Upwardly Global was recently featured in an article for The Roanoke Times entitled “With dreams, and caffeine, former Afghan pilot strives to bring family to US.” Upwardly Global’s Strategic Communications Director Joshua Garner spoke with the author of the piece, Heather Rousseau.
“Twenty-five percent of working-age Afghans who are newcomers to the United States are professionals with a higher education, according to a report from Upwardly Global, a nonprofit that helps refugees and immigrants restart their careers.
Joshua Garner, strategic communications director with the organization, explains that talent of foreign skilled individuals often goes unrecognized by U.S. employers.
‘There are 2 million underemployed immigrants and refugees in the U.S. who are unable to find jobs at their skill level. It’s very common for us (Upwardly Global) to see people who are what we typically say have survival jobs, or jobs to make ends meet, when really they could contribute so much more to our country and our economy,’ Garner said.
The professional or educated population of all newcomers to the United States is growing, with 48% coming with higher education experience in 2019 compared to 27% in 1990, according to a 2021 study from the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank that supports expanded immigration. However, the country is failing to leverage the skills from those educated immigrants trying to regain the career they left behind. Highly skilled immigrants are slightly less likely to use their professional skills, compared to those educated and born in the United States, according to the institute.”