Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers


Interested in applying for the Spring 2021 RPIE program? Please join our mailing list to be notified when the application is available.  

The Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers (RPIE) is a 3-month program that provides professional training and job placement assistance to immigrants who were trained as engineers and IT professionals in their home countries, but find themselves unemployed, or in positions unrelated to their degrees or training. This program is provided by The Cooper Union in partnership with CAMBA to provide courses, professional development opportunity, and job placement support to those immigrants seeking to gain access to higher paying jobs in their career occupations.
RPIE engages program participants in a high quality professional educational experience to prepare them for employment in New York City’s vibrant engineering and technology workforce. The program provides professional skills and training so that RPIE participants are competitive for the U.S. Workforce.

Should you be selected into the program:


  • You will participate in Cooper Union Engineering and Technology courses. RPIE provides engineering and technology courses in mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering and IT taught by Cooper Union faculty and field experts. These courses engage RPIE participants with US industry standards as well as engineering and technical content.
  • Professional seminars to develop “soft skills”, refine your resume, and engage you in the various interview experiences common among US employers.
  • Personalized job placement support and guidance upon completion of the program, including access to online career coaching services.
  • Networking opportunities - an important feature of the job search process.


All engineering and technical courses and job development support provided in the RPIE Program are offered FREE of charge to immigrants and refugees who are selected to participate. Participation in RPIE will NOT affect your immigration status.
Classes meet evenings and weekends to accommodate working participants’ schedule. All classes are held online and taught by dedicated industry professionals. Courses are held in the fall and spring semesters.
Course List and Schedule for current offerings coming soon. 
Classes are offered in the subjects of OSHA, Green Building, HVAC,Building Systems, NEC, Cost Estimating, AISC Steel, ACI Concrete,AutoCAD, Java, C#, Linux, Android, SQA, SQL, and Cybersecurity.


For Program Alumni

Let us know how you are doing! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey and record any changes in your employment status. The Retraining Program needs to collect employment data in order to continue to provide free courses to immigrant professionals in the years to come. The information you provide is important to our fundraising efforts and helps us improve services and program performance.

Program History

In 1987, Bnai Zion initiated a program under its Scientists Division to help scientists and engineers who immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union to find jobs. At first, classes were given at the Bnai Zion House, but the number of students soon outgrew the space. In 1991, Bnai Zion formed a partnership with Cooper Union to run the program on a larger scale. In 2015 the program moved entirely to The Cooper Union. In 2016 a partnership was formed with the Workforce Development Department at CAMBA and now serves over 225 students a year. For more about the past, present and future of the program see, A Foundational Commitment Continues.

About The Cooper Union

Committed to enhancing the lives of the immigrants and citizens of the Lower East Side, Peter Cooper, self-made inventor and industrialist, established The Cooper Union in 1859. Through its three top-ranked schools - the School of Art, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, and the Albert Nerken School of Engineering - The Cooper Union has built an international reputation for excellence and innovative approaches to education.

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering is routinely cited among top ten undergraduate schools of engineering in America by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical, civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering.

Our Sponsors

The Retraining program is made possible through generous donations from the Robin Hood Foundation and Con Edison. The Retraining Program would also like to thank our individual donors for support.

 hood and con ed logos


Applying to the Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers

Following the completetion of your application: 

Please email your resume to Sangita Shrestha at once you have submitted your application.

Please visit the website for next steps that you should take.

Remember that, as stated on your application, before being accepted into the Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers, you will be expected to provide: An original or copy of university or college degree, a current resume or CV, and proof of U.S. work authorization – for example, your EAD or Green Card.

The Retraining Program for Immigrant Engineers will not share these details with ANY other organization.

Download PDF Flyer here

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.