Allegheny Activates

Allegheny County: A Welcoming America County? Logo 

In May of 2013, Allegheny County pledged to participate in the Welcoming Cities & Counties Project, an initiative of Welcoming America, national, grassroots-driven collaborative that works to promote mutual respect and cooperation between foreign-born and U.S.-born Americans. The ultimate goal of Welcome America is to create a welcoming atmosphere – community by community – in which immigrants are more likely to integrate into the social fabric of their adopted hometowns.

Allegheny County is proud to be a Welcoming America County, and to work with other U.S. cities and counties to create more welcoming, immigrant-friendly environments that maximize opportunities for economic growth and cultural vitality and position communities as globally competitive, 21st century leaders.

Because we are part of the initiative, the 130 municipalities in the County can also be part of this effort.  We encourage our elected municipal officials to consider passing their own PDF Icon resolution to indicate your community’s commitment to being a welcoming community.

What's Being Done in Allegheny County?

Allegheny County Department of Human Services  

In 2007, seeking to ensure that its services were culturally competent and accessible to immigrants and internationals, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) established an Immigrant and International Advisory Council, staffed by Barbara Murock of DHS and composed of an ever-increasing group of stakeholders. Five years later, many of the leading players in the Pittsburgh-area international community credit the Council with making the region more immigrant-friendly on several fronts.

The Council advises DHS on issues of concern to immigrant and international communities and on ways to improve the accessibility and cultural competence of services. DHS also established the Immigrants and Internationals Initiative to support the efforts of the Advisory Council and additional projects that further DHS's vision of accessibility and inclusion.  You can learn more about the Council here.

Vibrant Pittsburgh  

Vibrant Pittsburgh was created in 2010, and is operated by a board comprised of business, nonprofit, and foundation leaders.  Its mission is to embrace inclusion, to ensure the Pittsburgh region’s growth by attracting, retaining and elevating a diversity of talent, and to promote the region nationally and internationally as a diverse, welcoming region of opportunities.

Vibrant Pittsburgh believes that a diverse workforce is essential to the ongoing economic vitality of the Greater Pittsburgh region. The region must attract, retain, elevate and educate people of all backgrounds, including New Americans, and create an environment that is inclusive and welcoming. It is critical that the regional workforce be prepared for the job requirements of today and tomorrow, and that we attract qualified and diverse talent from across the country and around the globe. Skilled, educated foreign-born talent, legally authorized to work in the United States, is a significant source of economic growth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation throughout the country, and also is essential to the long-term success of the Greater Pittsburgh region.

Like the rest of America, Greater Pittsburgh has a proud history of immigrants who came to pursue the American dream and worked side by side with people of varying ethnicities and backgrounds to create greater levels of economic prosperity. Growing and sustaining a qualified and diverse regional workforce is a legacy that can and must continue. Learn more about Vibrant Pittsburgh World Wide Web Icon here.

¡Hola Pittsburgh!  

¡Hola Pittsburgh! is a public/private partnership of businesses, government, and non-profits, including Latino community leaders with a mission to improve the diversity and inclusiveness of the Pittsburgh region to sustain its population, economic prosperity, and quality of life.

A partnership of The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Latin American Cultural Union, Roberto Clemente Foundation, Allegheny Conference on Community Development,, Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, the City of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Vibrant Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Promise, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and VisitPittsburgh seeking to improve the diversity and inclusiveness of the Pittsburgh region to sustain its population, economic prosperity, and quality of life.  Learn more about the initiative World Wide Web Icon here.

Welcoming Pittsburgh  

On May 28, 2014, the City of Pittsburgh also joined the Welcoming America initiative as a welcoming city.  The City’s effort, Welcoming Pittsburgh, is an effort to improve quality of life and economic prosperity for immigrants and native born residents alike.  Learn more about Welcoming Pittsburgh World Wide Web Icon here.

Who Else is Participating? 

These U.S. cities and counties are also participating in the Welcoming America Initiative:

Atlanta, GA

Austin, TX

Baltimore, MD

Boise, ID

Boston, MA

Central Falls, RI

Charlotte, NC

Chicago, IL

Cincinnati, OH

Clarkston, GA

Columbia, MO

Columbus, OH

Dayton, OH

Denver, CO

Dodge City, KS

Greensboro, NC

Hamtramck, MI

High Point, NC

Iowa City, IO

Lincoln, NE

Los Angeles, CA

Louisville, KY

Macomb County, MI

Memphis, TN

Montgomery County, MD

Nashville, TN

New York, NY

Norcross, GA

Oakley, CA

Philadelphia, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Raleigh, NC

San Francisco, CA

St. Louis, MO

St. Louis County, MO

Sterling Heights, MI

Tucson, AZ

Washington, DC


Learn More About this Issue: 

Local Documents: 

PDF Icon Building Momentum
Vibrant Pittsburgh’s Report to the Community

PDF Icon Pittsburgh Region Immigrants and Internationals
Fact Sheet and Resources
Vibrant Pittsburgh, June 2014

PDF Icon Your Culture is Valued Here
Lessons from the DHS Immigrant and International Advisory Council
January 2013

National Documents: 

PDF Icon The Economic Benefits of Immigration
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Issue Brief, No. 18 February 2013

PDF Icon Immigrants and the Economy
Contribution of Immigrant Workers to the Country’s 25 Largest Metropolitan Areas
Fiscal Policy Institute
December 2009