Announcing Selection of Immigrant Integration Networks

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) recently announced five networks to participate in a new exciting initiative: Networks for Integrating New Americans (NINA). This initiative’s goal is to develop and refine ways to more successfully integrate immigrants and refugees.

Since 2010, the Obama Administration has convened an interagency task force made up of key offices within the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor. The task force identified three pillars of refugee and immigrant integration: linguistic, civic, and economic integration. The goal of the task force is to identify best practices and to gain helpful insight into how the federal government can shine a spotlight on successful models of refugee and immigrant integration. 

Networks for Integrating New Americans is one way that the Administration is advancing proactive and innovative policies in the fields of English language learning (the linguistic pillar), workforce development (the economic pillar), and civic participation (the civic pillar) that will benefit all Americans and strengthen communities.

Networks for Integrating New Americans will be managed by World Education, Inc. and its three partner organizations (National Partnership for New Americans, IMPRINT, and Welcoming America). The five networks -- selected through a rigorous, competitive national application process -- will receive technical assistance and include:

  1. White Center Promise, King County, WA
  2. We Rhode Island Network, Metropolitan Providence, RI
  3. Lancaster Refugee Coalition, Lancaster City and County, PA
  4. Idaho Refugee Community Plan, Boise, ID
  5. Networks for Integrating New Americans of the Central Valley, Fresno, CA

The networks came to Washington, D.C. on April 10-11 to kick off their work with partner organizations and OCTAE and to engage in strategic planning.

On April 10, members of the networks and partner organizations met with representatives from the White House Domestic Policy Council, OCTAE, and the Office of English Language Acquisition at the Department of Education, the Department of Labor, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Representatives from the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders also attended. Federal participants shared information on related initiatives, such as My Brother’s Keeper, Promise Zones, the Task Force on Expanding National Service, and Citizenship and Integration grants. Network representatives described their network partners, communities, students, and project goals.

Through this diverse group of networks, the project will be enhancing and documenting local efforts to adopt a “collective impact” approach to helping immigrants achieve linguistic, economic, and civic integration within local communities. With this initiative, the Administration is committed to understanding how adult education programs can improve immigrants’ access to effective and innovative English language programs, support immigrants on the path to citizenship, and support immigrants’ career development through training and education.

Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier is Assistant Secretary for the Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
Related Topics: Immigration, Idaho, Rhode Island
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