Two new fact sheets from National Skills Coalition highlight the important role that immigrant workers play in filling middle-skill jobs in Texas and Arkansas.
While immigration settlement patterns differ substantially between the two states, in both cases, immigrant workers will be vital to helping the states meet their ambitious goals for postsecondary credential attainment and respond to local industries’ talent needs.
To accomplish these goals, states will need to ensure that their talent-development pipelines are inclusive of the many immigrants who are poised to benefit from investments in their skills: More than half of adult immigrants in Arkansas (62 percent) and Texas (63 percent) have not gone beyond high school in their education.
Arkansas: A Quickly Growing Immigrant Population Meets Aging Workforce
Arkansas is one of the nation’s fastest-growing immigrant destinations. The state has seen its foreign-born population quintuple in recent years, rising from just 1 percent of the population in 1990 to 5 percent today.
Immigrants in Arkansas are much more likely to be of working age: Fully 83 percent are between the ages of 18-64, compared to just 59 percent of native-born Arkansas residents. The relatively high number of elders in the native-born population also contributes to another notable difference: 68 percent of adult immigrants in Arkansas are in the labor force, compared to 57% of native-born Arkansas adults.
The state has recently established a significant goal for middle-skill credential attainment: By 2025, Arkansas seeks to increase the percentage of state residents with a postsecondary credential to 60 percent. Immigrants are certain to be an important component of the state’s future workforce pipeline.
Learn more in our new fact sheet: Middle-Skill Credentials and Immigrant Workers: Arkansas’ Untapped Assets
Texas: A Big Population Meets an Ambitious Postsecondary Goal
As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas – and that is certainly true for immigration. Texas has long been a magnet for newcomers from abroad, having been one of the “Big Six” destination states (along with California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York) for decades.
Today, Texas is home to more than 4.7 million immigrants, who comprise 1 in 6 state residents. The state’s Higher Education Coordinating Board has recently established an aggressive goal for postsecondary attainment. By 2030, the state aims to equip at least 60 percent of 25-to-34-year-olds with a certificate or degree.
In order to reach that goal, Texas will need to invest in skill-building for native-born and immigrant workers alike.
Learn more in our new fact sheet: Middle-Skill Credentials and Immigrant Workers: Texas’ Untapped Assets