Migration Ventures (Upwardly Global)

Jane Leu (USA)



THE HUMAN IMPACT:In nearly every country with a large immigrant and refugee community, those arriving who are college-educated wind up unemployed or significantly underemployed – doctors drive taxis, CEOs work in kitchens. There are few opportunities to work at former levels and adapt professional skills to a new market. Skills are wasted, which makes adjustment, comfort, and success in a new country more difficult.

THE NUMBERS: Upwardly Global’s services now reach thousands of underserved immigrants and refugees across the United States, who are increasingly being recognized as a valued community asset at the city and state level. The program is active in five metropolitan areas. 45% of refugees coming into USA have college degrees. They have placed 5000+ from 169 countries into skilled jobs with an average income gain of $45,000. Through strategic partnerships, Upwardly Global is now scaling their model to new countries where large populations of refugees and migrants exist.

HOW DOES IT WORK? With Upwardly Global, Jane Leu is ending employment barriers and opening up professional career opportunities for skilled immigrants at leading companies, integrating them into the local workforce. Upwardly Global leverages employer partnerships that benefit from access to this talent pool, and provides customized training and support for these new Europeans to give them an equal opportunity to find and secure skill-appropriate opportunities and achieve their full economic potential in Europe. The outcome is global talent for employers, culturally competent service providers for diverse communities, and family-sustaining incomes for those who were previously unemployed or underemployed.

WHO LEADS IT? Jane Leu founded Upwardly Global after working in the refugee resettlement field and realizing that employment opportunities rarely matched skill levels. Since then, the organization expanded from two major metropolitan areas to five, launched online, virtual services, and elevated its mission from a local program to a national conversation around skilled immigrants’ value to the United States. Jane is working on scaling Upwardly Global’s approach to Germany and other countries where there are considerable numbers of newcomers with high talent..

HOW HELLO EUROPE IS HELPING: Hello Europe connected Upwardly Global with Jobs4Refugees in Germany to scale their approach. With our acceleration support, the two organizations merged to form Migrant Hire – an online hiring platform – and are currently developing other platforms for better learning and skills and job matching. In their first year they helped 92 newcomers find work, and trained hundreds directly. Hello Europe is helping to connect with new partners to help develop an online platform adapted to Europe that can be used by job service providers to become more effective in placing highly skilled refugees and migrants throughout the continent.

WHAT THEY NEED NOW: Connections to new partners and corporations that are interested in connecting high skilled newcomers with companies looking for talent. In addition, they are hoping to influence policy in order to make barriers to quick and effective talent-based hiring go down in host countries.