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Snyder announces partnership to encourage integration of skilled immigrant work force

Thursday, June 20, 2013

LANSING, Mich.  - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced a partnership that will help skilled immigrants and refugees living in Michigan integrate into the state's work force.

In conjunction with the nonprofit organization Upwardly Global, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is issuing 10 online guides that explain Michigan's professional licensing requirements for individuals who were educated or have work experience overseas. The Professional Licensing Guides are designed for individuals who wish to become a professional in the fields of accounting, architecture, dentistry, engineering, physical therapy, law, nursing, pharmacy, medicine or teaching.

"Many immigrants already are trained in high-demand professions," Snyder said. "But they often must invest a great deal of time and resources to secure a Michigan license just to resume practice. These licensing guides will help guide them through the process so that they can thrive and contribute to Michigan's economic and cultural enhancement."

The guides are housed on Upwardly Global's website at and also can be accessed through the LARA website at

"We have about 47,000 immigrants in Michigan with the training and skills necessary to serve in our work force. However, certain barriers prevent them from obtaining professional employment," LARA Director Steve Arwood said. "These new resources will help to eliminate those barriers and match their talents with a career in one of Michigan's licensed professions."

This collaborative effort is one more way in which Michigan is establishing itself as a prime destination for skilled immigrants and bringing more talent to the state's work force. Snyder, one of America's most pro-immigration governors, has testified before Congress regarding the need for common-sense immigration reform at the federal level. He also implemented the Global Michigan Initiative, designed to recruit skilled immigrants and make Michigan an even more welcoming state.

San Francisco-based Upwardly Global helps immigrant, refugee and asylee professionals rebuild their careers in the United States. For more information about Upwardly Global, visit