Research over the last half decade has documented the important contributions American immigrants have made to the growth of local economies, as well as the United States’ leadership in the new economy. Immigrants are responsible for approximately one-quarter of all of the high-tech startups, including 32.8% of the high-tech startups in Michigan, and nearly half of the high-tech startups in Silicon Valley. More than 40 percent of the 2010 Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, and seven of the ten most valuable brands in the world come from American companies founded by immigrants or their children.
Immigrants comprise nearly 25% of all scientists and engineers with bachelors degrees and 47% of all scientists and engineers with doctorates in the U.S. workplace. International students in Michigan are three times as likely as native-born to major in a STEM field. In fact, 37% of Michigan’s immigrants are college-educated compared to 23.7% of the state overall.
These contributions extend beyond the high-tech, new economy, and Fortune 500 firms. Nationally, immigrants start small businesses at more than twice the rate of native-born Americans, while Michigan’s immigrants have entrepreneurship rates at three times the rate of native-born—a critical fact for many struggling cities with significant retail needs in disinvested, low-income communities. Moreover, immigrants are more likely to be of working-age, an important asset in a state and metro region with a rapidly-aging workforce.
How can you do your part to help attract and retain immigrants, as well as to create a welcoming and global environment for Metro Detroit?
Today’s companies exist in a global economy and diverse marketplace. Does your company have the right talent to compete?
Michigan Global Talent Retention Initiative (GTRI)
Hiring an international student is an investment in Michigan’s economic future. Michigan’s economy is moving away from heavy reliance on auto manufacturing and moving towards a diversified, highly technological economy. In this transition, there is a distinct need for new, creative recruiting strategies that access previously untapped talent pools.
More than 60% of Ph.D.s and in some cases, nearly 50% of the master’s degrees in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) fields are awarded each year in Michigan and across the U.S. to international students. Michigan has more than 27,000 international students - over 60 percent of whom are STEM majors (three times the rate of native-born) - studying at our colleges and universities.
While long-term employment visas can be challenging, most employers are now aware of the array of legal pathways to navigate these challenges, including the use of the OPT and other academic training programs that enable employers to hire STEM graduates for more than two full years without even applying for a separate visa. GTRI provides basic advice to help employers navigate the web of federal immigration laws related to hiring international student.Read More
Become a GoEmployer!
GTRI developed a certification process for companies devoted to hiring the world’s top talent. The Global Opportunity Employer (GOemployer) certification helps international students identify companies that consider all qualified applicants for jobs and will not disqualify viable candidates solely because of their lawful immigration status. GOemployers hire international students who do not require sponsorship for internships and full-time employment and consider sponsoring foreign nationals for employer sponsored work visas (i.e. H-1B).Learn More
Global Detroit works with regional corporations and businesses to help them fill unmet talent needs, connect with ethnic customers, work with international investors, and grow their business and bottom-line, in addition to working with them on our innovative regional economic growth strategy. Global Detroit’s corporate membership program can provide value to its subscribers by providing them with access to key decision-makers and contacts, as well as offering them the ability to contribute to the mission of Global Detroit. In addition, it gives them significant opportunities for marketing and promotion. Global Detroit Memberships begin at the $500 range for individuals, $1,000 for corporations, and up to $10,000 for Sponsoring Partners.
Upwardly Global (UpGlo) can offer your company a new talent resource with global business experience and a diversity of viewpoints. UpGlo is a national, award-winning nonprofit organization that has worked with over 500 employers to fill positions requiring high level skills.
UpGlo candidates have a track record of success and long term commitment to their employers.
UpGlol works with more than 1,500 immigrants, refugees, and aslyees every year to provide job-search training and to connect them with employers looking to develop a pipeline of global talent. To date, UpGlo has placed more than 2,200 new Americans who had been unemployed or underemployed working as janitors, taxi drivers, and nannies back into professional jobs as engineers, software developers, and business professionals.
In Michigan, UpGlo has worked with Global Detroit to develop an online professional licensing guides to assist work-authorized immigrants and refugees in Michigan seeking to attain the appropriate credentials as dentists, teachers, lawyers, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, accountants, architects, barbers, cosmetologists, electricians, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, and engineers. Working with Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the MEDC, the Michigan Office for New Americans, and Global Detroit, UpGlo has opened its fourth office in Detroit to have a full-time, on-the-ground presence for Michigan employers and the region’s skilled immigrants, refugees, and asylees. Become an Upwardly Global Member!Learn More
Nearshoring refers to the practice of attracting global businesses to our bi-national region whose growth and expansion is otherwise hindered by restrictive U.S. immigration laws. American businesses, particularly in industries critical to the new economy, can face significant hurdles to engaging the world’s most talented workers because of restrictive U.S. immigration laws. Since the H-1B skilled worker visa cap was rolled back to 65,000, the demand by U.S. firms for these visas has far exceeded the supply, usually surpassing the cap only days after the application period is opened. As a result, U.S. firms have been forced to locate facilities in other countries where immigration laws allow them to hire such workers. In 2007, Microsoft, for instance, opened its new software development center in Vancouver and pointed to restrictive U.S. immigration laws as the cause of locating such a facility outside the U.S.
Global Detroit advocates for a more strategic plan for Detroit and Windsor, Ontario to work together as partners to aggressively recruit firms that want to expand operations in the U.S., but are restrained by our immigration caps on skilled international workers. Detroit-Windsor can become the leading “nearshoring” base for the new economy. Global firms can locate their skilled foreign labor in Windsor, while bringing their American workers to metro Detroit. In addition to our regional proximity (which literally allows workers to meet face-to-face with their peers in another country in 30 minutes or less), southeast Michigan and southwest Ontario possess a bi-national business acumen developed over years of cooperative work on automotive manufacturing and other industries.
For more information about the opportunity for nearshoring in Detroit-Windsor, please refer to Global Detroit’s Nearshoring Report from 2012.
To join our team of nearshoring experts or find out more about nearshoring contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Highly educated immigrants
are twice as likely to hold patents, three times as likely to start their own businesses (In Michigan, immigrants are 6x as likely to start their own high-tech businesses)
of patents from the top ten patent-producing universities in 2011 had a foreign born investor
> 40 %
of Fortune 500 companies in 2010 included at least one immigrant founder or the child of an immigrant founder