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Our Influence and Impact Program aims to promote change of inefficient labor markets and practices that result in employment barriers for skilled immigrants. We develop best practices and resources to educate decision-makers about skilled immigrants and build awareness that leads to the adoption of more effective and inclusive practices and policies. This work draws on the expertise we gain working directly with skilled immigrants and U.S. employers.
Example: Dieudonne is a foreign-trained nurse and public health professional with experience in multiple African countries and in Haiti earthquake relief. He lives in one of the 17 states that requires two very similar skills exams to license as a registered nurse: one for foreign-trained and one for all U.S. nursing school graduates. This redundant testing costs him precious time and money and slows his integration into nursing industry. One goal of our Influence & Impact program is to draw attention to such inefficiencies in professional regulation and encourage their reform.
impact on the job seekers:
Our programs result in multiple social and economic benefits to job seekers and their families.
- Increased income: Job seekers generate an additional $175,000 in income over a five year period as a result of their professional placement and high retention rates.
- Benefits for immigrant families: Eighty five percent of job seekers provide financial support for three children and/or family members. In 2011, they supported a total of 600 dependents.
- Higher Civic Participation and Citizenship Rate: Due to the high costs of naturalization, studies show that an immigrant who has an income of $30,000 - $40,000 is more likely to apply for citizenship than an otherwise similar immigrant who has an income of between $10,000 and $20,000 (Johnson, et al, 1999). With an average salary of $45,000 at placement, our job seekers are able to apply for U.S. citizenship, which will allow them to vote, run for office, or work for the federal government.
- New Networks: One of the most valuable job search tools that immigrants leave behind is their professional network. Upwardly Global helps job seekers rebuild their network by facilitating connections with more than 1,500 American professionals serving as Upwardly Global volunteers and over 500 members of our employer network.
- Increase in Morale: Several studies show that unemployment and underemployment cause detrimental changes in family relationships and in the psychological well-being of spouses and children (Paul & Moser, 2009). By helping immigrants obtain professional positions, we are positively impacting the health and welfare of job seekers and their families.
Impact on the Employer:
Upwardly Global acts as a bridge for professionals to bring their talents to where it can be utilized to the fullest.
- Educated and experienced candidates: Upwardly Global's program participants have a university degree (more than 50% have master's degrees) with an average of 10 years of work experience in their respective fields.
- Cross-cultural and multilingual talent: With 12.5% (38.5 million) of the current U.S. population being immigrants (Batalova and Terrazas, 2010), companies who hire employees that are representative of their consumer base are better equipped to attract ethnic markets.
- Loyal Employees: Due to the desire to establish a new life in the U.S., Upwardly Global job seekers have a high sense of job loyalty and dedication and, thus, minimize employer workforce turnover costs. Currently, we boast a yearly retention rate of 80-90 percent.
- Flexible and Adaptable Workforce: Immigrant job seekers are no longer settling only in the six states (California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, and Illinois) in which they have traditionally lived, but are eager to relocate to nontraditional states for employment (Fix, Zimmermann, and Passel, 2001.) For companies who are expanding or who are located in more remote areas, this is an added benefit of hiring immigrant job seekers.
- Employee Engagement: Upwardly Global brings skills-based volunteer opportunities for employees to develop mentoring, interviewing, leadership, and cross-cultural communication skills by sharing their relevant professional experience with skilled immigrants.
impact on the economy and society:
Fulfilling our mission and vision results in improving our country's standing in the global economy.
- Poverty alleviation: In 2011, our 280 placements created a one-year increase in income of $8.4 million to immigrant families who were formerly struggling. Of these individuals, 71 percent were previously unemployed and relied on their savings or government assistance for survival.
- Economic growth: According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, immigration increases the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by roughly $37 billion each year because they increase the size of the total labor force, complement the native-born workforce, and stimulate capital investment by adding workers to their labor pool (Council of Economic Advisors, 2007)
- Larger Tax Base: A larger percentage of immigrants to our regions are working age. In fact, the immigration population has a higher proportion of working-age adults than the native-born population (ACS, 2008.) Employing immigrant job seekers in professional positions brings about a higher income tax base.
- Entrepreneurship: Twenty five percent of technology and engineering companies started in the United States in 1995-2005 had at least one founder who was foreign-born. These immigrant-founded companies produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2005 (Wadhwa et al, 2007.) Upwardly Global brings these entrepreneurial individuals to the professional workforce where they can have greater economic impact.
- Job Opportunities: When Upwardly Global job seekers move out of unskilled or semiskilled positions, these are made available for local unemployed workers for whom this is a meaningful employment.