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Improving Access to Licensed Occupations for Internationally-Trained Professionals

Internationally trained immigrants and refugees stand ready to contribute their valuable education and experience to the United States workforce. Yet, obtaining licensure in the U.S. can be a time-consuming, complicated, and expensive process, especially in highly regulated fields like health care, engineering, and education. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) funded a consortium of states to study occupational licensure issues and identify best practices and solutions to policies that create unnecessary barriers to labor market entry for disproportionately affected populations, including immigrants.

World Education Services (WES), in collaboration with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Council of State Governments (CSG), and the National Governors Association (NGA), is facilitating discussions among eight states on how to update licensure requirements to address barriers to licensure and create alternate pathways to licensure. These discussions also serve to highlight best practices and model policies aimed at reducing certain occupational licensing barriers and building more equitable licensing frameworks.

This session will cover the preliminary findings of the working group. Presenters will share:

  • Best practices on how to approach and access licensure reform
  • Strategies that can be used by states seeking to create more inclusive workforces

Originally presented October 2021


Mike Zimmer, Senior Policy Consultant, World Education Services (WES)

Anne Head, Commissioner, Maine

Mona Siddiqui, Senior Policy Advisor, Virginia

Kit Taintorm, Senior Advisor for New American Integration, Colorado

Non-Member Price: $100
Member Price: $80