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City of Dayton’s Branding Strategy: Make Them Feel Welcome
By: Cindy Wendland
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Just like businesses develop growth strategies, so do cities. The City of Dayton, Ohio wants to grow its economy by bringing in immigrants. The TIME magazine article “Put Out the Welcome Mat” highlights Dayton’s efforts.

Since 1960, Dayton has lost 40% of its population due to loss of manufacturing jobs. Dayton’s initiative to bring in new residents is called "Welcome Dayton." The policies involve tutoring for foreign students, support networks to help entrepreneurs clear complex bureaucratic hurdles, and translation services to help immigrants integrate into the community.

In the city of Dayton, there are strong communities of Central Africans, Indians, and Hispanics. The newest group calling Dayton home is Turkish refugees. Dayton is working to help these cultures and communities of people feel welcome with celebrations of diversity and directing police officers to not check immigration status in certain situations.

Their strategies are working, as their immigration rate grew 40% in the first year after starting Welcome Dayton. With the taste of success, they are expanding their policies to recruit more immigrant entrepreneurs.

The Dayton Welcome Initiative is what our country is about. We used to be known as the Melting Pot. Times have changed, but the struggles of people in other countries have not. People are still interested in freedom and opportunity. Our cities and the economy are stronger when our cities make it easier for people to integrate, feel welcome, and start businesses. One would hope that every city would be welcoming to people moving in. Dayton stands out in their ability to brand their city as a welcoming new home.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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