Salt Lake County is again certified as a “Welcoming Place”

Oct 20, 2022, 6:00 AM
Salt Lake County Certified Welcoming City...
Salt Lake County recertified as Welcoming City. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)
(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

SALT LAKE CITY —  This week, Salt Lake County was officially redesignated as a Certified Welcoming place. The title is given by the group Welcoming America, which describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization “leading a movement of inclusive communities.”

A city or county must meet the group’s standards before they receive the designation. They include inclusivity in civic, social, and economic arenas. Welcoming America uses those categories to help determine if a city or county is including and welcoming to immigrants. 

Salt Lake County has been a “certified welcoming place” for immigrants and refugees since 2018. It was the first county to receive the recognition.

“Salt Lake County has a long history of welcoming immigrants and refugees from all over the world,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “New Americans continue to enrich our community with their unique cultures and contribute to the economic and political vibrancy of Salt Lake County.”

Plans and councils that help Salt Lake County welcome immigrants

Mayor Wilson points to several policies and programs that make Salt Lake County a welcoming place for immigrants.

They include the Countywide Language Access Plan, which broadens access to programs and activities in different languages. And the Council on Diversity Affairs, which promotes an inclusive community, according to its webpage, by “helping to identify systemic failures, provide policy recommendations, and focus on measurable actions toward addressing equity, access, institutional reform and racial justice in Salt Lake County.”  

According to the Certified Welcoming website “strong communities intentionally connect and include people of all backgrounds. It is a rigorous process to audit and evaluate places that wish to become certified. Welcoming America has designated only 18 cities or counties in the U.S. as ‘Certified Welcoming.’

“We couldn’t have done it without the help of the different Salt Lake County agencies and our community partners. The collaboration is proof of all of our commitments to keeping Salt Lake County a welcoming place for everyone,” said Joseph Genda, the new American liaison for the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office. 

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Salt Lake County is again certified as a “Welcoming Place”