Saturday, October 25, 2008

FOREIGN-BORN INTELLIGENCE: Maryland fights 'brain waste' with immigrant integration programs

More than 1.3 million immigrants with college degrees are unemployed or underemployed. Maryland is working hard to help these people get jobs in the professions they were trained for. DP

By LINDSEY McPHERSON • Capital News Service Maryland is one of the few states taking measures to fight the "brain waste" resulting from the more than 1.3 million college-educated immigrants unemployed or working unskilled jobs, according to a Migration Policy Institute report released Wednesday.

"What we have here may be in some ways the worst of all policy worlds," said Michael Fix, institute senior vice president and report co-author. "What we have is brain waste in the receiving country, the United States, and brain drain in the sending country."

But that educated work force is not wasted in Maryland, said Tom Perez, secretary of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

"At a national level, immigrants tend to be less educated than their native-born colleagues," he said. "In Maryland, the opposite is true -- 43 percent of immigrants working in Maryland have a college degree or above, compared with 36 percent of their native-born colleagues."

Maryland is better off than most states because it has a worker shortage in several sectors, including health care, construction and hospitality, Perez said.

The state will even receive 60,000 more jobs by 2015 as the No. 1 beneficiary of the Base Realignment and Closure process, which consolidates the nation's military installations.
Be sure to read the rest of this story! This is only a small part of it.

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