Adult English language, education, citizenship/civics, and workforce training services are critical in supporting the economic, linguistic, and civic integration of immigrants and refugees. Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs and the state partnership and investments they require comprise the central architecture for provision of these crucial services in communities across the United States. In this discussion, experts discussed aspects of the law that will likely limit prospects for immigrants and refugees to receive English language and other services they may need, serious weaknesses in WIOA regulations proposed by the Obama administration that will govern implementation of crucial services for immigrant integration, and strategies that may help ensure more equitable access for immigrants and refugees to services provided under the law.
Resettling Increasingly Diverse Refugee Populations in the United States: Integration Challenges and Successes
This discussion focuses on the Migration Policy Institute's new report, The Integration Outcomes of U.S. Refugees: Success and Challenges, which uses previously unpublished State Department data among other sources to examine refugee characteristics at arrival for the ten largest national-origin groups resettled between 2002-2013, as well as their integration outcomes. The discussion examines the report's findings with respect to refugee employment and incomes, English proficiency and education levels, public benefit use, as well as differing integration outcomes between refugee groups with similar characteristics at arrival.
Christopher Edley, Jr., former Dean and Orrick Professor of Law, University of California Berkeley School of Law and Co-Chair of the recent National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence, and Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, Executive Director of Californians Together, join the report's authors for the discussion of their findings and the implications for national and state policy.
To read the full report, click here.
State-Level Initiatives to Address Brain Waste Among Highly Educated Immigrants and Refugees: Special Focus on Nurses, Engineers, and Teachers
Margie McHugh, Co-Director, MPI National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, moderates a discussion on the school readiness and education policy affecting the children of immigrants. Two experts discuss the issues of early learning and school readiness: Robert Crosnoe, Elsie and Stanley E. (Skinny) Adams, Sr., Centennial Professor in Liberal Arts, Departments of Sociology and Psychology, University of Texas at Austin; and Linda Espinosa, Co-Principal Investigator for the Center for Early Care and Education Research—Dual Language Learners, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education, University of Missouri, Columbia. Read the agenda and topics here.
The winners of the Migration Policy Institute's 2012 E Pluribus Unum Prizes, honoring exceptional immigrant integration work happening in the United States, discussed their initiatives during a plenary luncheon on September 24, 2012 at the National Immigrant Integration Conference held in Baltimore, MD. During a Q&A with MPI Senior Vice President Michael Fix, leaders with ACCESS (the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services), Building Skills Partnership, Californians Together, and Citi Community Development discussed key aspects of their work. At discussion's end, the winners received their E Pluribus Unum Prizes from Brad Davidson, a trustee of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, which generously funds the prizes program.
For more information, visit www.integrationawards.org.
A webinar on language access contracting for federal, state, and local officials, agency administrators, and community stakeholders concerned with the oversight and implementation of language access provision. Presenters will include Neel Saxena, Grant Manager and Program Coordinator in the Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs within the District of Columbia 's Executive Office of the Mayor, and Simone Richardson, Contracting Officer in the District of Columbia’s Office of Contracting and Procurement. The webinar was moderated by MPI Policy Analyst Chhandasi Pandya.
Photo by Flickr user Greg115, Creative Commons
This MPI webinar features US Department of Justice (DOJ) officials discussing the department’s efforts to improve communications with Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities in federal and federally-funded programs and activities. Laureen Laglagaron, an Attorney-Advisor in the department’s Federal Coordination and Compliance Section of the Civil Rights Division and Christine Stoneman, Special Counsel in the Federal Coordination and Compliance Section will an update on the progress of language access compliance at the federal level and discuss how the agency is continuing to provide oversight and technical assistance to states and localities as they too attempt to meet their language access responsibilities. This webinar is moderated by Chhandasi Pandya, a policy analyst at MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.
This webinar from the Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP) and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Bridging Refugee Youth & Children’s Services (BRYCS) program explores federal requirements for providing interpretation and translation in schools and how select school districts in Minnesota and Colorado have managed these requirements. Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, schools are required to provide information to parents in a “language they can understand.” In addition to this requirement, Executive Order 13166 makes clear the responsibility of all federally funded programs to uphold Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by ensuring meaningful access to programs and services for individuals regardless of their English proficiency. School districts across the country have implemented these federal requirements in a variety of ways.
This is the latest in NCIIP’s language access webinar series exploring the policy and program implementation imperatives for government and community agencies serving Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations. To access audio of previous webinars, click here. To access a toolkit for teachers and school personnel on translation and interpretation requirements developed by BRYCS, please click here.
- Lyn Morland, Director, Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services, US Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Laura Gardner, Education Technical Assistance Specialist, Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services, US Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Salvador Carrera, Director, Multicultural Outreach Office, Denver Public Schools
- Alejandra Bosch, Translation Services Coordinator, Office of Communications, Marketing and Development, Saint Paul Public Schools
The call is moderated by Chhandasi Pandya, Policy Analyst/Program Coordinator, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute.
View the PowerPoint presentation here.
Also of interest: LEP Workers & Access to Workforce Services: Barriers & Prospects under WIA Reauthorization, Taking Limited English Proficient Adults into Account in the Federal Adult Education Funding Formula, and Immigrants and Welfare: The Impact of Welfare Reform on America’s Newcomers
Current negotiations over reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) come at a critical moment for immigrant and Limited English Proficient (LEP) workers. They and their current and future employers have a large stake in these negotiations, given the wide range of labor supply and skill mismatches that employers rely on immigrants to meet across the United States. Further, the predominance of immigrants and their children among new, young, and future US workers and the weak response thus far of the WIA-funded training system to the needs of these increasingly diverse and multilingual workers necessitates a concerted re-examination of the WIA system. The extent to which changes to the WIA system take account of these important demographic and economic trends and address the needs of immigrant-origin and LEP workers in particular will strongly affect the law's ability to support our country's future economic success.
There is broad consensus that LEP workers of varying educational backgrounds and levels of English proficiency and vocational skills are underserved by WIA's training services as a result of the law's structure. While community-based organizations have filled some gaps in services for LEP individuals and immigrant workers, the current reauthorization debate presents an opportunity for analysts, workforce services professionals, and community stakeholders to consider how to redesign the WIA system and its investments in these important segments of the US workforce. On this webinar, experts discuss barriers immigrant and LEP individuals face in accessing the WIA system, how a revitalized WIA could address these barriers, and the extent to which the current Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee's WIA reauthorization proposal addresses these barriers.
View the PowerPoint presentation here.
This webinar is part of Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy (NCIIP) Language Access Webinar Series.
- Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Director of Outreach and Program Evaluation, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
- Emma Oppenheim, Manager, Workforce Development Policy Initiatives, National Council of La Raza
- Gabriela Lemus, Senior Advisor and Director, Office of Public Engagement, US Department of Labor
Proactive Engagement: Two Strategies for Providing Language Access in Workforce Development Services
Inadequate interpretation services, a lack of relevant translated materials and customer service that is not culturally competent often deter limited English proficient (LEP) individuals from accessing workforce services through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA)-funded One Stop system. This interactive language access webinar, one in a series offered by the Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, examines how New York and Illinois have broken down some of these barriers to proactively engage LEP communities to obtain workforce services. The need to ensure meaningful access to WIA-funded employment and training services for the large share of US low- and middle-skilled LEP workers is urgent, particularly in light of the tough job market and gloomy projections for the speed of recovery from the Great Recession. These featured approaches, which have entailed policy and programmatic fixes, can serve as models as states attempt to meet the workforce needs of their LEP populations and comply with federal requirements to provide meaningful language access in their federally funded programs.
- Julio Rodriguez, Director of Program Services, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
- Haeya Yim, Counsel, Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs, New York Department of Labor
- Kerry Douglas-Duffy, Workforce Development Program Specialist, Division of Employment and Workforce Solutions, New York Department of Labor
- Chhandasi Pandya, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute
Download the PowerPoint here.
During this panel discussion held in conjunction with the 2010 E Pluribus Unum Prizes, which the Migration Policy Institute bestows annually to four exceptional immigrant integration initiatives, several of the prize winners and other experts examine the adult literacy/ESL instruction, workforce preparation, and community financial services fields. Among the questions discussed: Whether federal policy and funding appropriately support immigrant integration goals in these fields. The discussion was moderated by Margie McHugh, Co-Director of MPI’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.
In 1999, several Los Angeles-area nonprofit organizations helped three Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals file a complaint against the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. The complaint was filed with the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights and alleged that LEP clients were not provided meaningful access to several public assistance programs. In 2003, the two agencies reached a resolution agreement. This webinar reviews the complaint-and-resolution process through the eyes of individual stakeholders including the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services, and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. The webinar focuses on filing a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights, agency response to the complaint, and the process of negotiating an agreement.
- Summary of Civil Rights Resolution Agreement: APALC v. Los Angeles County DPSS
- Resolution Agreement Between the Office for Civil Rights Department of Health and Human Services Region IX and Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services
- How to File a Complaint
- LA-DPSS’ Civil Rights Section
Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) is an umbrella term for the disproportionate representation of individuals of color in the criminal and juvenile justice system. Past research has found that language barriers faced by parents may potentially lead to deeper court involvement for youth in the justice system. In New York City, a collaboration between government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders has sought to address this systemwide issue. This webinar focuses on how a multi-agency collaborative effort aims to provide LEP parents with the information necessary to understand their role in the juvenile justice system. Speakers include representatives from the workgroup from the Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney’s Office, the Legal Aid Society, New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development, and the Vera Institute of Justice.
- We Want to Know What They Are Saying: A Multiagency Collaborative Effort to Address Parental Language Barriers and Disproportionate Minority Contact
Swift and accurate communication with the general public is critical during major disasters and public-health emergencies. As government responds to the H1N1 influenza outbreak and prepares for the fall/winter flu season, agencies in charge of emergency management must develop and implement plans for communicating with and serving Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents before, during, and after an emergency. This webinar features speakers from state, county, and city governments discussing their work in preparing their respective communities for public health emergencies.
With Laureen Laglagaron, Policy Analyst, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI; Marsha Tamura, State of Hawaii Civil Defense Agency; Barbara Yamashita, Hawaii State Department of Health; Herman Schaffer, Director of Community Outreach, New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM); Uma Ahluwalia, Director of Montgomery County (Maryland); and Betty Lam, Chief of the Office of Community Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services.
- Ready New York: Pandemic Flu, New York City Office of Emergency Management
- Stay at Home Toolkit for Influenza, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland
- Emergency Preparedness in the Latino Community: Training Manual for Promoters, Department of Health and Human Services, Montgomery County, Maryland
- Language Identification and Emergency Card (Kosraean), State of Hawaii
Is This Working? Assessment and Evaluation Methods Used to Build and Assess Language Access Services
Many agencies have developed unique and innovative monitoring tools and assessment practices that can be used to improve existing services and guide agencies that provide services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals. This webinar discusses some of these tools and practices and launches a report, Is This Working? Assessment and Evaluation Methods Used to Build and Assess Language Access Services in Social Services Agencies.
With Laureen Laglagaron, Policy Analyst, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, MPI; Jeanette Moy, Senior Policy Advisor, New York City Mayor's Office of Operations Customer Service Group (CSG); and Kate Pielemeier, Policy Analyst, New York City Mayor's Office of Operations CSG
- Is This Working? Assessment and Evaluation Methods Used to Build and Assess Language Access Services in Social Services Agencies.
This webinar provides listeners with an overview of two successful Limited English Proficiency (LEP) programs in New York City, NY and Hennepin County, MN. Speakers discuss their work with LEP persons, review tips for long-term program sustainability, and identify key components of the programs' successes, both large and small scale, in creating and maintaining a LEP program.
With Laureen Laglagaron, MPI; Kleber Palma, Director, Translation and Interpretation Unit, New York City Department of Education; and Vinodh Kutty, Project Coordinator and Limited English Proficiency Manager, Hennepin County Office of Multi-Cultural Services
- Hennepin County Limited English Proficiency Plan Health and Human Services Departments 2006
- A Brochure from the Translation & Interpretation Unit of the New York City (NYC) Department of Education
- Welcome Poster from the NYC Department of Education
With Laureen Laglagaron, MPI; Robin Bronen, Executive Director, Alaska Immigration Justice Project; Brenda Aiken, Resource Development Officer, Alaska Court System; Sunil Mansukhani, Executive Director, District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission; and Jean Bruggeman, Director, Community Legal Interpreter Bank, Ayuda
- Alaska Immigration Justice Project (AIJP), "Project Narrative and Budget," (Anchorage: AIJP, 2008)
- Alaska Immigration Justice Project (AIJP), The Language Interpreter Center Newsletter (Anchorage: AIJP, 2008)
- Ayuda, Community Legal Interpreter Bank Brochure, (Washington, DC: Ayuda, 2008)
- Ayuda, Working with Interpreters Outside of the Courtroom: A Guide for Legal Services Providers, (Washington, DC: Ayuda, 2008)
- District of Columbia Bar Foundation, "Request for Proposals: Creating and Maintaining A Shared Legal Interpreter Bank," (Washington, DC: District of Columbia Bar Foundation, January 2008)
- District of Columbia Bar Foundation, "Application for Public Funding," (Washington, DC: District of Columbia Bar Foundation, February 2008)
With Laureen Laglagaron, MPI; Jason Reed, Program Manager, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS); Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC); and Mark Lewis, Director of Immigrant Services, Administration for Children's Services, City of New York.
- Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), State of Washington, "Bilingual Employee Test Information," (Washington State: DSHS, June 2006)
- Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), State of Washington, Professional Language Certification Examination Manual, (Washington State: Language Testing and Certification, November 2007)
- Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), State of Washington, "Dual Language Assignment Pay," draft (Washington State: DSHS, October 2008)
- Office of the Mayor, City of New York, Executive Order No. 120: Citywide Policy on Language Access to Ensure the Effective Delivery of City Services, (New York, NY: City of New York, August 2008)