News Article

Workforce Diversity Project Update #2

Partners in Diversity

On October 26th Partners in Diverstity hosted a small gathering of community representatives and experts to advance on one of its Workforce Diversity Project goals - to address the challenge of immigrant and refugee re-credentialing. The gathering took place at Portland Community College SE and was hosted in partnership with the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OCAPIA) and Senator Michael Dembrow. Experts and leaders in the immigrant and refugee communities were also invited to identify the barriers being experienced in specific job sectors and provide specific insights on:
  • The quantity of immigrants and refugees that have come to the U.S. with advanced degrees but are unable to work in their field.
  • The type of jobs these individuals held before immigrating to the U.S.
  • Potential partners that could help develop solutions, including potential legislative approaches for upcoming sessions.
  • Existing programs from other countries and states that could be adopted to meet the needs of communities in this region.
The waste of professional talent among immigrant and refugee populations due to credentialing barriers represents a tremendous loss to this region's potential. The objectives of this Workforce Diversity Project goal are to build knowledge, welcome partnerships and policy makers, and engage communities to remove barriers and make re-credentialing a viable pathway to prosperity for immigrants and refugees in Oregon.

If you are interested in supporting future efforts, please contact Mari Watanabe, Partners in Diversity Executive Director at