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Dayton named as America's first 'welcoming city'

(File photo: WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The city of Dayton is the first city in the U.S. to be recognized as Certified Welcoming. The status recognizes the city as being inclusive of immigrants and integrating them in the city.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley says the new title is one city leaders are proud of. "This recognition affirms to the country what we have known in Dayton--our community is a welcoming place for everyone who chooses to make Dayton home," said Mayor Nan Whaley. Welcome Dayton had to go through a certification process through Welcoming America, which is a non-partisan and national non-profit organization. The organization evaluates efforts to establish an inclusive community through government leadership, civic engagement, equitable access, education, economic development, and connected and safe communities.

City leaders say immigrants have made a 'significant' contribution to the city and economy. Local leaders say being certified as the first welcoming community is a big deal, "This distinction provides further proof that the Welcome Dayton initiative has been impactful for our community, creating a climate that encourages the social and economic empowerment of all of our citizens. The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to the continued growth and vibrancy of the Dayton region, and this recognition supports those efforts in a big way," said Phillip L. Parker, President & CEO, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Being certified as a welcoming community will last for three years, after which Dayton will have to go through a recertification process. Learn more about Welcome Dayton here.

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