Immigrants as a Potential Source of Growth for New England’s Highly Skilled Workforce

New England Public Policy Center Policy Brief 13-5
by Tara Watson, Visiting Scholar

Full-text brief pdf

In recent decades, growth in New England’s college-educated workforce has lagged behind that in the nation as a whole. Attraction and retention of college graduates, especially those trained in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields is a policy priority. This brief analyzes the region’s attraction and retention of foreign-born college graduates, examining two groups of immigrants: those arriving in the United States between the ages of 16 and 20, and those arriving in the United States between the ages of 21 and 29. The author finds that the foreign-born make up a substantial fraction of young college graduates in New England and that they are more likely to have studied a STEM field in college and have earned an advanced degree. The brief concludes with a survey of policy options to encourage retention of this population.

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