7.03.2008

FOUND IN AMERICA

A nice cover story in this week’s Philadelphia Weekly on highly educated immigrants scraping by in minimum wage jobs: ”Lost in America.” Kudos to the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, with whom we produced a report on this subject earlier this year. It turns out degrees and certifications in other countries don’t always translate well here, not to mention various cultural nuances and a lack of connections that can often make finding the appropriate job surprisingly difficult. Enter the Welcoming Center, whose training and matchmaking programs seek to get doctors doctor jobs and engineers engineering jobs, instead of driving taxis and washing dishes. Incidentally, these high-skilled occupations tend to be the very things we’re going to need a lot more bodies for in the future. Now if we can just get more slots for these high-skilled, highly motivated immigrants to enter the country and add their sweat equity to our economy.

PS By the way, here's another look at the issue: George Will's "Building a Wall Against Talent." Here's the money quote: "U.S. policy is: As soon as U.S. institutions of higher education have awarded you a PhD, equipping you to add vast value to the economy, get out. Go home. Or to Europe, which is responding to America's folly with 'blue cards' to expedite acceptance of the immigrants America is spurning." Thanks to the blog of my new Facebook friend for this link.
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