Immigrants and refugees are vital to the social and economic fabric of our state, representing  over a third of California’s workforce, contributing over a third of California’s GDP, and helping to bring California’s economy back from the Great Recession.

However, training, education, and jobs necessary for economic mobility are largely out of reach for immigrant and refugee workers. Thirty-two percent of California immigrants lack a high school diploma. Lack of childcare and transportation, language barriers, and a complex system of eligibility requirements means that few are able to access training programs or living wage jobs.  Even when immigrants are able to secure jobs, they earn an average of 26% less than workers born in the US. And despite California’s leadership, with some of the most progressive worker protection laws in the country, immigrant and refugee workers still face harassment, retaliation, and discrimination in the workplace because of their status. Over the next several years, we will work to advance inclusive policies that:

  • Improve equity within workforce development and adult education systems, so that all immigrants and refugees can access education, job training, and meaningful careers
  • Protect the safety and rights of immigrant and refugee workers while supporting their economic mobility
  • Build equity into our current and future economy, so that the technological progress of the 21st century creates opportunity for all

To stay updated on our Economic Justice work, please sign up on our contact form.

Our first event will be taking place on Tuesday, September 11. Register for our webinar to learn more about why workforce development is important for immigrant rights, and hear from CBOs that have worked to create greater access to jobs and training through advocacy within the workforce development and adult education systems.