San Diego Chamber, Leading Businesses Promote Citizenship for Employees

October 2, 2014

Businesses Announce Participation in ‘New American Workforce’ Integration Program

SAN DIEGO — Yesterday leading businesses in San Diego formally launched an unprecedented effort to provide citizenship services for their employees who hold green cards. More than 200,000 people in the city are eligible for citizenship.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Hunter Industries, Palomar Health and the San Diego County Hotel and Motel Association joined the National Immigration Forum to announce the launch of the New American Workforce (formerly the Bethlehem Project) in San Diego. Leaders spoke during a press conference at the Chamber.

“Citizenship offers opportunities not just for employees but for our businesses and our city,” said Paola Avila, Executive Director of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Mexico Business Center. “We’re excited for this partnership, which will help businesses with recruitment, loyalty and retention, and goodwill in the community.”

“Staffing is always a challenge for the healthcare industry and this project helps with retention and recruitment. NAW makes an added benefit to your employees very simple. Their team carries out the whole process,” said Susan Gray, Director of Workforce Management at Palomar Health.

The New American Workforce program seeks to boost immigrant services on the worksite by assisting eligible employees with the citizenship process — at no charge to the employee or employer. In turn, employees become more valuable workers and full participants in the workplace, community and economy.

“We are excited to participate in this program to help our employees with permanent resident status obtain their citizenship. They are an important part of our community and will make great U.S. citizens,” said Greg Hunter, CEO of Hunter Industries.

“San Diego County hotels employ nearly 30,000 people and our industry has always valued offering benefits that support our employees. That is why we are proud to partner with NAW in San Diego.”,” said Mike Staples, President of Board of Directors at the San Diego County Hotel and Motel Association.

Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, concluded: “San Diego businesses are on the leading edge of providing new Americans the opportunities, skills and status they need to reach their fullest potential. When hardworking immigrants have these opportunities, all of us benefit, and our nation thrives.”



The work of the New American Workforce is made possible in Partnership with the New Americans Campaign, the Grove Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation.