WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 17, 2015) — As states and the federal government ramp up their efforts to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which provides the framework for provision of adult education and workforce services across the United States, the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy released on Thursday the first in a series of fact sheets that compare key characteristics of immigrant and U.S.-born residents at U.S. and state levels and discuss their relevance for how states design and apportion services under the law.
Since 1990, roughly 1 million foreign-born individuals have settled in the United States per year, many with needs for adult education and workforce training services. Implementation of the federal-state partnership under WIOA stands to play a critical role in supporting the upward mobility of the foreign born in the workforce and their successful integration into the civic life of the communities where they have settled.
The fact sheets describe key characteristics of immigrant and native-born residents of the United States that are relevant to understanding needs for adult education and workforce training services. Drawing upon MPI analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the fact sheets provide estimates of the ages, origins (by region), educational attainment, English proficiency, unemployment and underemployment, parental status, poverty, health insurance coverage and immigration status of U.S. and state populations.
In addition to the U.S. profile, the fact sheets issued today cover the 10 states with the largest foreign-born populations as of 2013: California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia and Washington. Additional state and metro-area fact sheets will be released in the future.
“New provisions enacted by WIOA should help to ensure that immigrant adults seeking to improve their English and/or workforce skills experience more equitable access to workforce training services than was the case in the past,” said Margie McHugh, director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. “These fact sheets provide both a roadmap to key issues in the law’s implementation and a source of objective data to assist policymakers and community stakeholders in ensuring that the law’s promise is achieved and its perils are avoided.”
The authors—who will discuss their findings in a webinar today—will explore the equity and system-design challenges illuminated by Census data and the ways in which these data might be applied as states begin to release their draft implementation plans.
Read the fact sheets online here: www.migrationpolicy.org/