Immigration

Wed Feb 12, 2014

Even with a Board that included a Supervisor elected by the Tea Party, PCIC leaders leveraged a unanimous vote (5-0) in support of a resolution making Pima an “immigrant welcoming county.”

Bud Foster of KOLD-TV reports that half the speakers were against the resolution.  However, he notes, “the opponents were not organized like the supporters were.  Most of this crowd [w]ere from the Pima County Interfaith Council.” In photo, PCIC leaders pre-meet before filing into the boardroom.  Fr. Tom Tureman of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Rev. Randy Mayer of Good Shepherd of United Church of Christ spoke on behalf of the organization.

Over the last year, leaders of the Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) crafted the resolution, taking into account the concerns of their institutional base and those of Supervisors.  This is part of a state-wide strategy to demonstrate a constituency in Arizona that supports federal immigration reform.

County Officially Adopts “Immigrant-Welcoming” DesignationArizona Daily Star

Pima County Becomes Immigrant Welcoming CommunityKOLD-TV

PCIC Photo Gallery


Fri Nov 15, 2013

300 leaders of the Sound Alliance reached an agreement with King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski to support an ordinance that would change how the County handles ICE “detainer requests...” Read more here


Thu Apr 11, 2013

In civic academies on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Valley Interfaith leaders learned that there were almost no Spanish GED classes or testing sites in the County of Hidalgo and a lack of classes to prepare. This led some to travel hours to Brownsville – the only available site in the Rio Grande Valley.  Leaders worked with the McAllen Independent School System and St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church to expand Spanish language GED preparation classes, and with South Texas College to begin Spanish GED testing in Hidalgo County. Today, more than 60 students are enrolled.  [Photo Credit: Steve Taylor, Rio Grande Guardian]

Valley Interfaith Plans to Expand GED En Espanol ProgramRio Grande Guardian

Wed Feb 27, 2013

150 PCIC leaders, DREAMers and their parents filled the Board Room at Pima Community College and cheered when the Board of Governors voted 4-1 in favor of in-state tuition discounts for DACA students.  Currently, hundreds of undocumented local students pay five times the in-state rate and are not eligible for financial aid.

PCIC leader Melanie Nelson spoke of the six Deferred Action Civic Academies held at her church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, last fall. “These students have lawful status now, but they can’t afford the high tuition. Before DACA we had several attempted suicides in our parish.  Now they need an pathway to an education and a future,” she said. Before the vote, Jimmy Ojeda, a homeowner and parent, from St. John’s, and Monica Leon, a U of A graduate, from Casa Maria Catholic Worker shared their own immigration stories. The group’s goal is now to get the University of Arizona system to follow Pima’s lead.

Tue Jan 29, 2013

After leaders of OTOC’s Immigration Action Team challenged Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer to ensure that immigrants stopped by OPD officers receive fair treatment, OPD issued an official bulletin to all officers informing them that thematricula consular could be accepted as valid identification.  (The matricula consular is an identification card issued by consulates verifying the place of residence for foreign nationals.)  Photo shows leaders in early encounter with Chief Schmaderer.

OTOC leaders also met with the head of Douglas County Corrections and the regional director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about ways to reduce the number of immigrants with small children being detained in Douglas County jails while they await deportation hearings.  ICE has now implemented a new release program which allows up to 100 persons who would otherwise be detained to return home to their families while they await their hearings.


Thu Mar 17, 2011

Thanks to the leadership of AIM (Montgomery County), BUILD (Baltimore), and PATH (Howard County), the Maryland legislature passed the DREAM Act in 2011.  This historic legislation allows immigrant high school graduates with taxpaying parents to attend public universities at in-state tuition rates, regardless of immigration status.  For more information on next steps to preserve this victory: http://www.actioninmontgomery.org/currentcampaigns

Jobs

Fri Jun 30, 2017

The victory came after over 200 Network of Texas IAF Organization (NTO) leaders and Capital IDEA students and graduates landed at the Texas state capitol to pressure state representatives and senators to restore full funding of the Texas Innovative Adult Career Education Fund (ACE Fund), a state fund that supports long-term workforce training, at $5 Million. The delegation additionally called on the legislature to support local control and oppose anti-immigrant legislation.

NTO leaders were received as guests of the legislature during a reading of a resolution in support of the ACE fund by five House Members, including Representative John Zerwas. Later that day the Senate also read a resolution in support of the ACE fund. Out on the Capitol steps, leaders additionally held a press conference, with several legislators from emerging from the building to speak in support of the ACE funding.

Part of delegation of leaders that boarded a 4am bus to Austin, Valley Interfaith leader David Jackson, of St. John the Baptist Parish, asked:

“As new jobs are created [in Texas], the question remains, who will benefits from these new positions?  Will we continue to import travel nurses from abroad while there are many who live in McAllen, Idenburg, Weslaco or Pharr who, with the necessary training would be capable of filling those positions and being long-term contributors to our property tax base?….That is the decision our law makers face this legislative session.”

Capital IDEA graduates and other graduates from across the state told personal stories about how the workforce initiatives (and ACE funding) helped change their lives, moving them from $10/hour part time work to careers bringing in as much as $70,000 per year!  The average wage of a graduate from these programs approaches $21 per hour.

Funding Future Texas Workers in the RGVThe Monitor [pdf]


Fri Apr 21, 2017

Almost ten years ago, Project QUEST agreed to participate in a randomized control trial in which half of a pool of 400+ qualified and equally motivated applicants were picked by a computer to participate in Project QUEST.  The other half were turned away and they pursued other options.

After three years, Project QUEST graduates already earned more than those who were turned away.  By Year 6, the difference in earnings not only persisted, but increased to over $5,000 per year.

Said study co-author Mark Elliott, “Other programs have had large earnings impacts, but they haven’t taken people completely out of poverty into the middle class….This is a stunning achievement.”

This “gold standard” study is said to be the first in the nation to show sustained, statistically significant increases in participant’s earnings (and employment) over time.

Project QUEST was established by COPS / Metro in San Antonio and continues to be the flagship for ten other projects across the US.

Study Affirms Project QUEST AchievementsSan Antonio Express-News

Escalating Gains: Project QUEST’S Sectoral Strategy Pays OffEconomic Mobility Corporation

Texas Job Program Shows Unusually Strong, Lasting Gains, Study FindsAustin American Statesman [pdf]

IAF Labor Market Intermediaries


Mon Sep 12, 2016

Last night, as the votes were tallied on the City Council, BUILD celebrated a historic win on many levels. Advances include: 30% local hiring mandate on all infrastructure construction jobs; $10 million investment in minority & women owned business firms; $24 minimum wage across the site for infrastructure; $25 million workforce development center that will also create a pipeline for local hiring for all permanent jobs; 1,060 affordable housing units; and profit sharing that treats the city as the investor that it is.

Click here for more


Thu Oct 16, 2014

Workforce development program Project QUEST won an award of $6 Million from the US Department of Labor to train 475 adults in the San Antonio area for living wage IT careers. Project Quest’s “Homegrown IT” program is backed by local employers including Rackspace, Zachry Holdings and WP Engine. Quest will focus on training long-term unemployed residents of Bexar and neighboring counties.

Said Executive Director Sr. Pearl Ceasar, “We are ready to implement it.”


Thu Aug 21, 2014

Carolyn Watson, Chase Bank VP of Corporate Responsibility, announced the award of $100K to Capital IDEA-Houston at a meeting of the Houston Community College Board of Trustees. Capital IDEA-Houston, established by leaders of TMO as a labor market intermediary, pulls working students out of poverty wage jobs and into living wage careers starting at upwards of $30,000 per year plus benefits. TMO (The Metropolitan Organization) built the political will to establish the training program to bridge the wage gap between industry needs and the skills base of the city.

"The Capital IDEA / Houston Community College partnership works!” declared Watson. “It gives workers aspiring to a better future the training and practical supports they need to persist to graduation….”

Thu Jun 19, 2014

TMO leaders celebrated the leveraging of one million dollars for Capital IDEA-Houston this month. The first half million was awarded by the Texas Innovative Accelerated Career Education (ACE) program that the Texas IAF created and passed in 2013.  State Representative John Zerwas (R-Richmond) highly praised the program, declaring he "could not find a better use of $500K than to invest in Capital IDEA-Houston."  State Representative Sylvestor Turner (D-Houston) chimed in adding "we should continue to invest ...in these projects."

The second half was leveraged at the local level, with a quarter million coming from locally controlled CDBG funds and another quarter million appearing as a line-item in the City of Houston budget.  

Said Bishop James W.E. Dixon II, pastor of The Community of Faith Church, "Poverty is painful. Investing in our city's human capital through Capital Idea will impact individuals, families and children, for generations to come."


Tue Jun 17, 2014

Austin Interfaith leveraged a historic living wage concession from AISD school board members in a close-to-midnight vote approving the use of federal Davis-Bacon wage standards for workers employed on school construction projects.  After months of deliberation and negotiation, labor caucus leaders of Austin Interfaith testified at AISD board proceedings, backed by a large crowd of supporters.

Catholic Bishop Joe Vasquez’s letter exhorting the Board to support Davis-Bacon wages was followed by impassioned testimony from leaders representing LiUNA, Education Austin, IBEW, Painters Local 1779, Pipefitters, Workers Defense Projects, Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and the Equal Justice Center.  Plans are in the works for the school district to soon establish an accompanying living wage floor to raise the wages of the lowest paid workers.  [Photo Credit: Austin American Statesman]

Additional Coverage Here


Austin Interfaith leaders exhort AISD school board to support federal wage standard for workers.
Wed May 28, 2014

Valley Interfaith Project leaders celebrated the passage of a measure which would raise $21 Million for Maricopa Community Colleges, part of a long-term regional economic development strategy of the organization.  

Monica Dorsey, board member of Arizona Career Pathways, testified in support of the measure stating, "These community colleges are the best driver of economic development that we have."

More here.

Thu May 22, 2014

Texas State Senator Jose Rodriguez called Project ARRIBA, and other Texas IAF labor market intermediaries, “the model workforce capacity job-training economic development program that we have in the state of Texas.”  With that said, leaders celebrated the award of $500,000 to ARRIBA to be used train an additional 300 students for a degree in a high demand occupation.  

 

A 2010 report prepared by the Institute for Policy and Economic Development at the University of Texas at El Paso, estimates that Project ARRIBA’s work provides a $26 return for every dollar invested.  Graduates of the labor market intermediary “contribute half a billion dollars to the El Paso economy,” ARRIBA Executive Director Roman Ortiz said.

The news came the same week ARRIBA celebrated its 1,000 graduate.

Project ARRIBA Receives $500,000 Grant to Improve Local WorkforceKVIA Channel 7 News

Project ARRIBA Receives $500,000 to Help 300 EPCC StudentsEl Paso Times

Video of Senator Rodriguez’s RemarksEl Paso Times


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