Hidden talent: Tacit skill formation and labor market incorporation of latino immigrants in the united states

Natasha Iskander, Nichola Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article examines informal training and skill development pathways of Latino immigrant construction workers in two different urban labor markets: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. We find that institutional differences across local labor markets not only shape how immigrants develop skills in specific places but also determine the localized obstacles they face in demonstrating and harnessing these skills for employment. To explain the role of local institutions in shaping differences in skill development experience and opportunities, we draw on the concept of tacit skill, a term that is rarely incorporated into studies of the labor market participation of less educated immigrants. We argue that innovative pathways that Latino immigrant workers have created to develop tacit skill can strengthen advocacy planning efforts aimed at improving employment opportunities and working conditions for marginalized workers, immigrant and nonimmigrant alike.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-146
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Planning Education and Research
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Latino immigrants
  • Philadelphia
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • construction
  • immigrant workers
  • skill development
  • tacit skill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Urban Studies

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