Why Do Some Local Governments Offer Job Training or Other Services to Immigrants While Others Do Not?
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Immigrants benefit the U.S. economy both at the state and local levels. Recognizing immigrants’ critical importance to the American economy, this research study investigates the relationship between local policy adoption and services provided to immigrants. Specifically, it asks why some local governments offer job training and employability skills or other services to immigrants while others do not. A thorough analysis of the rationale behind local governments’ policy adoption is critical to understand the dynamics of the growing welcoming cities trend in local government. The “welcoming cities” is an innovative program supporting local governments to build communities where everyone can belong and participate in social, cultural, economic, and civic life. This program is a national network of cities, towns, and municipalities that are committed to efforts to include and welcome immigrants in all areas of civic, social, and economic life. Looking at existing perspectives such as local needs, economic imperative, institutional capacity, and political reasons as drivers of policy adoption, this research study emphasizes why these perspective influence local governments to provide job training or other services such as English as a second language training, citizenship or naturalization assistance, health services, housing assistance, other support such as food pantry, childcare, etc., to immigrants. Consistent across models, results indicate a correlation between local policy adoption and the percentage of nonwhite and noncitizen population, percentage of college graduates, council-manager form of government, total population, percentage of democrat votes, and the presence of nonprofit organizations and universities providing job training or other services to immigrants.