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BSP: Increasing the Economic Contributions of Immigrant Workers September 2013 Newsletter

"Between 2007 and 2011, immigrants founded 45 percent of all new businesses in California, providing jobs and stimulating the economy. In awarding Building Skills Partnership our coveted E Pluribus Unum Prize for exceptional immigrant integration initiatives, we recognized that its basic skills, career education and immigrant integration programs foster and increase the economic contributions of immigrant workers. Building Skills Partnership's training for hard-to-reach immigrant service workers not only transforms lives, it improves communities and strengthens the economy for all." Michael Fix, Migration Policy Institute Senior Vice President and Co-director MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy.

BSP Presents at Brookings Institute and Silicon Valley on Immigration Reform

From Left to Right: Audrey Dow , Brookings; Aida Cardenas, Building Skills Partnership; Jason Mathis, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce; Fatima Shama, NYC Mayo's Office of Immigrant Affairs.

On July 22nd, BSP's Executive Director Aida Cardenas was a guest panelist at the Brookings Institute Metropolitan Policy Program to discuss the potential impact of immigration reform on local areas and share BSP as a best practice model for immigrant integration initiatives. The program was streamed live on CSPAN and included remarks from Cecilia Mu単oz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Brookings Senior Fellow Audrey Singer. On September 9th, BSP's Associate Director Alison Ascher-Webber facilitated a panel hosted by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation that highlighted the economic benefits immigrants provide the local economy and called for immigration reform with a path to citizenship. The panel was scheduled to mark Congress' return to Washington D.C. from summer recess, and included participants who represented the Chamber of Commerce of Mountain View, SEIUUSWW, a law firm that works with immigrant small business owners, and others. Panelists discussed a recent 10-county economic assessment by the Regional Models Economic, Inc. that showed immigration reform would bring Santa Clara County a $160 million gain in Gross County Product by 2014 and a $623 million gain by 2020.

Highlights from Panel Discussions

BSP Associate Director Alison Ascher-Webber w ith Panelists from the Chamber of Commerce Mountain View , Jaurigue Law Group, and SEIUUSWW.

Brookings Institute Discussion Immigration Reform: What's Next for Cities and Metros

Economic Benefits of Immigrants Univision Channel 14: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose (Spanish Media)

Promoting Citizenship: Tuesday, September 17th is National Citizenship Day!

Citizenship Drive in Los Angeles

On August 24th, BSP partnered with CHIRLA to host a Citizenship Drive in Los Angeles, through which volunteers and immigration attorneys assisted 50 building service workers and other immigrant community members to apply for citizenship. Thanks to a donation from Pan America Bank, Servicon Janitor Silvina Lopez won a raffle prize of $680 to cover the cost of submitting her citizenship application. Silvina expressed that now after almost 30 years she will be able to achieve her goal of becoming a US citizen and be able to vote. In San Jose, BSP is partnering with the National Immigration Forum and the International Rescue Committee to assist over 30 janitors and other workers to prepare their citizenship applications through classes, introductory workshops, and one-on-one application assistance. Partner employers, including ABM, DTZ, SBM and Brilliant supported the July launch of the program and are facilitating the process of allowing their employees to receive application assistance at their worksites. One new citizen assisted by BSP is Carmen Noriega, a janitor at

Intuit, who passed her citizenship exam after receiving English tutoring and citizenship exam prep from a Google employee volunteer.

Citizenship w orkshop in San Jose

Other News

BSP Awarded $100,000 Grant United Way of Greater Los Angeles recently awarded BSP a $100,000 grant to be implemented over two-years for its current work in Financial Literacy and Parent Engagement in Los Angeles.

BSP Awarded $50,000 Grant Hispanics in Philanthropy recently awarded BSP a $50,000 grant to be implemented over two-years to develop tailored programming for workers in the areas of citizenship, health and wellness, and financial literacy.

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BSP Newsletter September 2013