New Bostonians Summit: Immigrant Families’ Educational and Economic Success is Boston’s Future

By David Li,

The New Bostonioan Summit was held on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 8:00 AM at City Year’s Lavine Civic Forum. The half-day summit focused on top issues facing Boston’s immigrants. About 250 Boston’s immigrants and representatives from several sectors attended the Summit The half-day summit provided an update on the New Bostonians Agenda, a collective response to three of the biggest issues facing Boston’s immigrants: educational attainment for their children (K-12 Education); English language acquisition (ESOL); and economic success through family-sustaining jobs.

Director Cheng Imm Tan explains the three breakout sessions coming up at the summit.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced $30,000 in funding for English for New Bostonians at the Summit. The fund was raised through the Office of New Bostonians’ annual We Are Boston Gala, and would be earmarked to train more school and community-based sites to use the ESOL for Parents and Caregivers Curriculum, and to strengthen pre-vocational and vocational ESOL programs by adding counseling and career coaching resources for students.

In panel discussions that followed, experts agreed that a well educated and well-trained immigrant population is key to Boston’s future as immigrants make up over 30% of Boston’s workforce. For immigrant families, education and marketable job skills are essential for them to move up the economic ladder.

After the panel discussions that featured experts from education and career development for immigrants, three breakout sessions were held in separate rooms. Reverend Cheng Imm Tan, director of the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians encouraged all participates to participate in one of the three breakout sessions that focused on K-12 education, jobs and English language acquisition for immigrants. She said:”We need your input, and will report back in two years, at the next summit.”

According to an executive report prepared by the office of New Bostonians, immigrants have increasingly become an economical force in Boston. 32.8% of Boston‟s workforce is foreign born. Immigrants earn $4 billion a year in Boston and generate $1.2 billion in state and federal taxes. Their annual expenditures generate 29,430 additional jobs in the local economy. Immigrants own more than 5,700 small businesses in the Greater Boston area, representing more than $1.3 billion in annual sales and employing nearly 13,500 people.

The New Bostonians Summit was a result of many months’ hardwork by staff of the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians under the leadership of Reverend Cheng Imm Tan. Please check out the detailed New Bostonians Summit Executive Report below.

Click to access Final%20New%20Bostonians%20Summit%20Executive%20Report%20-%20Color_tcm3-16608.pdf