phone: 212-219-8828