Study puts Utica on map as "A Welcoming City"

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A new study highlighting Utica as welcoming to immigrants and refugees will be used to help other communities around the world build tolerant, welcoming neighborhoods.

Utica has long been a city of immigrants-- German, Welsh, Irish, Italian, Lebanese, Polish, Russian, Jewish, African-American, Bosnian and Burmese.

The United Nation High Commission for Refugees has titled Utica of all the cities around the world as " The Town that Loves Refugees."

The study, commissioned by The Mohawk Valley Center for Refugees with support from The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc., and produced by Zogby Analytics, looked into the attributes that make Utica so welcoming.

The findings will allow the refugee center to provide consulting for communities around the world seeking to build tolerant areas.

Here's what it found:

Uticans are proud of their city's tradition of welcoming immigrants. They have a history of welcoming southern and eastern Europeans, Middle Easterners, and western Europeans to the community.

69 percent of Utica residents say immigration is good for the area. Make that 70 percent when you ask those residents that are 65 and older.

74 percent of residents in the Greater Utica area want immigration to grow or stay the same.

80 percent of residents in the City of Utica want immigration to grow or remain the same.

Here's what the study says Utica does right:

In the community, there is a sophisticated network of helping agencies.

There is affordable housing.

Utica offers support from a variety of places of worship.

The vision and leadership from the education community is unparalleled.

Finally, the reputation of immigrants assimilating into the community is a good one.

In contrast to all the good news, the study finds one of the biggest challenges facing Utica, is leadership training to prepare the next generation in tolerance!

What's On