Mission & Impact

The Challenge

Newcomers to the U.S. are more educated than at any other time in our history: 45% of recently-arrived immigrants have at least a bachelor’s degree. Yet more than 2 million immigrants and refugees who have degrees and professional work experience from their home countries face systemic barriers that leave them unemployed or working in low wage jobs in the United States. Upwardly Global is the first and longest-serving national organization that helps these individuals restart their careers and bring their skills and perspectives into the American workforce.

Our Mission and Vision

Upwardly Global’s mission is to eliminate employment barriers for immigrant and refugee professionals, and advance the inclusion of their skills into the U.S. economy.

We envision an equitable, welcoming country where everyone–including immigrants, refugees, and asylees–can fully contribute and thrive.

Our Values

Our Impact

Upwardly Global’s innovative skill-building and networking programs coach internationally trained professionals in rebuilding professional careers and U.S. employers in accessing their talents with inclusive hiring practices. To date, Upwardly Global has placed more than 7,500 people, adding $358 million to the economy each year. Learn more about our impact from our annual reports and financial statements and this recent Upwardly Global 2020 summary.

Our History

Founded in 2000 by Jane Leu, Upwardly Global is the first and longest-serving organization focused on advancing the meaningful inclusion of  immigrants and refugees who have international credentials into the U.S. workforce. Today, Upwardly Global has offices in four major cities and works with thousands job seekers across the country every year to support their full inclusion in the U.S. workforce, and to share our learnings broadly to promote positive systems change. Learn more about our history here.

Building the Field

Upwardly Global is committed to using our knowledge and experience to build the field and shift systems to advance inclusion. We support employer change practices including diverse hiring, promotion and retention through our work with corporate partners; we share our resources and learning tools with front line immigrant organizations and workforce providers (including government agencies and community organizations) through our Jobversity program, and we lift up the stories and support policy priorities that can move people and advance this work.

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