The Joint Task Force between Welcoming Manchester and the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) began meeting in November, 2016. The purpose of this task force is to “do the work necessary so that GMCC becomes a community leader in growing an immigrant friendly Manchester economy and to maximize the Chamber’s long term commitment to growing an immigrant-friendly Manchester economy.”
The Joint Task Force is comprised of local business and community leaders, including those who are immigrants and those who are native born. Since November, the Joint Task Force has been listening and learning about the resources and needs associated with workforce development (how do employer’s best prepare themselves and their prospective talent pools for their shared work?); entrepreneurship, and professional credentialing challenges associated with various professions. The Joint Task Force will meet in May 2017 to map out key strategies for the Chamber to consider in order to deepen their relationships and impacts with immigrant communities of the region.
In the past few months, the Joint Task Force has identified state and regional resources that support pre-employment readiness programs at the employer level for a variety of industries. The task force has also linked existing employers with these resources so that they could improve their internal training programs to better work with their immigrant talent pools. The task force has learned about the needs for greater micro-entrepreneurship supports and basic business start-up information specifically for immigrant communities. They are exploring the needs for professional credentialing opportunities by learning what process currently exists and if there are efforts underway to revise any state-specific processes in order to meet the workforce and immigrant community needs.