The city of Dayton has been officially designated a Welcoming City, a status officials hope will spur economic development.
The certification recognizes Dayton’s efforts to integrate immigrants into the community. The city was audited by Welcoming America, a nonpartisan organization that evaluates programs and resources available to immigrants.
Melissa Bertolo, coordinator of the city’s immigrant-friendly Welcome Dayton initiative, says the designation may give Dayton an edge in its recent bid to host a new headquarters for internet retailer Amazon.
“Being an inclusive community is an incredibly important part of that," she says. "So what we really expect and hope to see by having the certification is that it provides us the competitive advantage as we are marketing ourselves to business and that type of economic opportunity in our own community.”
Amazon announced it’s search for a city to host its second headquarters last week. The new operations base is expected to bring roughly 50,000 jobs and billions of dollars to the local economy. The company invited cities to send in site proposals last week.
Dayton joins dozens of cities across the U.S. and Canada in competing for the project, including Chicago, Boston and Cincinnati.