certified welcoming | Welcoming America

Category: certified welcoming

Announcing Baltimore City & Montgomery County as Certified Welcoming

Welcoming America | June 22, 2020

In these unprecedented times of both a pandemic and national conversation on racism, the need for communities to translate welcoming values into policies and practices that create more inclusive environments is greater than ever.

That is why we are pleased to announce the newest additions to the growing list of Certified Welcoming places in the United States: the City of Baltimore and Montgomery County, both located in Maryland.

With these places, there are now 10 cities and counties in the U.S. that are Certified Welcoming. Communities that are Certified Welcoming capitalize on the power of inclusive policies and culture to ensure all residents—including immigrants—contribute, participate, and thrive. Certification builds a competitive advantage and access to opportunities on a regional, national, and global stage.

According to research by New American Economy, immigrants comprised 15% of Maryland’s residents in 2014, to a total of 886,650 residents. More than 120,000 people across the state are employed by immigrant-owned businesses. As of 2014, immigrants held more than $24.6 billion in spending power. In Montgomery County, one-third of all residents are foreign-born; in the City of Baltimore, immigrants helped stem a declining population in 2018.

“We congratulate the City of Baltimore and Montgomery County on becoming Certified Welcoming places,” said Rachel Peric, Executive Director of Welcoming America. “By becoming Certified Welcoming, leaders in both places are demonstrating their long-term commitment to ensuring that the racial and ethnic diversity of Maryland is not only celebrated, but that new and longtime residents alike are active participants in the civic, social and economic fabric of the places they call home. ” 

Both the City of Baltimore and Montgomery County completed an intensive evaluation earlier this year to earn the Certified Welcoming designation. Local policies and programs were compared to the comprehensive Welcoming Standard that covers community investments from education to economic development to emergency response. The Gilchrist Community Resource Center and the Office of Community Partnerships led the certification process in Montgomery County and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs led the process in the City of Baltimore.

What is Certified Welcoming?
The Certified Welcoming establishes a formal designation for cities and counties that have taken action on their commitment to welcoming and met the high bar set by the Welcoming Standard. Participants complete a rigorous, independent audit to evaluate their compliance with the Standard. Both Certified Welcoming and the Welcoming Standard were designed following standards set by ISEAL. 

What is the Welcoming Standard? 
The Welcoming Standard captures the core of what it means to be an inclusive community. Developed in collaboration with local governments, advocates, diverse set of experts, and with input from the public at large, the Standard provides a comprehensive roadmap for immigrant inclusion. The Welcoming Standard addresses a range of essential policies, programs, and partnerships, from language access to hiring practices.

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For Media Inquiries:
Lola Pak, Director of Communications
Welcoming America
[email protected]
470-236-0129

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Dayton, Ohio, announced as first Certified Welcoming Community in United States

| September 13, 2017

Dayton, Ohio...Welcoming America is pleased to congratulate Dayton, Ohio, for achieving the status of Certified Welcoming, the first city in the United States to earn the merit. Dayton announced the achievement at a City Commission meeting today.

“We are proud of the recognition Dayton has earned as being the first Certified Welcoming city in the country. This recognition affirms to the country what we have known in Dayton—our community is a welcoming place for everyone who chooses to make it home,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. 
 
Immigrants are helping to reverse Dayton’s population decline and make significant contributions to the local economy. According to research published by New American Economy, between 2009-2013, foreign-born households in Dayton contributed more than $15 million in state and local taxes and had more than $115 million in spending power.
 
“Communities like Dayton offer an alternative to the divisive rhetoric around immigration and show how inclusion is good for our economy, neighborhoods, and future. Certified Welcoming is the first of its kind initiative to identify the standard for other communities that want to follow this growing trend and show that they are welcoming not only in word, but in deed,” said David Lubell, Executive Director of Welcoming America. 

Immigrants make significant contributions to local economies and neighborhoods across the United States, and immigrant-owned businesses employ nearly six million workers nationally. Immigrants-owned businesses also play an outsize role in revitalizing neighborhoods through entrepreneurship, reversing population decline, and homeownership

Communities that become Certified Welcoming capitalize on the power of immigrants to energize their neighborhoods, economy, and culture. Certification builds a competitive advantage and gain access to opportunities to be recognized and share integration practices on a regional, national, and global stage.

“This distinction provides further proof that the Welcome Dayton initiative has been impactful for our community, creating a climate that encourages the social and economic empowerment of all of our citizens. The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to the continued growth and vibrancy of the Dayton region, and this recognition supports those efforts in a big way,” said Phillip L. Parker, President & CEO, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dayton completed an intensive evaluation to earn the Certified Welcoming evaluation, led by the Welcome Dayton initiative.  Local policies and programs were compared to  the comprehensive Welcoming Standard that covers community investments from  education to economic development to policing.

“Knowing Dayton is a Certified Welcoming City makes me excited to raise my family here. The certification demonstrates that the culture and diversity I bring to the community is not only valued but also considered when making decisions,” said Yonathan Kebede, Welcome Dayton committee member and Dayton resident.

What is Certified Welcoming?  Welcoming America launched the Certified Welcoming program in April 2017 to establish a formal designation for cities and counties that have taken action on their commitment to welcoming and met the high bar set by the Welcoming Standard. Participants complete a rigorous independent audit to evaluate their compliance with the Standard. Both Certified Welcoming and the Welcoming Standard were designed following standards set by ISEAL

What is the Welcoming Standard? The Welcoming Standard captures the core of what it means to be an inclusive community. Developed in collaboration with local governments, advocates, and diverse experts, and with input from the public at large, the Standard provides a comprehensive roadmap for immigrant inclusion. The Welcoming Standard addresses a range of essential policies, programs, and partnerships, from language access to hiring practices. Explore the Welcoming Standard.

Does your community have what it takes to be Certified Welcoming?

 

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