Impact and Programs
For client testimonials and 2020 impact, please visit impact.iimn.org.
The Institute’s programs supported 3,291 New Americans from 96 countries during FY2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020). Due to the pandemic, all programs transitioned to conducting their classes and services in the online environment.
1) The staff assisted with 1,364 citizenship applications.
2) 94 percent of all citizenship applicants who apply through the Institute become naturalized, which is above the national rate of 91 percent.
3) The Institute reached a key milestone in its citizenship services, representing its 15,000th applicant since 2001.
4) The staff provided 32 clients with assistance for the Liberian Refugee Fairness Act (LRIF) which granted permanent legal status and a pathway to citizenship for Liberians previously residing in the U.S. on Temporary Protected Status.
1) 109 refugees were resettled.
2) 17 human and labor trafficking survivors were provided trauma-informed support.
3) The Institute reached the milestone of resettling 25,000 refugees since 1974.
1) 60 Hospitality Careers Pathway students started jobs.
2) 49 Medical Career Advancement (MCA) client graduations: 21 RN, 19 LPN, 7 BSN, 1 MSN, 1 Phlebotomy Tech.
3) The average starting hourly wage of 30 MCA students who upgraded their medical careers was $30.21.
4) 58 Nursing program students were hired as certified nursing assistants and caregivers; the average wage for Nursing graduates after their CNA certification was $15.27.
1) 72 College Readiness Academy (CRA) students started college.
2) CRA navigators provided individual advising for 210 students.
3) Staff provided 26,462 hours of English language education.
The Institute’s work with helping New Americans achieve stability and self-sufficiency is more important than ever due to economic insecurities caused by the COVID pandemic. The pandemic has not only altered how the Institute’s programs hold their classes and connect with their clients and students, but health regulations have also reduced the number of volunteers that had provided capacity to resettlement and other programs. We will continue to provide an effective level of service to meet client demand while working to sustain capacity through increased earned income opportunities and new community partnerships.
In addition to COVID, federal policy changes will impact our refugee resettlement work. After four years of declining refugee admissions due to policy changes during the Trump Administration, the incoming Biden Administration has indicated that it would raise the admissions ceiling to 125,000 refugees and perhaps higher over time. When enacted, the ceiling would be at the highest limit since FY1993. We will further augment our internal systems to prepare for increased resettlement assistance needs, which will likely be fully recognized by Winter 2021.
In addition, the Institute has begun its $12M building expansion project to increase its classroom and work spaces for its programs, which will be completed by November 2021. When the project is finished and health guidelines change with the vaccination rate, the Institute may resume its programming through a hybrid delivery model between online and socially-distanced classroom instruction.
Community or Constituency Served
The Institute serves more than 4,000 people annually from over 100 countries including refugees, asylees, unaccompanied children, and foreign-born survivors of human trafficking. The vast majority of its clients live in low-income households. Most are English language learners (ELLs) who are unfamiliar with American culture. Some clients resettled by the Institute had lived in refugee camps for an average of 18 years with little or no access to education, healthcare, or employment opportunities; some clients are survivors of labor or sex trafficking. All clients struggle to overcome many barriers in a new country.
For its newly-arrived clients, the Institute creates a foundation for their resettlement and transition. Case managers are experienced in working with immigrants as they navigate U.S. systems for the first time; they assist clients to obtain housing, secure employment, register children for school, access public benefits, and learn to navigate the healthcare system. Many staff members are from the same ethnic communities as the clients and have experienced the challenge of adjusting to life in Minnesota. They provide services in the clients’ native languages with compassion, care, and professionalism.
Through the Institute’s integrated continuum of programming, clients can also seek naturalization application assistance from Immigration Services, or enroll in the two career pathways to obtain employment training and education for long-term economic prosperity. The Institute’s English for Work program also offers free English language instruction for adults.
Finally, the Institute’s volunteers also provide friendship and support to newly-arrived refugees and other immigrants to their Minnesota community. Volunteers work with clients to help them learn the public transit system, practice English, and explore community resources.
Geographic Area Served
We primarily serve the Twin Cities Metro area with the majority of clients residing in Ramsey and Hennepin counties.