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Talented, skilled, and committed professionals are increasingly challenging to find. Positions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields are continuing to grow surpassing the number of STEM graduates entering the job market which leaves organizations struggling to keep up with the hiring of STEM professionals and filling much needed positions. Based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) estimates that, in 2019 and 2020, 49% of all STEM master’s degrees and 57% of all STEM doctorate degrees were conferred to international students. International students and foreign-born professionals in the US workforce expand the pool of qualified candidates for highly skilled positions. More importantly, highly qualified individuals are valuable assets for any organization to grow and provide their service.
Foreign born professionals in the US must meet an extensive set of requirements and complete a substantial amount of paperwork. Navigating waters full of uncertainty, challenges, fears, and personal adjustments can be overwhelming. It is imperative that organizations understand the basics of the immigration process that, for each individual, may start at distinct levels or spaces. It is also helpful when employers are equipped with knowledge and tools to best support their employees during the hiring process and during their careers within the organization.
For this Thoughtful Tuesday, a panel will explore the following areas and answer the most common questions you may have whether you are a manager, a human resource professional, a talent seeker or a co-worker to a foreign-born person:
  • What do I need to do to hire a foreign talented individual?
  • What are the most common types of visas held by our industry workforce?
  • What are the basic requirements for each visa and who is responsible to maintain their statuses?
  • How long do the visas last and what are the next steps?
  • What does it take for my employee to become an American citizen?
  • What if I want to bring a foreign talent from my company branch abroad?
  • How do the immigration requirements affect my employee’s career-wise and personally?
  • How can I support my peers that are transitioning between visas?
Join us for this Thoughtful Tuesday panel while we learn from immigration experiences of professionals from Peru and Brazil. Led by Radlyn Mendoza, an experienced immigration attorney in Hampton Roads, Katty Fleming, Giovana Batista, and Eduardo Justo will share their immigration journeys, providing real-life examples and insights on how organizations and individuals can support employees navigating their immigration process.
About our presenter
Panel Lead and Expert - Radlyn Mendoza
Radlyn is an immigration attorney with Gardner & Mendoza Immigration Law in Virginia Beach. As the daughter of Filipino immigrants, Radlyn knows first-hand the hardships immigrants and non-immigrants face in the process of staying or becoming “legal” in the U.S. In 1994, she received her undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia, cum laude, and in 1998, graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, New Jersey. She was invited back to Old Dominion University as an adjunct professor and taught business law for three years. She has handled a variety of immigration cases for clients for over 18 years.
Radlyn is a member of the Virginia State Bar, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), DC Chapter, and serves as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) liaison, in the Norfolk, Virginia office. She was the featured speaker at the League of Women Voters annual meeting, Hampton Roads Chapter, appeared on National Public Radio’s Cathy Lewis show, and was voted one of Virginia Business Magazine’s Legal Elite in immigration law.
Panelist - Katty Fleming
Katty has over 17 years of experience in the water industry and specializes in asset management services across water and wastewater services. Katty came to the U.S. from Peru in 2001. She is currently a consultant with Arcadis.
Panelist - Giovana Batista
Giovana is a water resources engineer and consultant with Arcadis, working with water utilities, municipalities and private clients across the U.S. and internationally. Giovana is the VA AWWA DEI Thoughtful Tuesday workstream lead within the VA-AWWA Committee. She moved to the U.S. from Brazil in 2016.
Panelist - Eduardo Justo de Oliveira
Eduardo has over 18 years of experience in the technology, cybersecurity and IT fields, and is currently the Lead Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and Qualified PIN Assessor (QPA) for GM-Sectec, conducting cybersecurity assessments and implementation projects and working directly with clients. Eduardo is also a Brazilian native and lives in Tampa, Florida since 2022.



Giovana Batista
Geneva Hudgins