Networks for Integrating New Americans is a national initiative funded by the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), Unites States Department of Education that is positioning adult education programs as key contributors to place-based, multi-sector networks working to advance immigrants’ civic, economic and linguistic integration. The Networks initiative has five networks located in California, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington State. Each site features an adult education/ESOL program as a key stakeholder in its local network. As one of the first places newcomers turn to for support in navigating their new environments, adult ESOL programs are uniquely positioned to help immigrants build the skills and confidence that enable them to function in and contribute to the economic and civic life of their communities.
This national webinar features work in progress and strategies employed by three of the five networks participating in the Networks for Integrating New Americans initiative. The Lancaster County Refugee Coalition will discuss how the network approach is helping them develop career pathways for refugees in Lancaster-Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Neighbors United Network will share their efforts to advance economic integration of high-skilled immigrants for whom English is a major barrier in Boise, Idaho. The White Center Promise Network will focus on ESOL strategies for civic integration led by Highline College in White Center, Washington.
- Cheryl Hiester is the Executive Director of the Lancaster Literacy Council and member of the Core Team of Lancaster County Refugee Coalition in Lancaster-Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
- Linda Faaren is Special ESL Programs Manager at Highline College and member of the Core Team of the White Center Promise Network in King County, Washington.
- Tara Wolfson is the Employment and Training Program Manager and Coordinator of the Neighbors United Network in Boise, Idaho.
- Silja Kallenbach directs the Networks for Integrating New Americans initiative and is Vice President at World Education where she oversees and supports World Education’s U.S. programs.