On Saturday, local residents met at the Dayton Metro Library to learn about a new report focused on immigrants in the Dayton area. The research was conducted by the New American Economy and looked at the impact of immigrants on the local economy.
According to the report, new Americans make up close to 5% of Montgomery County’s population. The research team found that the immigrant population in the county increased by more than 20% from 2014 to 2019. The overall population in the county decreased slightly during the same period. The report states that immigrant households in the county earned $782 million in 2019.
This research was done in partnership with the City of Dayton’s Human Relations Council. Executive Director Erica Fields said she hopes the report will advance inclusion efforts for new Americans across the county.
“It is our hope that this report will serve as a guide for all of us, our elected officials, our organizations, our communities and others to highlight the contributions of new Americans and how they add value to our community,” she said. “This report is just another step in the journey of ensuring that the voices, contributions are heard, acknowledged and uplifted.”
Sham Reddy with HER Realtors attended the event and said he wants the report to help people understand that immigrants are an asset to the local economy.
“We need to get the facts into the mainstream America,” he said. “That way people know that they can just forget the misinformation floating around and know the facts, that immigrants are one of the most hardworking segments of our population.
According to the report, immigrants make up about 7% of business owners in the county, and immigrant entrepreneurs brought in close to $39 million in business income in 2019.
The researchers found that immigrants in Montgomery County are more likely to hold college degrees than the U.S. born population. The report also included that immigrants make up more than 10% of the county’s STEM workers.
Martha Jeanette Rodriguez, immigrant resource specialist with the City of Dayton, spoke at the event about her experience as an immigrant in Dayton. She said her role is to be a bridge for new Americans in the area and to get them access to services. She has helped residents get proper compensation for their work and enroll in school, she said.
“Our community has a lot of resources waiting to be tapped into,” Martha said, “There are people looking for resources but do not know where.”