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.
The International Professionals Program is an eight-month program developed to address the issue of “brain waste” among highly educated, foreign-trained immigrant professionals in Philadelphia who are un- or under-employed and seeking meaningful employment. In addition to traditional job-seeking skills, IPP provides skills to overcome the unique barriers immigrants face when seeking employment in a new culture; specifically building networks and developing cultural competence. The program consists of two phases of instruction. Phase 1 is an eight-week classroom-based and experiential training term that helps build job-seeking skills, and connect participants to mentors, professionals and networks that support their career goals. Training is conducted by WCNP staff, external field experts and volunteers. Phase 2 consists of six months of customized job-coaching and providing one-on-one guidance for job-seeking activities and evolving individual needs. IPP graduates may also have the opportunity to connect to real-world, paid experiences in their field through the Immigrant Fellowship Program, offered in partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Workforce Development.