27 Opportunity Centers to Help Immigrants Fully Participate in New York's Civic and Economic Life
Albany, NY (March 11, 2013)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the Office for New Americans, the first statewide office with a sole focus to assist our state's immigrants in their efforts to contribute to the economy and become a part of the family of the New York.
The cornerstone of the Office for New Americans is a network of 27 neighborhood-based Opportunity Centers, hosted within existing community-based organizations, throughout the State. The centers will help New Americans learn English, prepare them for the U.S. citizenship exam, and help them start and grow businesses so they can fully participate in New York State’s civic and economic life.
“By establishing the Office for New Americans, we are helping our state live up to the promise of the Lady in our Harbor and ensure that New York remains a land of opportunity for all," Governor Cuomo said. "New York State and City were built by the working hands of immigrants who traveled thousands of miles to pursue the limitless possibilities of the American Dream. The Office for New Americans builds on this promise and will help harness the strong work ethic and energy of our immigrants so we can reinvigorate our economy, create jobs and reconnect to our state’s rich history of opportunity."
The Office for New Americans (ONA) will also be supported by the New York State New Americans Hotline, a toll-free, multi-lingual information center, as well as by an ONA-dedicated website to guide New Americans to available resources. The hotline number is 800-566-7636 and the website is www.newamericans.ny.gov.
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for creating the Office for New Americans,” said New York Department of State Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, whose department will oversee ONA. “Providing access to English language training and other services is vital for the full participation of New Americans in our State’s civic and economic life. We eagerly await the many positive contributions they will make to our State and our economy as a result of this initiative.”
At the center of this effort is the creation of the 27 Office for New Americans Opportunity Centers, which are located in areas of the State with high concentrations of newcomers. At the centers, ONA will pioneer a community-based education system using state-of-the-art technology and community volunteers, to support New Americans and give them the tools they need to succeed. The public will have access to a network of educational, advocacy and referral services including workplace language skills, business planning, loan access information, consumer protection and community engagement. Each center is also supported by a team of rotating attorneys who are experts in immigration law.
For a complete list of all Office for New Americans locations throughout New York State, see below.
New York State is committed to strengthening its welcoming environment for New Americans and facilitating their success in numerous ways, including:
- Increasing access to English-for-Speakers-of-other-Languages (ESOL) training.
- Preparing New Americans for the naturalization process.
- Connecting New Americans to business resources to harness their entrepreneurial spirit.
- Developing and leveraging the professional skills of New Americans.
- Maximizing the number of young people receiving Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
- Strengthening the connections between New Americans and their communities through civic engagement and other opportunities.
- Reduce exploitation of New Americans by scammers and con artists.
- Marshal State resources to better serve New Americans.
“We applaud Governor Cuomo for envisioning a strong State-wide infrastructure and building key partnerships with immigrant communities across New York,” said Chung-Wha Hong, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “ONA programs will harness the enormous energy and talent of the State’s diverse immigrant communities, strengthening our economy for the benefit of all.”
New York State ranks second in the nation in immigrant population, a total that includes more than 1.2 million immigrants who reside outside the New York City area. More than one in four New York State residents of working age is foreign-born. This presents a major opportunity for economic growth, as 18 percent of small business owners in the U.S. are foreign-born. And that rate is even higher in New York, where 29 percent of all small businesses are owned by immigrants.
Office for New Americans Opportunity Center Locations:
- Albany – Literacy New York – Albany Public Library – 161 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor, Albany, NY, 12210
- Bronx (University Heights) – Research Foundation of CUNY/Bronx Community College – 2155 University Avenue, Bronx , NY 10453
- Bronx (Mott Haven) – Mercy Center — 401 East 145th Street, Bronx, NY 10454
- Brooklyn (Midwood) – FEGS Health & Human Services – 938 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY 11223
- Brooklyn (Williamsburg) – Opportunities for Better Tomorrow – 280 Wyckoff Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237
- Brooklyn (Bay Ridge) – Arab American Association of NY – 7111 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209
- Dutchess (Poughkeepsie) – Catholic Charities of Dutchess County – Dutchess Community College – 218 Church Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
- Erie (Buffalo) – Catholic Charities of Buffalo – 20 Herkimer Street, Buffalo, NY 14213
- Manhattan (Washington Heights) – Hispanic Federation – Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights – 664 West 182nd Street, New York, NY 10033
- Manhattan (Washington Heights) – Research Foundation of CUNY/Manhattan – 560 West 181st Street, 10033
- Manhattan (Chinatown) – Chinese-American Planning Council – 165 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002
- Monroe (Rochester) – Rochester Collaborative for New Americans (Catholic Family Center) – Rochester Public Library, Somali Community of Western, NY – 87 North Clinton, Rochester, NY 14604
- Nassau (Hempstead) – Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County – 134 Jackson Street, Hempstead, NY 11550
- Nassau (Freeport) – Literacy Nassau – 187 Smith Street, Freeport, NY 11520
- Onondaga (Syracuse) – Catholic Charities of Onondaga County – 527 Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
- Orange (Newburgh) – Catholic Charities of Orange County – Orange County Community College – 319 Broadway, Newburgh, NY 12550
- Queens (Jackson Heights) – Make the Road – 92-10 Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY 11237
- Queens (Jackson Heights) – Queens Community House – 74-09 37th Avenue, Jackson heights, NY 11372
- Queens (Flushing) – Korean Community Services – Chinese-American Planning Council & the MinKwon Center for Community Action – 35-56 159th Street, Flushing, NY 11358
- Queens (Flushing) – YMCA – 138-46 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, NY 11354
- Rockland (Spring Valley) – Haitian-American Cultural and Social Organization – 24 West Street, Spring Valley, NY 12231
- Staten Island – YMCA – 285 Vanderbilt Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10301
- Suffolk (Brentwood) – Make the Road – CARECERN – 1090 Suffolk Avenue, Brentwood, NY 11717
- Tompkins (Ithaca) – Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga – 315 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
- Utica – Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees – 309 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13501
- Westchester (New Rochelle) – United Community Center of Westchester – New Rochelle Public Library – 360 North Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801
- Westchester (White Plains) – Westchester Hispanic Coalition – Westchester Community College – 46 Waller Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605