Strengthening the partnership between Georgia’s business & immigrant communities is good for Georgia’s economy and for all Georgians. 

The BIG Partnership’s Policy Objectives include:

  • Removing barriers to employment for skilled immigrants in health care and other high-demand professions, including by modernizing state occupational licensing requirements. 

 

  • Addressing workforce shortages by improving access to education and vocational training for immigrants, including by extending in-state tuition benefits to refugees and immigrants who served with the U.S. military overseas.  

 

  • Strengthening Georgia small businesses, by helping business owners connect with immigrant workers and supporting immigrant entrepreneurs who are creating greater economic opportunities for Georgians.

 

  • Boosting the rural economy by helping new Americans live, work and contribute beyond the metro area, including in healthcare, IT and other areas of need for rural communities.

 

  • Establishing a legislative study committee to consider the most effective ways to integrate Georgia’s immigrant community into the state’s economy, address growing workforce shortages in key industries, and develop strategies to sustain Georgia’s economic growth by maximizing the potential of its New Americans.

 

  • Creating a Georgia Office of Opportunities for New Americans to inventory and coordinate state policies, programs, and services that strengthen the partnership between the business and immigrant communities and promote Georgia prosperity. 

 

  • Maintaining Georgia’s tradition of welcoming refugees and immigrants and acknowledging their economic, social and cultural contributions to the lives of all Georgians.

The Community Speaks:
Priorities for Maximizing Global Talent

In 2021, the BIG Partnership and the CRSA polled community members and partners on policy priorities to remove barriers to education, employment and entrepreneurship for Georgia’s global workforce.

These are the top three priorities identified in each area:

EDUCATION

  1. Tuition equity: Expand in-state tuition benefits for refugees and SIV holders upon arrival and permit Georgia DACA recipients, as well as all Georgia high school graduates, equitable access to in-state tuition.

  2. K-12 support: Commit additional resources for K-12 English language learner programs for students/parents.

  3. Remove barriers to technical & vocational training: Find alternatives to restrictive diploma and transcript requirements that limit access for Georgians with international credentials.

EMPLOYMENT

  1. Training and opportunity in skilled trades: Increase access to apprenticeship opportunities and other on-the-job training programs for skilled refugees and immigrants.

  2. Licensing health professionals: Facilitate licensure for internationally trained health professionals, including doctors, nurses, dentists, occupational therapists, and respiratory therapists.

  3. Affordable child care: increase availability and access to affordable, culturally-appropriate child care.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

  1. Access to capitol: Provide more access to immigrant-friendly financing and place-based initiatives in immigrant/refugee communities.

  2. Entrepreneurship training programs: Develop small business start-up programs that provide support to Georgia entrepreneurs in multiple languages or with interpretation.

  3. Support for child care entrepreneurs: Offer grants, loans and technical assistance to members of culturally diverse communities to help them open and operate quality child care businesses in their communities.