Upwardly Global

Upwardly Global

Infobox_Company | company_name = Upwardly Global
company_type = 501(c)(3) nonprofit
company_slogan = Helping Immigrant Professionals Rebuild Their Careers
foundation = 1999, United States
location = San Francisco, California, United States
key_people = Jane Leu, Executive Director
industry = Social Entrepreneurship, Immigrant Inclusion, Corporate Diversity
products = Career counseling, career resources, mentoring, training, resume services
homepage = [http://www.upwardlyglobal.org www.upwardlyglobal.org]

Upwardly Global is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, based in San Francisco with an additional office in New York, that helps immigrant professionals rebuild their careers in the US.


The number of college-educated immigrants to the US grew from to 5,821,690 to 7,800,043 (a growth rate of 34%) between 2000 and 2005 ref|MPIInflux. At the same time, the foreign born population of the United States increased from 30,760,065 to 35,689,842 (a growth rate of 16%) ref|Immigrationpolicybrief. However, even with more education than the majority of immigrants and extensive job experience, these immigrants still have tremendous difficulty finding jobs in their career fields. Over half of all legal immigrants to the US work in lower-skilled jobs than their education or experience has prepared them for.ref|tuftsarticle

Upwardly Global helps immigrant, refugee, and asylee professionals find jobs in their career fields. To date, over 600 immigrants from around 65 countries have secured jobs in their respective career fields with the help of this organization. ref|tuftsarticle. It operates on the belief that the hiring of immigrant professionals is beneficial not only to the individuals themselves but to the American economy, emulating Stephen Moore's belief thatref|stephenmoore:

To qualify for Upwardly Global's free services, immigrants must have:

*Been born in a least developed country or newly industrialized country as according to UN definitions (ie: non-Western countries) ref|UNLDC
*A university-level education
*Permanent, legal U.S. work authorization (not employer sponsored)
*Proficient (not perfect) English skills
*At least two years' job experience in their career field

They cannot be or have been:

*Already working in their career field here in the US
*In the US for over five years



Upwardly Global was started by Jane Leu in 1999 in San Francisco. After having worked extensively with immigrants, asylees, and refugees, Jane perceived a need for programs targeting educated, experienced immigrants in particular. Newspapers have described cases of underemployed immigrant professionals—lawyers working as gas station attendants, doctors as doormen—as the “American classic.” ref|legalimmigrantshavetroublefindingjobs. Multiple organizations exist to assist immigrant job-seekers, but few have the resources required to assist those with professional-level backgrounds. Upwardly Global is unique in the United States as an organization that specializes in matching qualified immigrants with high-skill positions. Jane began working with such immigrants part-time, unpaid, from her own kitchen.

In 2000, the organization received its first official grant from the Three Guineas Fund. In the next few years, the list of donors expanded to include the Levi Strauss Foundation, the Draper Richards Foundation, and various private donors.

Present Day

Headquarters are located in San Francisco's financial district, at 582 Market St. A New York office, at 401 Broadway, was launched in June 2006. Today, the full-time staff has grown to about 10 people in the New York office, and around 7 in the San Francisco office. The volunteer network numbers over 200. The operating budget is about $1.9 million.ref|GuideStar. Jane Leu remains Executive Director, with Camille Ramani as Chief Operating Officer. The organization has received numerous awards, including the 2004 Manhattan Institute Award for Social Entrepreneurship and the 2006 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award.ref|jfkaward

The organization continues to receive funding from private donors, as well as from the Achelis Foundation, , the Alan Slifka Foundation, Cisco Systems, Community Technology, Foundation for California, the Draper Richards Foundation, the Gimbel Foundation, the Johnson Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, the Leitner Family Foundation, New Profit, Inc., the New York Times Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, the Third Millennium Foundation, Three Guineas Fund, Wells Fargo, and the Yahoo! Employee Foundation. In addition, companies that become employer partners of the organization (please see below) pay an annual fee in return for receiving resumes and job candidates.

Strategy and Outreach


Jobseekers that fit requirements have free access to Upwardly Global programs and services. Activities and programs include:
*Resume and cover letter assistance
**Networking skills
**Interviewing skills
**Socializing in the American workplace
*Mock interviews
*Mentoring and advising by volunteers
*Submission of resumes to relevant employer partners

These programs and activities address what Upwardly Global considers a four-fold challenge for immigrant professionals:ref|thechallenge

1. Lack of networks. In the US, most jobs are secured via personal connections and referrals. The situation is the same in other countries. In many cases Upwardly Global Candidates are well connected in their country of origin, but do not have professional contacts and networks in the United States.

2. Resume presentation. In the United States, a Candidate’s resume is his or her personal sales brochure. Recruiters look for specific elements and are accustomed to a familiar, often brief, format. In other countries, the resume may have a different role in the recruitment process; format and length may differ as well. For these reasons, unless referred by a reputable source, such as Upwardly Global, immigrant Candidates are often dismissed upon first review.

3. Self promotion. We know the interview as a time when candidates sell themselves. In many cultures, however, unabashed self-promotion is seen as brash and frowned upon. Foreign-born Candidates may have different communication styles that can be misinterpreted by interviewers as a lack of self-confidence.

4. Misconceptions. The most common reason foreign-born candidates do not advance quickly in the recruitment process is that they are – in a word – foreign. People are unfamiliar with their accents, their resumes, their university degrees, their foreign employers, and their choice of words. Many of us subconsciously dismiss quality candidates because they are an unfamiliar entity.

Employer Network

Upwardly Global has partnerships with such companies as JP Morgan Chase, Google, Deloitte & Touche, Merrill Lynch, Gap, Cisco, Wells Fargo, Clorox and BearingPoint. Employer partners sign an annual contract with the nonprofit and donate in return for its recruiting services.

Upwardly Global's strategy for interaction with employer partners follows a basic three-level process:

1. Education Through training, Upwardly Global works with HR professionals to expand cross-cultural hiring practices.

2. Engagement Employees of partner companies are invited to volunteer for Upwardly Global, individually or in groups. This important step increases awareness about immigrant professional potential and creates "internal advocates for global diversity."

3. Employment The final component is the intersection of needs and goals between the jobseekers and companies. Upwardly Global functions similarly to a recruiter by steering qualified and interested candidates towards open positions in employer partner companies.


Upwardly Global has had its fair share of controversy, from both anti-immigration activists and immigrants themselves. Some immigrants disagree with its stringent requirements; in particular, its reluctance towards remote location work, and its refusal to work with those immigrants born in Western countries or without functional English language skills.

Anti-immigration activists protest, citing fears of the United State's growing reliance on foreign labor as a threat to national security.


[http://www.migrationinformation.org/datahub/acscensus.cfm# "Fact Sheet on the Foreign Born: Language and Education Characteristics."] 2007. The Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved August 14 2007.

[http://www.ailf.org/ipc/policybrief/policybrief_2006_81606.shtml "Immigration Policy Brief - New Census Bureau Data Underscore Importance of Immigrants in US Labor Force"] 2007. Paral, Rob. The American Immigration Law Foundation. Retrieved August 15 2007.

[http://upwardlyglobal.org/about/news_2005.08.10_WSJArticle.html "More immigrants, more jobs."] July 11 2005. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 14 2007.

[http://www.jfklibrary.org/Education+and+Public+Programs/New+Frontier+Award/Award+Recipients/Jane+Leu/ The 2006 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards.] The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. Retrieved August 14 2007.

[http://upwardlyglobal.org/about/faqs.php#11 "Upwardly Global: About Us: FAQs."] Upwardly Global. Retrieved August 13 2007.

[http://www.un.org/esa/policy/devplan/cdp_publications/2003cdpreport_4.pdf "IV. Review of the list of least developed countries."] March 2003. The United Nations. Retrieved August 14 2007.

[http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/winter2007/planet-tufts/america.html "Welcome to America: Jane Leu Believes in Skilled Jobs for Skilled Immigrants."] Winter 2007. Tufts University. Retrieved August 14 2007.

[http://www.guidestar.org/pqShowGsReport.do?partner=guidestar&npoId=761451 "GuideStar Report: Upwardly Global"] GuideStar. Retrieved August 14 2007.

[http://www.careerjournal.com/jobhunting/huntingabroad/20060530-newman.html "Legal Immigrants Have Trouble Finding Jobs"] May 30 2006. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 14 2007.

External links

* [http://www.upwardlyglobal.org Upwardly Global]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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