The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
After being housed at the Board of Lucas County Commissioners since 2014, one of the highlights of 2019 is Welcome TLC’s new home at the Library; however, our collaboration and partnership with the Board of Lucas County Commissioners and LISC Toledo remains--we are not in this alone. As connectors, the strength of our ties to local, statewide, and national networks of partners, greatly impacts our work. Just as important is input from our community, which is reflected in the make-up and involvement of past and current members of our steering committee. Welcome TLC’s mission is to build a welcoming and inclusive community for immigrants, refugees, and people of diverse cultures that supports a vibrant civic, economic, and social fabric for all. Our 2019 annual report and summary, gives you an idea of how we strive to live up to our mission and see it reflected in our work.
2019 Annual Highlights
Welcome TLC Transitions to the Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Welcome TLC, formerly housed at the Board of Lucas County Commissioners, transitioned to the Toledo Lucas County Public Library in August of 2020. Governed by a network of steering committee members and partners--a Welcome TLC Librarian was hired to further and broaden the initiative’s efforts in building a welcoming and inclusive community for all.
Lucas County Achieves Certified Welcoming Designation
Lucas County became the first county in Ohio to be designated Certified Welcoming and only the second county in the U.S. The national independent audit program of Welcoming America demonstrates our region's commitment to welcoming all community members, including immigrants and refugees. The City of Toledo is also working to become Certified Welcoming, which would make Toledo-Lucas County the first city and county certified in the country.
New Data Report Continues to Show the Demographic and Economic Contributions of Immigrants and Refugees in Toledo-Lucas County
Toledo-Lucas County, through the Gateways for Growth Challenge Grant, was one of 14 communities nationally to receive a competitive opportunity for direct technical assistance and tailored research from New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America. The data report was presented by Andrew Lim, NAE Director of Quantitative Research at a Focus on Business luncheon hosted by the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce in August.
Hiring Guide Released to Assist Employers in Hiring Immigrants and Refugees
The Welcome TLC Hiring Guide for Immigrants is an employer-facing document highlighting the business case for hiring international talent in our community. It additionally provides an overview of the most common visa types for employers, including H1-B’s for skilled immigrants and Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for international students. The Hiring Guide was released in August 2019 at the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Focus on Business luncheon.
Lucas County Workforce Practitioner Training Pilot Trains 34 Locally
In partnership with Upwardly Global’s new Jobversity Practitioner Learning Pathway (PLP) online training program, Welcome TLC and Lucas County Department of Planning and Development coordinated training for 34 local workforce and service provider practitioners to better understand how to assist immigrants, refugees, and internationals with finding jobs and building careers in the region’s job market. This training is still available for interested participants! More information on Jobversity can be found at jobversity.upwardlyglobal.org/.
Welcome TLC Advocates for CDL Test in additional 6 languages including Arabic
Members of the steering committee successfully advocated for the translation of the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) knowledge test into Arabic and five additional international languages. According to Frank Ellis with the Ohio Office of Opportunities for New Americans, [it is] “due in-large-part to the feedback from the New Americans Listening Session in Toledo last year.”
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality’s (ABLE) Immigration Advocacy Project Kept Families Together and Safe
Attorneys and advocates reached more than 2500 people directly through 34 community presentations. Thousands more were reached through written and online materials and media outreach. Additionally, ABLE directly served 205 Lucas County residents on issues including naturalization and citizenship, family reunification, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal, asylum, deportation assistance, and victims of violence and domestic violence. More information can be found at immigration.ablelaw.org.