Upwardly Global is a not-for-profit devoted to helping work-authorized, skilled immigrants rebuild their professional careers in the U.S.

Upwardly Global creates partnerships with employers who benefit from access to this talent pool and provides customized training and support for these new Americans to help them achieve their full economic potential in the U.S. 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.

TalentRISE supports this organization in multiple ways: Carl Kutsmode has been their longest serving Leadership Council member and was their first council president when they opened the Chicago office. We also regularly connect job candidates to our vast client network for informational interviews and constantly promote the organization to our clients as a valuable talent source. Many of our clients have also become partners and host events, inviting their staffs to participate in volunteer activities and more.

We recently spoke with Meghan Lewit, Sr. Associate in Marketing Communications at Upwardly Global and asked her to answer some of the most common questions our readers may have about the organization. That interview follows:

1. In a nutshell, how does Upwardly Global serve corporations?

We serve companies by connecting them to a qualified, diverse talent pool that is currently not being reached by employers and recruiting firms. Our job seekers bring immediate value to companies in early and mid-career roles as they acclimate to the U.S. workforce.

We also work with employer partners to create customized volunteer engagements that benefit both our job seekers and the company’s employees: job seekers have the opportunity to practice their interviewing and networking skills with U.S. professionals, while the volunteers gain valuable cross-cultural communication skills.

2. What about the job seekers; can you tell us about the caliber of the talent?

The job seekers we work with come to this country as refugees and asylees, through family reunification, or the diversity lottery. All of our job seekers have permanent work authorization, a bachelor’s degree or higher, and, on average, 7 years of experience working in their field in their home country. Many of these foreign-trained professionals also have experience in STEM fields – in fact, more than 60% are placed in positions that employers report as the hardest to fill.

Perhaps most importantly, they are resilient, resourceful, and committed to rebuilding their careers in the United States. They know how to do the job, what they really need help with is getting the job–they need to acquire the culturally-specific skills to navigate a U.S. job search and to create a professional network here.

3. What sizes of companies and industries do you serve?

We serve all sizes of companies from growing entrepreneurial organizations like Celergo Global Payroll to large employers like Accenture and Wells Fargo.  Many of our partners value candidates with strong backgrounds in Engineering, Technology, Finance & Accounting or seek talent for their global business where speaking several languages and work experience in business cultures from other parts of the world is highly valued.

4. What steps should a company take if it wants to tap into your organization for talent? How does it all actually work?

Our partners have a variety of options in working with us. Talent partnerships include unlimited access to our national resume database, unlimited job postings on our job board, and a talent account manager who will present qualified applicants based on the specific employer’s need.

Diversity or volunteer partnerships include customized volunteer engagements and workshops focused on building cross-cultural skills. Organizations should contact us directly to discuss their needs and to create a customized partnership. More information is available on our website or by contacting Rebecca Tancredi at Rebecca@upwardlyglobal.org.

5. Can you cite a couple of short success stories where you’ve generated results for the employer and also the employee?

  • UpGlo has a strong, ongoing partnership with Standard Chartered Bank to provide skills-based volunteer engagements, mentorship opportunities, and talent sourcing. 54 job seekers who have participated in SCB events have been placed in professional jobs, and 12 have been directly hired by Standard Chartered.
  • In 2011, we launched our first Global Engineers in Residence (GEIR) program with Greeley & Hansen, a premier environmental engineering firm in Chicago. The program creates opportunities for forward-thinking engineering firms to connect with global talent by hosting mid-career internships. Three UpGlo candidates were brought in for the initial program, and were subsequently hired as full-time engineers.

Based on the success of the program at Greeley & Hansen, Michigan recently became the first state to sponsor GEIR internships. Financial incentives will be available to employers in the state who complete the program.

Carl Kutsmode

About the Author

Carl Kutsmode has over 20 years expertise in talent acquisition transformation — assessing and optimizing corporate recruiting capabilities for greater efficiency and performance.

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Tags: global talent, Recruiting Trends, Upwardly Global, workforce planning