Highly skilled refugees and professional integration in the US: A critique of the refugee resettlement program and exploration of immigrant aid organizations

Title: Highly skilled refugees and professional integration in the US: A critique of the refugee resettlement program and exploration of immigrant aid organizations

 Author: Kat, Anneke

Date: May 2015

Description: Master’s Paper, Clark University, Department of International Development, Community and Environment

The current federal refugee resettlement system prevents highly skilled refugees from utilizing their professional expertise to secure meaningful employment in the United States, thereby trapping them in poverty and wasting valuable resources and talent. This paper reviews the federal refugee resettlement system and profiles organizations outside that formal system that provide employment services to skilled immigrants and refugees. The author used the case study method and conducted five in-depth interviews with organizations that provide employment assistance to develop a comprehensive picture of the types of programs available to skilled immigrants and refugees. One of the organizations is based in Malden, Massachusetts. The paper reveals obstacles faced by organizations that provide workforce development assistance to refugees in four key areas: programming, integration, certification and advocacy.

Keywords: skilled refugees, workforce development, resettlement system, resettlement organizations, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania; New York, employment assistance

Cataloged by: Selina Sikder/ B. J. Perkins

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