Impressive as it may seem, immigrants are fifty percent more likely than American citizens to have a graduate degree. In the US today, there are more than 250,000 underemployed immigrants. These permanent, legal immigrants are well educated and have two to twenty years of professional experience. In their home countries they were engineers, managers, accountants, educators, journalists, and nonprofit professionals. In the United States they are janitors, taxi drivers, nannies, security guards, and retail salesclerks. In cities across America it is not uncommon for highly educated foreign-born professionals to be waiting tables. Meanwhile, the United States faces an impending skilled labor shortage. Jane Leu is opening up professional career opportunities for these skilled immigrants at leading companies by helping the employers embrace an upwardly global outlook. Indeed, U.S. employers need the skills of foreign-born professionals but are not hiring them.
Jane Leu’s idea is to build demand for foreign-born professionals among leading companies, and to help meet this demand with screened, qualified candidates who are prepared to succeed in the American workplace. Through Upwardly Global she offers a new way for corporate America to recruit, hire and integrate foreign-born professionals into the U.S. workforce. UpGlo is imploring employers to adopt immigrant-friendly hiring practices, while preparing candidates with winning strategies for getting and keeping higher-paying, more fulfilling work. It is the only organization working to increase employment opportunities for skilled immigrants. UpGlo clients pay a small lifetime membership fee to join a network of individuals, mostly refugees and asylees from the developing world, who seek appropriate, career-track employment. Each client is assigned a mentor in his or her field and completes a three-month training program. UpGlo currently provides top-notch candidates who are ready for employment to seventy corporate employers and places individuals in full-time, benefit-eligible jobs at an average annual salary of $35,000.