As the fastest-growing metro in the Midwest (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016), Greater Des Moines (DSM) has ample opportunities for foreign-born talent. In fact, DSM has seen 25.1 percent growth in its foreign-born population, according to the American Community Survey (ACS) for 2009-2014. This is compared to a 9.8 percent national average. In 2009, 53.6 percent of foreign-born recent arrivals came to us directly from abroad (ACS), while more recently, in 2014, 54.2 percent of foreign-born arrivals came to us from another city in the U.S. The region is quickly becoming a popular choice for immigrants already living in the U.S. to relocate (ACS). The Greater Des Moines Partnership recognizes the skills available to DSM employers in the growing foreign-born population. It is The Partnership’s goal to match these skill sets to major employers.
The DSM region is one of inclusivity. From quarterly multicultural receptions to inclusion webinars — such as An Introduction to Understanding Unconscious Bias, Untapped Potential: Refugee Resettlement and Workforce Opportunities and more — free and open to the public, the resources available to foreign-born talent in DSM continues to grow. INclusion magazine is published bi-annually and celebrates the importance of diversity in DSM. Inclusive hiring practices are integral to the success of DSM businesses. Learn more about inclusion in DSM USA.
Global DSM: International Talent Strategy
Global DSM: International Talent Strategy is an initiative of The Partnership focused on attracting and retaining global talent to meet the workforce needs of the employers in the region. There is a wealth of knowledge and skills available to DSM employers in the current foreign-born population, including foreign student population. Matching these skill sets to employers in need of qualified workers is challenging for several reasons, including lack of knowledge about applicable immigration laws, cultural differences and how to attain necessary licensure or certification.
Global DSM: International Talent Strategy aims to overcome these obstacles by focusing on employers and the international students and foreign-born talent seeking employment. For employers, this means educating employers about the pool of foreign-born talent available to fill important jobs in the community and sharing best practices. For foreign-born students and talent seeking employment, this means offering networking opportunities with DSM employers, providing support to help learn workplace culture and more.
Learn more about the International Talent Strategy.
What The Partnership Provides to Foreign-Born Talent
To learn more on the following services provided by The Partnership, contact Sanjita Pradhan at spradhan@DSMpartnership.com.
- Navigating Employment – The Partnership’s team can offer support and guidance to help learn workplace culture and provide a variety of learning and networking opportunities with DSM employers through the Career Readiness for International Professionals Class.
- Clients have access to an online learning management tool to learn about navigating workplace culture, how to market themselves in the U.S., networking advice and assistance with resume writing and developing strong interviewing skills. The tool also offers a wide variety of industry guides and free resources. Contact Sanjita Pradhan for access or to learn more.
- Global Talent Connection is a part of The Partnership’s Global DSM initiatives. The program aims to attract and retain global talent to DSM and to facilitate employer access to the region’s high-skilled talent pool
- One-on-one mentorship, coaching and guidance on career pathways, employment related services and more to further develop the foreign-born talent.
- Transferring Skill Sets – Guidance is available regarding the transferability of foreign degree licensure, credentialing and work experience.
- Career readiness for international professionals assists foreign-born individuals with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and or other professional degrees to relaunch their professional career in the U.S. The 15-hour program includes resume writing, interview skills development, networking advice, job search tactics and guidance on how to market oneself in the U.S.
- Entrepreneurial and Business Connections – With a vast network of business and community contacts, as well as well-versed startup and entrepreneurial initiatives, The Partnership is a great resource to help get entrepreneurial ideas or business startups off the ground.
- Every year, approximately 5,000 international students attend colleges and universities in DSM. Upon graduation, less than 5 percent of those enter into the workforce in DSM. Retention of International Students works with Iowa colleges and universities to connect these international students with employers and entice them to stay within the region. These employers are empowered to access high-skilled S.T.E.M. graduates who are eligible for a two-year Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension for short term projects or contract hirings.
- Relocation Assistance – The Partnership can provide you and your family in-depth information to help you prepare to relocate here, or help you further connect to the community and resources after relocating.
- Find Jobs and Internships – The Partnership’s Career Center is a resource for candidates to search and apply for career opportunities. Search and apply for jobs and internships, and post your resume for employers to contact you directly!
- Welcome to DSM USA Receptions – Attend a Welcome to DSM USA reception to meet other new residents of DSM. Find more info on The Partnership’s events page.
Iowa International Center – The goal of the Iowa International Center is to build cultural respect at home and around the world, one person at a time. The center works to provide access to educational and cultural resources to foreign-born talent in an effort to enhance Iowa’s inclusivity and retain professionals.
Welcome to Iowa – Multilingual Resources Center – The Welcome to Iowa website is a resource for new Iowans and non-English speakers to aid in the transition to Iowa. Make connections and find links for an array of resources, including food, housing, law and legal matters, transportation and more.
The Partnership supports and participates in a number of diverse events throughout the community. Diversity in DSM is celebrated through many annual festivals and events, including:
- CelebrAsian, held annually in May, celebrates Asian culture in DSM.
- The Greek Food Fair, held annually in June, celebrates home-style Greek favorites.
- The Latino Heritage Festival, held annually in September, builds awareness on the Latin culture in DSM.
- World Food & Music Festival, held annually in September, celebrates cuisine and entertainment from around the world. The Partnership hosts a naturalization ceremony during The Festival to welcome and celebrate new Americans into the DSM community.
- Italian-American Heritage Festival, held annually in July, features artistry, crafts and imported Italian products.
- I'll Make Me A World in Iowa, held annually in February, celebrates Iowa's African-American arts, culture and contributions.
- Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit, held annually in November, showcases successes of local immigrant entrepreneurs, as well as serves as an opportunity for networking and sharing of entrepreneurial best practices.
- World Refugee Day, held annually around the world on June 20, is celebrated every year in DSM with the Cultural Celebration and the Cup of All Nations soccer tournament.