Our society includes millions of people whose contributions and desire to integrate often go unnoticed and unfulfilled. Immigrants play a vital role in America, but we have yet to fully understand or act on how best to help them achieve their full potential as members of society and workers in our economy. Moreover, from 2006 until 2015, half the growth in the U.S. working-age population will come from immigrants. And for the following two decades, all of that growth will be from immigration. Thus, it behooves us to recognize both the contributions and the needs of our immigrant workers.
In fact, research by JFF and the National Association of Manufacturers’ Center for Workforce Success identified a number of initiatives that have both promoted business goals and strengthened workers’ English and technical skills. These programs combine technical-skills training with English language instruction. Employers support them because they have measurable, positive impacts on the bottom line.