Summary of Services

Economic development is at the crux of what we do: connecting new Americans to economic opportunities will lead in the long run to their becoming fully integrated into their communities and more civically engaged.

WITH THIS IN MIND, THE WELCOMING CENTER PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING SERVICES:

EMPLOYERS: FIND QUALIFIED WORKERS

Part of our mission is to help businesses find, hire, and retain qualified immigrants. We have helped Philadelphia-area employers place hundreds of immigrants in jobs from housekeeping to accounting. Our services also include providing information to employers on identifying work authorization and understanding the legal requirements. To find out more about how we can help you, please call Mathew Kilonzo at 215-557-2853.

LEARN ENGLISH

Learning English is a key step in adapting to American life and becoming an active part of society. Better English will help you at work, in school, and in social situations. The Welcoming Center offers the following English classes free of charge:

  • English classes for all level learners from beginners to advanced.
  • Civics and Citizenship classes for English learners who are interested in learning more about American society or who are interested in becoming citizens. 
  • Adult Basic Education and GED classes for those without a high school diploma or who want to improve their basic skills.

The Welcoming Center also offers the following classes for a $250 fee.  Scholarships for qualifying professionals are available. 

  • College Prep/Academic English
  • English for Health Care Workers
  • Professional Writing
  • Business English / Skills for Employment
  • TOEFL Exam Preparation Course 
  • NCLEX Exam Preparation Course

The schedule for our class sessions is as follows:

Summer, 2016 Fall, 2016 Winter, 2017 Spring, 2017
August 15 October 31 January 30 April 17

To enroll, please fill out our  online application form   or call 215-825-7771 for more information.

Can't find the class you want at the Welcoming Center? Contact the Mayor's Commission on Literacy for a complete listing of classes offered in Philadelphia. 

GET TRAINING

As a part of the Welcoming Center’s mission to connect newly-arrived individuals to economic opportunities, we continue to expand our focus on training. Whether it is training for a new career path, rebuilding a career, or starting a business, we believe that new arrivals greatly benefit from high-quality training programs.  For a referral to an appropriate training program for your needs, contact Judy Johnson at 215-557-2589 or email judy@welcomingcenter.org

JOBSEEKERS: FIND A JOB

The cornerstone of the Welcoming Center's work is our employment program.  Once you have prepared yourself for employment in the U.S. by participating in the Welcoming Center's job preparation programs, we will work with you to find employment. We strive to find jobs that pay above minimum wage and offer benefits.

CONNECT TO RESOURCES

“Where can I find an English as a Second Language class?”

“How do I enroll my child in school?” 
“Is there a way to lower my utility bills?”

These are questions the Welcoming Center answers every day.  We have connected with other nonprofit service providers throughout the region to find the answers. Call the Welcoming Center’s main line at 215-557-2626 or email info@welcomingcenter.org with questions on resources.

ACCESS LEGAL ADVICE

The Welcoming Center offers free monthly legal clinics where immigrants may meet, one-on-one, with volunteer attorneys to discuss issues that may range from immigration to landlord-tenant conflicts to discrimination issues. Clinics are held on the second Tuesday of each month, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Welcoming Center’s Center City location. You must make an appointment. For more information, or to set up an appointment, please contact Desirée Welborn Wayne at 215-557-2626.

PUBLIC POLICY

We strive to educate the people in our communities, policymakers, employers, and the business community about how the successful integration of immigrants into our economy will result in positive benefits for all of us. To that end, we have developed publications and organized various public policy seminars and community meetings about issues concerning immigration, economic development, and our region. Check our publications page and our calendar to view upcoming events, or view our recent presentations.

SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

The Welcoming Center provides services to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners as they look to start or grow their business in our region. We provide training opportunities including English for Entrepreneurs, business development clinics, and one-on-one business advice, as well as connecting business owners to valuable resources. In addition, we provide support to communities working to integrate immigrant business owners into their commercial corridors by providing technical assistance to community organizations and at community events. For more information, please contact Herman Nyamunga at 215-825-7767.