This year, Dayton, Ohio became the nation's first "Certified Welcoming" city for immigrants and refugees. “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.
Read more about the Certified Welcoming program on Welcoming America's web site.