February 17, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Expansion of Statewide Program to Help High-Skilled Immigrants Find Jobs

Governor Hochul Announces Expansion of Statewide Program to Help High-Skilled Immigrants Find Jobs

$4.38 Million in Grant Funding Will Support Professional Training and Job Placements for High-Skilled Immigrants in New York

Expansion of Professional Pathways for High-Skilled Immigrants Program Builds on Governor Hochul's Commitment to Strengthening Workforce Development Programming for Immigrants

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the expansion of the New York State Professional Pathways for High-Skilled Immigrants Program to help new Americans find jobs that match their skills and experience. As part of the program's expansion, a total of $4.38 million in state-funded grants will be awarded to community-based providers to support professional training and job placement efforts for an increased number of high-skilled immigrants in New York. The grants will be awarded over three years and are administered by the New York State Office for New Americans. The expansion of the Professional Pathways program builds on Governor Hochul's commitment to strengthening the state's workforce development programming for immigrants, which was first highlighted in the 2022 State of the State.

"For generations, the hard work and determination of immigrants who have come to New York to build a better life for themselves and their families has shaped our state into what it is today," Governor Hochul said. "By expanding the Professional Pathways for High-Skilled Immigrants program, we're strengthening our support for new Americans in our state and connecting immigrants with the tools they need to enter the workforce and pursue the New York Dream."

First launched in 2021, the NYS Professional Pathways program helps high-skilled immigrants overcome barriers to professional development by screening, training and/or re-credentialing candidates and identifying job placement opportunities for low-income immigrants in high-need regions across the state. The program is tailored specifically for fields that are currently in need of highly skilled workers in New York State, including architecture, engineering, information technology, education, social work, economics, business management and journalism.

The Professional Pathways program has already brought great success to many immigrants in New York State in its first year. As of January 31, 2023, according to the Professional Pathways Lead Agency Upwardly Global, 282 job seekers were accepted into the program and received U.S. job readiness training and coaching, and 88 job seekers had been placed in professional-level positions, with placements ongoing. Participants for this program must be work authorized in the United States.

Under these new, expanded grants administered by the Office for New Americans (ONA), Upwardly Global will be funded to continue serving as the Professional Pathways Lead Agency, providing program direction and statewide technical assistance to a network of ONA Job Coaches. In addition, other not-for-profit organizations will be funded to serve as ONA Job Coach agencies in different regions of the state, with Long Island added as a new region under this program expansion.

The Professional Pathways partners are as follows:

  • Statewide Lead Agency: Upwardly Global
  • ONA Job Coach - Brooklyn/Queens: Upwardly Global
  • ONA Job Coach - Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island: Upwardly Global
  • ONA Job Coach - Capital Region: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • ONA Job Coach - Central NY: InterFaith Works
  • ONA Job Coach - Long Island: Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN)
  • ONA Job Coach - Mohawk Valley: The Center
  • ONA Job Coach - Western NY: International Institute of Buffalo

More information about the Professional Pathways program and how to apply is available here.

New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "In New York, we recognize the importance of immigrants and everything they contribute to our state and country. Still, too many new Americans face countless obstacles that make it harder to build better lives for themselves and their families. Through the expansion of the Office for New Americans' Professional Pathways program, we are empowering and uplifting New York's immigrants and giving them the skills and resources they need to succeed and thrive in today's job market."

Upwardly Global President and CEO Jina Krause-Vilmar said, "It is an honor to lead the charge in New York State's efforts to support immigrants and refugees restarting their lives and careers in the U.S. Newcomers often bring extensive education and experience from their countries of origin but find their skills overlooked by the U.S. job market. The Professional Pathways program's expansion serves as an exceptional model for uplifting the potential of immigrant and refugee communities, a pillar of our work at Upwardly Global."

International Institute of Buffalo Executive Director Jennifer Rizzo-Choi said,"The International Institute of Buffalo is pleased to be continuing as an ONA Job Coach partner with the Professional Pathways program. This program has had great success in the Western New York Region. Since 2021, 45 participants have been accepted into the program and 13 have found jobs in their original fields of work, including in the areas of medical, IT, finance, and social work. We value our partnership with the Office for New Americans and are excited for the continued growth of this vital program."

New York State Professional Pathways Program Participant Juan Beltran Carranza said, "Upwardly Global was my best ally when I found my first job in America; I feel very grateful to everyone in this company but especially to my job coach, who guided me along the way and knew how to solve all my doubts. I am really grateful, and I know that I will always recommend Upwardly Global to all my immigrant friends because this journey is not so easy for us. Thanks to you, we can fulfill our dreams and goals."

New York Immigration Coalition Executive Director Murad Awawdeh said, "We thank Governor Hochul for recognizing the crucial contributions of immigrants in shaping New York State throughout history. By investing in our newcomer community, she is ensuring that more New Yorkers have the skills needed to enter the workforce and grow our economy now and into the future. Finding the right job is an essential part of building a quality life, stabilizing families and communities, while ensuring the health of New York businesses and our economy."

The New York State Office for New Americans, founded in 2012, is the nation's first statutorily created immigrant services office. ONA assists all new Americans with accessing and navigating a variety of free services and support through its statewide network of community-based providers.

For any immigrant in need of assistance, or to connect with ONA's programs, call the New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 9:00am to 8:00pm, Monday through Friday. All calls are confidential. Assistance is available in over 200 languages. For more information, visit https://dos.ny.gov/office-new-americans or follow ONA on Twitter at @NYSNewAmericans or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYSNewAmericans.

Contact The Governor’s Press Office

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Albany: (518) 474-8418
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