Preparing Adult Immigrants for Work
The Educational Response in Two Communities
During the 1980s, more immigrants entered the United States than at any time since the early 1900s. New immigration policies granted legal status to millions of immigrants already residing in the country and opened the door for large numbers of refugees to enter. The current wave of immigrants is entering the American labor force in record numbers, and it is projected to account for 25 percent of new workers by the end of the decade. Moreover, the current group of adult immigrants appears more likely than past groups to aspire to high-quality jobs and to seek the education and training needed to compete in the workplace. The needs and demands of this immigrant population pose a major challenge for the American adult education system. This Note explores how schools and communities have responded to this challenge. The work presents case studies of two communities that contain large immigrant populations — Miami and Los Angeles. The Note is intended to describe the education and training system available to adult immigrants; characterize school and community responses to immigrants; and discuss the adult immigrant education issues currently confronting the education and policy communities.