Evaluates a demonstration project in Arkansas and Iowa based on the core premise that helping new Americans enter the workforce will simultaneously enhance the workforce, further local economic development, and raise awareness of diversity issues.

“The report discusses the final results for the evaluation of the New Americans Centers (NACs) Demonstration Project in Arkansas and Iowa” (p. i). The states received grants to develop NACs within One-Stop Career Centers in areas with a high immigrant population. “The purposes of the grant were to promote stability and rapid employment with living wages for individuals or family members who were without work or were in need of new work, speed the transition of new immigrants into their communities, assist employers, and enhance the economic development opportunities of these communities” (p.i). Data were collected from program operator and partner staff members, focus groups of participants, and project data and reports. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full publication title: Assisting Newcomers through Employment and Support Services: An Evaluation of the New Americans Centers Demonstration Project in Arkansas and Iowa Final Report

Major Findings & Recommendations

•"From the perspectives of staff, community partners, and employers, the New Americans Centers generally had a positive influence on the economic and social well-being of newcomers in both Arkansas and Iowa" (p.ES-iv). •"Staff and community members considered that NACs enhanced civic participation and increased knowledge of resources and access to services" (p.ES-iv). •"NACs successfully built networks of community leaders, service providers, and businesses" (p.ES-iv). •"NAC staff worked with local employers, who came to see the NACs as a resource available to them and their employees. Some employers used the NACs as a source of new hires. Others used the NACs for interpretation and translation assistance or help with cultural and diversity issues in the workplace" (p.ES-v). •"Analysis of participants’ employment and earnings in Iowa indicated a slight rise in employment and earnings after initial service receipt. However, it is not possible to attribute changes in employment and earnings directly to receipt of NAC services" (p.ES-v). (Abstractor: Author)