4:10 PM Eastern - Friday, September 21, 2012

Building Skills Partnership Wins National Award for Their Innovative Immigrant Integration Work #default

Today, the Building Skills Partnership (BSP) was awarded a national E-Pluribus award, worth $50,000, by the Migration Policy Institute for their innovative model for immigrant integration.

The non-profit collaboration between the Service Employees International Union - United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), commercial building owners, janitorial employers, client companies and community leaders first launched in in Northern California's Bay Area in 1994 and has since expanded statewide. BSP has reached the hardest-to-serve low-wage immigrant janitors in California's largest cities by training them in ESL, vocational skills health education, citizenship and other needed training at their worksites, primarily on paid work-time.

Through BSP's dedicated outreach, the organization has developed supplemental volunteer tutoring programs at Google, Microsoft, Cisco and other Silicon Valley companies in addition to universities, such as Stanford and UC Berkeley. The programs offer an exchange between valuable language and job skills and insight into the immigrant story and struggle.

The Migration Policy has recognized BSP's successful work that consistently assists the immigrant community in California to better integrate into the United States. On a yearly basis, BSP offers training to over 2,000 immigrant janitors and service workers--a population of the state that has few opportunities for educational and career advancement.

This collaboration between labor, business and community partners can serve as a model to strengthen our much needed relationships between these groups on the issue of immigration policy.

For more information about BSP's programs, visit their site at http://www.buildingskills.org/.

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