State office offers retraining for immigrants

The state Office of New Americans is offering immigrants the opportunity to obtain free retraining classes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

In partnership with the Cooper Union and Bnai Zion Foundation, the state office will provide free professional courses and job placement assistance through the "Retraining for Immigrant Engineers" program. Participants must be permanent residents and have work authorization.

Offering immigrants such opportunities is the goal of the Office of New Americans, which was created two years ago, explained director Jorge Montalvo. Since that time, the office has set up 27 centers across the state that also offer assistance with the naturalization process and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process, as well as provide free legal consultation, he said. The office generally does not ask for documentation for any of its programs and can provide information in more than 200 languages, he added.

"We coordinate the state’s resources to help immigrants succeed," Montalvo said.

For the STEM program, eligible immigrants may enroll in introductory and high-technology courses, which are designed to update the participants’ engineering, computer programming and business skills. Classes are taught at the Cooper Union School of Engineering in New York City. For more information, visit

For more information about the Office of New Americans, call 1-800-566-7636.

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