Welcome and Introductions!

Welcome to the Skilled Immigrant Refugee Workgroup (SIRW) on LINCS!

My name is Debra Means-West, a program manager for WES Global Talent Bridge – a program dedicated to helping skilled immigrants fully utilize their talents and education in the U.S., as well as our group’s moderator to help lead discussions on this page. My background consists of over 10 years’ of experience providing strategic direction & oversight to domestic and international workforce development programs, and curriculum development to raise awareness around the value of workplace diversity for practitioners and foreign trained professionals.

The vision of SIRW is to strategically build upon the consortia of leaders to achieve our collective purpose of helping communities understand how policies and practices help or hinder skills and credential attainment, access to education and career pathways, and recognition for foreign educated New Americans.

To kick off the launch of our workgroup, I’d like to ask that each of you to take a brief moment to introduce yourself – since it’s been a while since we all last connected at the National Skills and Credentialing Institute in D.C. To do so, use the “+ Add new comment” button below to open the space to enter your comments. Don’t forget to click on “Post” when you are done. If you want to preview your message before posting, click on “Preview.”

In your introduction, please include aspects of your work and the work of your delegation. The following are some initial guided questions to help us all reconnect.

  • Your name, organization and delegation
  • What was the most interesting thing that you learned during the Credentialing Institute
  • What you are hoping to get from being a member of the Skilled Immigrant and Refugee Workgroup (SIRW)

Once again, welcome to this discussion! We’ll keep this thread open over the next 2 weeks - so contribute to it soon!

Kind regards,


Hello Everyone,

My name is Tadd Wamester, Director of Development and Strategic Partnership, Upwardly Global, Eastern Region. I was part of the Maryland Delegation at the NSCI.

At the Institute, I was also a panelist on the Professional and Occupational Licensing panel. I really enjoyed learning more about competency-based Registered Apprenticeship models, having the opportunity to interact with various state partners, and make connections between the different groups and partners. There were some great next steps that came out of the day including a grant submission with multiple partners in attendance, as well as the formation of the Maryland Skilled Immigrant Task Force, which has continued to meet on a monthly basis as a full group as well as ongoing work within subcommittees. It created great momentum that continued leading up to the IMPRINT/WES session that preceded the WE Global conference.



Hello, and welcome to those joining the Skilled Immigrant and Refugee Workgroup.  My name is Mike Cruse and I'm the moderator for the LINCS Career Pathways Community of Practice.  As another resource supporting learners' professional skill-building and credentialing, I look forward to keeping up with the conversation here, and collaborating with you.

Susan Finn Miller, AELL moderator, and I hosted a webinar and panel discussion on working with skilled immigrants in January.  You can access the panel discussion with members of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians here.  Please feel free to mine the discussion, and reach out to the Career Pathways community if you have questions that we may be able to answer.


Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator