New study highlights immigrant contribution to Champaign's STEM workforce

May 30, 2018

A first-of-its-kind study shows that Champaign County's STEM workforce is bolstered by immigrants. Data collected in the “New Americans in Champaign County” published by the University YMCA shows that 1 in 4 STEM workers are immigrants but make up just 11.6 percent of the county's overall population. 

We, at the Research Park, are proud that ideas from all over the world meet here. Throughout the year, we celebrate this international community at events that mark significant holidays. Further, we eagerly supported the University YMCA’s study alongside the City of Champaign, City of Urbana, and Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. The infograph below illustrates the county’s diverse immigrant population.

The study tells us about the influence of the university in ways other immigrant reports do not because it defines “immigrant” as “Anyone not born to a U.S. Citizen, regardless of current status.” Thus, the analysis includes students on non-immigrating visas – many of whom take internships, found start-ups and/or graduate to full-time positions in the Research Park ecosystem.

The authors' summary conveys a clear theme similarly felt in the Research Park ecosystem:

The message of this report can be encapsulated in one word: interdependence. Far from 'aliens', immigrants are our neighbors, colleagues, and friends, and as this report illustrates, what affects them will impact the entirety of our community--immigrant and U.S.-born.

To explore more of the report’s delving into the economic impact of the county’s changing demographics, go HERE and HERE. For more information on the New American Welcome Center, visit their website HERE.