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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2024

Media Contact:

Shanea Condon
Operations Manager of Michigan Global Talent Initiative
Global Detroit

New State-wide Initiative Empowers Internationally-Trained Professionals for Success in Michigan Careers 

DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 27, 2024The Michigan Global Talent Coalition, in partnership with the Michigan Works! AssociationUpwardly Global, and Global Detroit are proud to introduce the Michigan Skilled Immigrant Integration Program. This program will connect internationally-trained or educated professionals with competitive careers in their respective fields, through tailored career support and hands-on job coaching. The Michigan Skilled Immigrant Integration Program takes a significant step towards creating an inclusive, thriving professional community in Michigan, where the skills and talents of internationally-trained professionals are embraced to benefit Michigan’s economy. Its launch places Michigan among the leading states in the country developing and implementing skilled immigrant integration programs.

“We’re thrilled to see the launch of the Michigan Skilled Immigrant Integration Program throughout the state. Since 2010, over 50% of adult arrivals possess a four-year degree or higher. This program not only utilizes the full talents and skills of immigrant Michiganders, but also addresses the state’s challenges with an aging workforce, skills gaps in high-demand occupations, and lack of inbound talent,” says Steve Tobocman, Executive Director of Global Detroit.

As Michigan experiences population decline and brain drain, the call for programs like the Michigan Skilled Immigrant Integration Program is critical. Immigrants are an essential component to growing Michigan’s population and economy. The Migration Policy Institute’s 2016 study on the cost of ignoring immigrant talent revealed that of all immigrants who come to the state with high-demand skills and training, 20% were working in low-skilled jobs or were unemployed. This resulted in $510.2 million in foregone wages and $28.6 million in unrealized state and local taxes from these internationally-trained professionals who could have been filling high-demand talent gaps in the economy and earning higher salaries.

Aligned with the Growing Michigan Together Councils recommended strategies to grow the state’s economy, the Michigan Skilled Immigrant Integration Program strengthens the pipeline of international talent by addressing the unique challenges faced by internationally-trained, educated, and/or experienced job seekers. Through more intentional leveraging of the education, skills, and earning potential of this program’s participants, the program will not only help fulfill Michigan’s unmet talent needs, but also grow the economy. On this, Ryan Hundt, CEO of the Michigan Works! Association, shared:

“Michigan Works! is committed to delivering vital workforce development services to college-educated immigrants and refugees through the Michigan Skilled Immigrant Integration Program. Our workforce development system has consistently supported immigrants and refugees, recognizing their valuable impact on Michigan’s economy, culture, and our collective vision of sustained economic prosperity through shared success.”

Michigan Skilled Immigrant Integration Program Highlights:

  • U.S. Style Career Support: The program provides comprehensive support in U.S. style resume building and cover letter writing, ensuring that internationally-trained professionals present themselves effectively to Michigan employers.

  • Coaching for Success: Job seekers enrolled in the program benefit from specialized coaching from Michigan Works! staff in interviewing techniques and networking strategies, empowering them to navigate the Michigan job market with confidence.

  • Credential Evaluation and Licensing Resources: The program offers resources for credential evaluation and professional licensing– assisting participants in overcoming barriers to employment that may arise due to international qualifications.

  • Job Placement Assistance: The program ensures that skilled immigrant professionals find meaningful employment in Michigan, and actively assists participants in securing job placements aligned with their education, training, and expertise.

Eligible program participants will have international college education or advanced training, in addition to work authorization. Participants are asked to have intermediate English language and digital literacy skills, as all training content will be in English with some online interfacing. The program operates through a network of job coaches located at five Michigan Works! agencies: West Michigan, Capital Area, Macomb/St. Clair, Oakland County, and SEMCA (Wayne County). This statewide coverage ensures that all skilled immigrant professionals across Michigan have access to tailored support and resources.

To apply or learn more about the Michigan Skilled Immigrant Integration Program, please visit the Michigan Works! Association’s website or contact Stephanie Bradley ( For media inquiries or to learn more about the Michigan Global Talent Initiative, please contact Shanea Condon (

About the Program:

The Michigan Global Talent Initiative (MGTI) is a statewide initiative with programming designed to attract, retain, credential and place immigrant, international student and refugee workers in the Michigan workforce by 2030. The Michigan Global Talent Initiative is funded through State appropriations in FY 2023 and FY 2024 totaling to $10 million. The Initiative is supported by the Michigan Global Talent Coalition, a diverse group of business, industry and economic development organizations from across the state of Michigan.