About the Project
In 1915, Bethlehem Steel was one of the first U.S. employers to provide free English language instruction to its immigrant workforce. Now, with 8.8 million immigrants currently eligible for citizenship and over 60 percent of non-naturalized foreign born reporting speaking limited English, the National Immigration Forum is expanding this idea through its innovative initiative.
The Bethlehem Project works with businesses to assist their eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process so they become full participants in the workplace, community, and economy. Statistics show a direct correlation between immigrant integration and happier, more effective workers that directly impacts business profitability.
Pilots have been established in 6 cities with high concentrations of legal permanent residents in the workforce:
- Los Angeles, California: nearly 1.5 million eligible for citizenship
- New York City area, New York: nearly 1.5 million eligible for citizenship
- San Jose area, California: 536,000 eligible for citizenship
- Miami, Florida: 483,000 eligible for citizenship
- D.C. metro area: 286,000 eligible for citizenship
- San Diego, California: 204,000 eligible for citizenship
TWO STEP PROCESS
The Bethlehem Project facilitates accessible citizenship assistance through a two step process that targets legal permanent residents of low to moderate income at their workplace.
Citizenship Information Sessions
- Experienced immigration professionals provide an introduction to the citizenship process; including eligibility requirements, benefits of
Citizenship Application Session at American Apparel in Los Angelescitizenship and group Q&A.
- Workshops are held during breaks or before/after work hours.
Citizenship Application Sessions
- Next, employees are invited to an Application Session at the worksite or offsite.
- Employees receive one-on-one assistance to further determine eligibility and complete the application.
Civics/ESL Instruction (optional)
- In order to pass the naturalization test, immigrants must possess a basic knowledge of U.S. history and proficiency in English.
- Group and one-on-one tutorials are provided as an optional follow up.
Director of Integration Programs