Upwardly Global Opens Michigan Office for Skilled Immigrants


Upwardly Global — a San Francisco-based nonprofit that helps educated immigrants and refugees overcome barriers to professional employment — today opened a state branch office at Michigan State University’s Detroit Center.

“Michigan continues to demonstrate that we are open to the world,” says Bing Goei, director of the Michigan Office for New Americans, and former president and CEO of Eastern Floral in Grand Rapids. “The new workplace will provide foreign professionals with the unique resources they need to achieve their full economic potential. Many legal immigrants are already trained in high-demand professions.”

With offices in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago, the Michigan location will also offer immigrant entrepreneurs job search preparedness and training services, including résumé revision, interview preparation, and salary negotiation.

The office, at 3408 Woodward Ave., will also provide one-on-one advising from staff; opportunities to network and connect with U.S. mentors; acculturation training for adjusting to the U.S. workplace environment; direct referrals to professional positions with employer partners; and specialized resources for professionals in high-demand technology and engineering fields, including guidance in relicensing.

“These new resources can maximize the professional potential of our foreign professionals,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “The governor’s efforts to help legal skilled immigrants secure positions in their chosen fields will create jobs and benefit Detroit, the region, and the entire state.

Upwardly Global estimates that Michigan has 47,000 immigrants with the training and skills necessary to serve in the workforce, says Nikki Cicerani, president and CEO of the national nonprofit.

“While these global professionals arrive with the skills employers are seeking, they often lack the networks and the tools to navigate a U.S. job search and contribute at their full potential,” Cicerani says. “Michigan is a national leader in recognizing the value of this talent pool and we are proud to strengthen our partnership by expanding our on-the-ground services to Detroit.”

In addition, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has partnered with Upwardly Global to create online guides that explain the professional licensing requirements for individuals who were educated or have work experience in foreign countries. To learn more about these guides, click here.

LARA also offers a dedicated phone line, 517-373-0104, where skilled immigrants are connected to a state professional licensing specialist who will answer licensing-related questions regarding any of Michigan’s approximately 180 professional licenses.

“These resources will be invaluable to the many immigrants who arrive into the United States with professional credentials, but cannot use them,” says Gilberto Guzman, chairman of the Michigan Hispanic Latino Commission. “There are doctors, engineers, and attorneys who are underemployed in Michigan and these tools will help them resume their careers and contribute to the local economy.”

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