Salt Lake County receives national recognition for welcoming immigrants
Posted by Ben McAdams
June 22, 2018
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Today I had the honor to announce that Salt Lake County is the first county in the nation to be
certified as a welcoming community by
Welcoming America, a non-profit, non-partisan organization.
At a time when there is so much divisiveness over immigration at the national level, public and private partners have come together in Utah to find a path forward to a more resilient and inclusive economy. We are looking to harness the wealth and the vibrancy that comes from diversity and as we do so, Salt Lake County stands out in the global workforce as a welcoming place.
When we began this effort several years ago, we asked ourselves some questions: What are the common values shared across new and older residents of this community? What are the opportunities for real listening, sharing and understand across differences in our backgrounds? What bridge building efforts already exist in this community that can be built on—what are the existing assets and who are the trusted community leaders?
To be certified as welcoming, we met the core requirements in seven categories critical to building a welcoming community: Government, Leadership, Equitable Access, Civic Engagement, Connected Communities, Education, Economic Development and Safe Communities. We worked closely with our partners at the Salt Lake Chamber and the local business community, with the education community, with local elected officials, law enforcement, faith leaders and many others.
We also had strong participation by immigrant community leaders and businesses. They are examples of the economic and cultural strength we want to build on and expand.
Utah has long been a state where we roll up our sleeves and come together around solutions that bring us together. This Welcoming Standard certification is the latest example of what we can achieve with good will, commitment and teamwork.
slco.org/welcoming-salt-lake to learn more about our efforts to welcome immigrants and New Americans.
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