Author-Meets-Critics on Skills on the "Unskilled": Work and Mobility Among Mexican Migrants

Friday, May 15, 2015
12:30 - 1:30pm
UCLA Haines Hall | Room 279

Presented by: Ruben Hernandez-Leon | UCLA, Director of Center for Mexican Studies

Critics:  Chris Tilly | UCLA, Professor of Urban Planning and Sociology, Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

              Frank Bean | UCI, Chancelor's Professor, Director of Center for Research on Immigration, Population and Public Policy



About the Talk:

Most labor and migration studies classify migrants with limited formal education or credentials as “unskilled.” Despite the value of migrants' work experiences and the substantial technical and interpersonal skills developed throughout their lives, the labor-market contributions of these migrants are often overlooked and their mobility pathways poorly understood. Skills of the “Unskilled” reports the findings of a five-year study that draws on research including interviews with 320 Mexican migrants and return migrants in North Carolina and Guanajuato, Mexico. The authors uncover these migrants’ lifelong human capital and identify mobility pathways associated with the acquisition and transfer of skills across the migratory circuit, including reskilling, occupational mobility, job jumping, and entrepreneurship.



About the Speakers:


Ruben Hernandez-Leon

Ruben Hernandez-Leon is Associate Professor of Sociology at University of California, Los Angeles, and Director of the UCLA Center for Mexican Studies. He is the author of Metropolitan Migrants: The Migration of Urban Mexicans to the United States (UC Press) and the co-editor of New Destinations: Mexican Immigration in the United States.

Chris Tilly

Chris Tilly (PI) is Professor of Urban Planning and Sociology, in addition to serving as Director of the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UCLA. He received his joint Ph.D. at MIT in Economics and Urban Studies and Planning in 1989. His books include Half a Job: Bad and Good Part-Time Jobs in a Changing Labor Market,
Glass Ceilings and Bottomless Pits: Women’s Work, Women’s Poverty, Stories Employers Tell: Race, Skill, and Hiring in America, The Gloves-Off Economy: Labor Standards at the Bottom of America’s Labor Market, Contention and Trust in Cities and states, and Are Bad Jobs Inevitable?  He is currently working on a book exploring differences in the quality of retail jobs around the world. He has consulted on employment and workforce development for the City of Los Angeles, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (where he resided until 2008), and a variety of community and labor organization.

Frank Bean
Frank D. Bean is Chancellor’s Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Research on Immigration, Population and Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author or editor of more than 150 scholarly articles and chapters and eighteen books. His research focuses on international migration, unauthorized migration, U.S. immigration policy, and the demography of the U.S. Hispanic population. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow and numerous other Visiting Scholar awards (at the Russell Sage Foundation, the Transatlantic Academy, the American Academy in Berlin, the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, and the Center for U.S./Mexico Studies at the University of California at San Diego). He has supervised the dissertation or mentored more than 30 doctoral and post-doctoral students, several of whom hold (or have held) positions at such places as Georgetown University, UCLA, the University of Florida, the University of Illinois, the University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, the University of Washington, the Migration Policy Institute, the Public Policy Institute of California, and the U.S. Bureau of the Census. A frequent recipient of foundation and federal grants, Bean is the country’s only social scientist who has been a Principal Investigator of NICHD behavioral science grants in population in every decade since the inception of the program in 1969. In 2011, he received the Distinguished Lifetime Scholarly Career Award in International Migration at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.



This event is presented by the International Institute and the UCLA Program on International Migration. Cosponsored with the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE), the UCLA Center for Mexican Studies, and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center