Newcomers play an important role in Akron and Summit County in growing our population, supporting our workforce, diversifying our universities, purchasing homes and starting small businesses – all drivers of economic prosperity. Newcomers also bring new perspectives, ideas, diversity, and culture to the fabric of our neighborhoods. At IIA we recognize in our efforts to welcome new Americans that we also work to ensure that everyone – newcomer or longtime resident – feels they belong and has the tools to succeed. To that end, IIA’s Community Integration Department focuses on economic and community development initiatives. Our efforts assist the City of Akron and Summit County residents and leaders expand opportunity to accelerate progress in our neighborhoods.
We formulate strategies, design programs, and build multiethnic business collaborations to facilitate connecting immigrants and refugees into the small business support ecosystem in Akron. In addition, we work to promote awareness within the small business support ecosystem of the untapped opportunity of immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs. These efforts support both micro and small business creation, expansion, improvement and marketing efforts to attract consumers, thus strengthening Akron’s growing economy.
We work to enhance the network of public and private partners, residents and organizations wanting to serve and empower new Americans to foster their integration into Akron and Summit County. We do this through strategic interventions and community events by promoting cross cultural interaction between diverse residents to harmonize racial and ethnic diversity.
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