Policy Studies Alum Vy Nguyen Co-presents Report on “Brain Waste” among WA State Immigrants and Refugees

Vy Nguyen

In her role as Policy Associate at OneAmerica, Vy Nguyen (’12, MA in Policy Studies) has focused the past year on workforce and education issues related to immigrant integration, particularly the issue of brain waste among foreign-educated immigrants.  Many immigrants and refugees - engineers, doctors, nurses, scientists, accountants, and teachers in their home countries - bring a wealth of knowledge and experience yet find it difficult to continue their professional careers in the U.S. Many can only find low-wage survival jobs, such as nannies, cashiers, security guards, and cab drivers, that do not put their degrees or full training and skills to use. This enormous underutilization of human resources has been dubbed “brain waste,” and OneAmerica’s report details the barriers that cause brain waste, its impact on Washington State, and strategies for strengthened economic integration. 

On December 3, 2015, Vy and her colleagues presented their findings, specifically highlighting nursing and teaching as industries facing  significant worker shortages; foreign-educated immigrants are an untapped potential that can bridge the skills gap and bring much needed diversity and linguistic skills to the Washington state workforce.  Vy is excited by the conversations and opportunities the report will catalyze and credits her training in Policy Studies (MAPS) to her contribution.  She writes, “This project - and all of my work at OneAmerica-  has been MAPS in action!”  Read the full report at: https://www.weareoneamerica.org/foreign-educated-immigrants