The Unity Council, Construction Trades Workforce Initiative, and Social Policy Associates partnered to develop a “Guide for Connecting Immigrant Construction Workers to Quality Jobs and Training Opportunities.”
This guide, which emerged from our team’s work, is intended for organizations seeking to assist immigrant workers not only in the Bay Area but also in other regions of the country. To inform its development, we interviewed labor stakeholders, a local legal provider, staff of a promising program model, and immigrant workers. These conversations provided insight into current practices in our community that build programs and provide services to connect immigrant job seekers to union and non-union construction work.
Researchers, including those from The Unity Council were able to identify various barriers that many immigrant workers face on a daily basis. Ulises Magallon, Community Wellness Research Associate interviewed twenty-five workers in the construction industry to get insight about training and job opportunities.
“We learned most of the workers didn’t receive any kind of training and were not a part of a union,” said Magallon. “We also saw that one of the major barriers were a lack of work status.”
Researchers recommend next steps should include developing a vocational school for job seekers where not only will they have access to training, they find employment opportunities as well as ESL classes.
“We have to be creative so we develop a robust program specific to their language needs,” says Magallon.