If you are looking for information on how Global Cleveland is connecting to other organizations at the regional, state, and national level, look no further! February was an exciting month, and there are major developments on the horizon. Keep reading for a peek of what’s inspiring us…

I have made it a priority to stay updated on the most current immigrant integration best practices, and I continue to look at the Welcoming Economies Global Network (formerly the Global Great Lakes Network) as a successful model. Under the leadership of Steve Tobocman, Director of Global Detroit, the WE Global Network has expanded its reach beyond the Great Lakes region and includes over a dozen economic development organizations from the Rust Belt region, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. In January, the Network released a call for ideas for the White House Task Force on New Americans for an Immigrant Integration Plan. The report was released in concert with organizations across the country. Recommendations include:


  • Frame immigrant integration as an economic opportunity for America, local communities, and all Americans
  • Support and replicate the best practices from the field of economic integration
  • Expand practical training opportunities after graduation for international students

The full report is not currently available online but be sure to connect with us on social media for updates and news.

In December 2014, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts released an important study on integrating skilled immigrants into its healthcare system. The report, prepared by Governor Duval Patrick’s Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants Task Force on Immigrant Healthcare Professionals in Massachusetts, lays out a road map to develop recommendations for licensing pathways, career advancement, and professional contributions of immigrant healthcare professionals. More than 20% of foreign-trained healthcare providers in Massachusetts are unemployed or working in a low-wage, low- skilled job. At the request of Governor Duval Patrick, the Task Force will develop strategies to overcome labor market barriers and offer solutions for state government, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and employers. Recommendations include improved informational services, expanded workforce development and educational programs, exploration of financial and structural barriers to professional re-licensing, and creation of a staff position tasked with oversight of immigrant integration policies.

One area that Ohio is showing leadership is through the Ohio Global Reach to Engage Academic Talent, or Ohio G.R.E.A.T initiative. We first mentioned this in our January newsletter, and we continue to connect with other Ohio city initiatives to develop programming that will capitalize on the influx of post-secondary international students who come to study in Ohio. In 2014, more than 32,000 students from all over the world flocked to Ohio to study at some of the country’s best public and private universities, including Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University. According to a recent report, CSU is in the midst of an ongoing effort to raise academic standards and attract talented students, which is reflected in higher enrollment numbers and an increasingly diverse student body.

Speaking of Cleveland State University, Richey Piiparinen at the University’s Center for Population Dynamics released a report in January that reflects Greater Cleveland’s position in the global economy related to attraction of highly skilled immigrants. A 2011 Brookings Institution report ranked Cleveland 44th out of 100 metros classified as “high-skill immigrant destinations.” According to Richey, higher education and hospitals (“eds and meds”) are crucial to Cleveland’s economy. The regional economy is becoming increasingly knowledge-based, which naturally attracts high-skilled workers and a disproportionate number of immigrants with advanced or professional degrees. You can read the full report here, but I’ve included some of Richey’s statistics below:

  • 40% of Cleveland’s immigrants have a bachelor’s degree or higher, ranking the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) 7th in the nation
  • The Cleveland metro region ranks 5th in the nation in the percentage of foreign-born residents with an advanced or professional degrees
  • Cleveland ranks 11th in total employment in hospitals, colleges, and universities, ie “eds and meds”

Information from the studies mentioned above are helping Global Cleveland develop policies, programs, and initiatives that impact the area’s workforce and economy.