A Profile of the Low-Wage Immigrant Workforce

Brief

A Profile of the Low-Wage Immigrant Workforce

Immigrants make up one in nine U.S. residents, one in seven U.S. workers, and one in five low-wage workers. Immigrants are overrepresented among both low-wage and less educated U.S. workers. Since so many immigrants work and so many hold low-wage jobs, they could potentially benefit from post- as well as pre-employment services. Unfortunately, most publicly funded training programs assume that participants have 9th grade levels of literacy, numeracy, and basic English skills. This brief recommends revamping the Workforce Investment Act and tailoring job-training programs to serve limited English proficient populations, build language assessment capacity, and combine job training with English language, basic education, and literacy instruction.

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