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Our Mission: Accelerating immigrant integration and economic advancement through education and training, employment, and entrepreneurship. Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia. We believe that a steady influx of new customers, workers, and entrepreneurs can reinvigorate Pennsylvania’s aging population, renew its neighborhoods, and re-energize our economy. By making Pennsylvania a magnet for immigrants, we will become a more vibrant, more creative, and more dynamic competitor in today’s global economy. We work closely with government agencies, service providers, employers, business associations, trade unions, and economic development groups.
Immigrants are an important part of the population. In the city of Philadelphia, 13% of residents are immigrants. In the greater Philadelphia region, that figure is 10%. Since 2000, immigrants are responsible for 96% of all "main street" business ownership growth and 75% of the workforce growth. Immigrants are also 30% more likely than native-born US citizens to become entrepreneurs. Yet immigrants face all sorts of obstacles. They may not speak English well, may not understand local business regulations and customs, may lack the credentials they need to work in their professions, or have legal and financial challenges that make it difficult for them to succeed. In our work assisting more than 15,000 immigrants from 140 countries, we’ve found one thing to be consistently true: Immigrants aren’t looking for handouts or sympathy. They’re looking for opportunity. Our job is to help them connect with employers, resources, and business communities, find ways to remove the obstacles, and then get out of the way and watch them soar.