Inspiring talks, presentations, and panel discussions were everywhere at WE Global Network’s 3rd Annual Convening in Dayton, Ohio in mid-July.  My colleague, Jazmin Long, Global Cleveland’s Welcome Coordinator, and I had the pleasure of attending this conference, which attracted 300 attendees from as far as St. Louis to the West and Philadelphia to the East.

 Nearly 1 million immigrants arrive on America’s shores each year and Global Cleveland is working hard to make Cleveland/Cuyahoga County their destination.  I’ve always been a Cleveland-promoter and would be delighted to welcome more newcomers to my hometown.  Attracting new immigrants has become an important business in the nation as these newcomers are undoubtedly adding to our region’s economic wealth.  The economic dimensions are one of the reasons why cities across the Midwest are interested in this work and it is certainly one of the reasons why Global Cleveland exists. 

In the more recent years, CSU’s Center for Population Dynamics has shown that more than 60% of degreed immigrants who’ve arrived in Greater Cleveland have a Master’s degree or higher.  Typically they work in our education or medical sectors though of course not exclusively.   Our county is attracting a more specialized and highly educated class of immigrants and our work at Global Cleveland is to help continue that movement. Once they are here, our Welcoming initiative kicks in and with the help of a friendly community of Clevelanders, helps them assimilate to feel comfortable and enjoy the long list of our region’s amenities, such as the cultural, entertainment, parks, sports, and more.

From refugees, asylees, permanent immigrant workers and international students, Cleveland has many foreign-born peoples living here.  My hope is that you will add to the welcoming aspect of Global Cleveland and be kind, hospitable and WELCOMING to those immigrants who are your neighbors and co-workers.