Upwardly Global Receives Schmidt Futures Support to Break Down Barriers for Low Income Immigrants and Refugees with AI-Powered Tool

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Upwardly Global joins Workforce Training Accelerator coalition to develop cutting-edge technologies and revolutionize job placements for low-income communities

NEW YORK — ​Upwardly Global, the first and longest-serving organization dedicated to rebuilding the careers of immigrants in the U.S., joined Schmidt Futures’ Opportunity Engines program — the Workforce Training Accelerator — on March 16, 2023, and has received a $1.5 million commitment for its work of revolutionizing job placements. The six-month initiative will support Upwardly Global’s efforts to customize a fully explainable artificial intelligence-powered tool that proactively connects immigrant and refugee job seekers to thriving-wage employment.

“We are incredibly proud to join the Workforce Training Accelerator and collaborate with other innovative organizations on the cutting edge of workforce development,” says Jina Krause-Vilmar, President and CEO of Upwardly Global. “Upwardly Global’s own AI-powered tool is set to revolutionize the way we empower immigrant and refugee job seekers into family-supporting jobs and allow us to scale our impact.”

Over the next six months, Upwardly Global will customize an AI-powered tool that reviews job seekers’ resumes, maps potential career pathways, and connects them to additional training. Built for scale, this application of intuitive AI will reduce barriers to workforce inclusion commonly faced by underemployed immigrants and refugees.

Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative of Eric and Wendy Schmidt, awarded Upwardly Global and five other workforce initiatives a total of $9 million to develop new technologies that improve economic inclusion for workers with low incomes, including:


Upwardly Global will also actively partner with community colleges, workforce development boards, and other institutions to scale its AI-powered innovations. The organization’s President and CEO, Jina Krause-Vilmar, will join a task force to identify broader recommendations in a forthcoming report on catalyzing further advancement in workforce training.

“By propelling low-income workers and students into their first family-sustaining, upwardly mobile jobs, these organizations are already delivering extraordinary outcomes,” says Elizabeth Young McNally, Executive Vice President at Schmidt Futures. “We’re excited to help them leverage technology and novel models to catalyze their growth and scale, and to enable more participants to work with them.”

Applications for the Workforce Training Accelerator were reviewed by an external panel of 12 workforce development, technology, product development, and labor policy experts. The panel scored the applications on the basis of their innovative proposals, outstanding leadership teams, track records, and commitment to equity.

Learn more about Opportunity Engines and the Workforce Training Accelerator.


About Upwardly Global

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. Since 2000, the organization has empowered newcomers with the skills, coaching, and social capital needed to rebuild their lives and careers in the U.S. To learn more about Upwardly Global, visit upwardlyglobal.org.

About Schmidt Futures

Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that brings talented people together in networks to prove out their ideas and solve hard problems in science and society. To learn more about their method and the diverse types of capital and tools that they deploy, visit schmidtfutures.com.

Media Contact

Joshua Garner, media@upwardlyglobal.org

Hiltzik Strategies, sfmedia@hstrategies.com 

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