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. And even when immigrants are able to secure jobs, they earn an average of twenty-six percent less than workers born in the US.
Meanwhile, California invests hundreds of millions of dollars in a public workforce system (which includes workforce development boards and job training centers) that fails to recognize the dignity and support the needs of immigrant and refugee communities. That is why CIPC supports local efforts and works to advance state policies that improve equity within the state’s workforce development and adult education systems so that all immigrants and refugees can access education, job training, and meaningful careers.