Founded in 2003, the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians’ (WCNP) mission is to promote inclusive economic growth through immigrant integration. We develop and implement training programs focused on social, civic, and economic engagement which enhance skills and expand opportunities. By doing so, we strengthen the economic development of the city and the state. We believe that immigrants broaden the productivity, profitability, and stability of this region and contribute to both Pennsylvania’s and the nation’s economic growth.
The barriers immigrants face are as diverse as our participants, and our programming responds to the comprehensive and varied nature of their challenges by providing creative, measurable responses to each scenario. We believe every person has skills, experience and aspirations to participate in creative solutions to their challenges and choose their own course of action. We practice collaborative, participant-centered approaches as we seek to cultivate a community that can serve as a vital resource for all people working toward successful immigrant integration.
We seek to address individual needs through our programming, but we also recognize the value of strategic partnerships to elevate immigrant voices and opportunity. By cultivating these external relationships, we increase awareness and leverage resources that promote immigrant inclusivity as an important component of economic growth for all.
We collaborate with our participants, a broad spectrum of organizations, and public and private sector institutions to advance learning, shape policy, and grow the economy. We focus on 3 core program areas: workforce development, entrepreneurship, and community engagement. WCNP’s Workforce Development division is currently focused in these key areas:
- Contextualized ESL and Skills Training: Programming which helps English language learners (ELLs) to develop language skills and occupational skills concurrently. By targeting our activity and program models in this way, we are assuring equitable access to training programs for immigrants and English language learners at all skill and educational levels to enter and advance in the labor market. These programs serve a diverse constituency, including TANF recipients and individuals with less formal education.
- Foreign-Educated Immigrant Professionals: Programming which addresses “brain waste” among highly educated, foreign-trained immigrant professionals in Philadelphia who are unemployed or under-employed. Primarily through the International Professionals Program, which combines classroom-based and experiential training with one-on-one coaching to support participants in securing meaningful employment.