Upwardly Global applauds the Biden-Harris Administration’s recognition that immigrants make our country stronger and its commitment to workforce equity in our institutions. Our nation’s ability to “Build Back Better” depends on creating opportunity for all Americans, including immigrant and refugee workers, to fully contribute their skills to our communities and to our economic recovery. As the Administration pursues executive and legislative action, Upwardly Global will continue to advance workforce inclusion that will move the bar for millions of immigrants and build shared prosperity.
Through our nation’s history, immigrants have helped shape the fabric of our communities and power our economy, and their contributions are vitally important today. Immigrants play outsized roles on the frontlines of our nation’s pandemic response: At 14 percent of the U.S. population, they are 29 percent of U.S. physicians, 25 percent of pharmaceutical workers, and a quarter of IT professionals. Their contributions will continue to shape our post-COVID economic recovery: Immigrants and their children will drive all of the growth in the U.S. workforce through 2035.
Now is the time to fully leverage immigrants’ potential and the full diversity of our country. To date, Upwardly Global has supported more than 18,000 immigrant professionals in rebuilding careers in the U.S., adding hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy in tax revenue and consumer spending. Today, we are especially proud to count hundreds of essential workers as alumni, including people like Monica, Wamidh, and Ashwaq. Yet there is more to be done: Even as economists point to millions of open jobs in healthcare, technology, and other high-demand industries, we work with some of the two million un- or underemployed immigrant professionals who face barriers to fully contributing their skills.
The successful inclusion of immigrants requires workforce investments, including access to vocational English-language courses, timely processing of work authorization, and support in navigating credentialing and other job search barriers.
Embracing our nation’s inherent diversity and eliminating barriers to equity and inclusion in our institutions will drive resilience, adaptability, and innovation and open opportunities for all U.S. workers, including women, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), who have sat on the sidelines of our economy for far too long. Upwardly Global is committed to being a resource to this new administration and to supporting our nation in building back stronger than we were before.