BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — North Dakota has joined with a group of both communities and states throughout the US — all of which aim to help advance refugee and immigrant workforce inclusion across the country.

The Skilled Immigrant Integration Program, or SIIP, is a nationally recognized initiative that aims to help communities create more diverse and inclusive workplaces. Through the organization, communities that are part of the program are able to access useful resources, as well as networking and training opportunities that help them integrate refugees and immigrants into their communities and state workforce. As part of the 2023-2024 SIIP program, North Dakota has been selected to join the program’s sixth cohort.

“This marks a significant milestone for us,” explains Department of Commerce Workforce Development Deputy Director Janna Pastir in a press release, “and we’re excited to share this news with our partners and the public. Our participation in SIIP allows us to collaborate with WES (World Education Services) and fellow SIIP members on three key focus areas: promoting employer engagement, developing initiatives to enhance economic inclusion for immigrants and refugees, and participating in the SIIP alumni exchange. We believe that these initiatives will not only benefit our communities but also contribute to the broader mission of SIIP.”

In order to learn more about the state’s Office of Legal Immigration — as well as the SIIP program and what North Dakota is doing to advance workforce inclusion — visit this page on the state government’s website.