By Juan Sebastian Arias and Brittany Ramos.

We asked leaders in the fields of immigration and workforce to share their most promising approaches to improve employment outcomes for immigrant workers. Here’s what they had to say:

As part of National Welcoming Week, Living Cities hosted a webinar on September 16th 2014 exploring promising approaches to integrate immigrants into the U.S. workforce.


83%Immigrants will account for 83% of US workforce growth between 2000 and 2050.

While many immigrants come to the U.S. in search of greater opportunity, they face many barriers in accessing quality jobs and participating in the local economy. As the U.S. faces a growing skills gap in which production of skilled labor is falling short of projected demand, we can better harness our growing foreign born population by better preparing immigrant workers with the skills needed to access quality employment and by raising the floor of job quality in industries where immigrant labor is often concentrated.

Practitioners across the country are innovating to address these challenges. During this webinar, practitioners from Maryland, Texas and Washington states discussed promising approaches that expand economic opportunity for immigrants, including the importance of cross-sector partnerships to the success of this work. We particularly addressed the following questions:

  • What challenges do immigrants face in preparing for and accessing quality jobs?
  • What are some promising policies and practices that help integrate immigrants into the US workforce?
  • What roles can the public sector play in moving this work forward?
  • How can efforts better engage businesses to directly connect immigrant job-seekers to available jobs?

Presenters included:

  • Flavia Jimenez, Senior Fellow at the National Skills Coalition
  • Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA de Maryland
  • Cristina Tzintzún, Executive Director of Workers Defense Project
  • Helen Stern, Executive Director of Casa Latina

This webinar is a part of our ongoing efforts to understand how to improve employment outcomes for low-income people in cities.

View the presentation slides from the webinar or download the video recording.