[Lincolnton, NC – April 8, 2019] – The Lincoln County YMCA is pleased to announce it has received a $30,000 investment from Tenowo Inc., the local division of an international supplier of technical nonwovens for industrial applications. The investment will span three years and will support the YMCA’s New American Welcome Center (NAWC) initiative, which provides resources and support to immigrant and refugee families. Lincolnton’s New American Welcome Center, the second NAWC established by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, will enhance current services and programs provided by the Lincoln County YMCA.
The YMCA’s New American Welcome Centers are designed to help immigrants—also referred to as newcomers—fully integrate into American society and prepare receiving communities to be welcoming and inclusive. NAWCs accomplish this through a combination of direct and referral services, collaborations with community leaders and businesses, and strategies to connect and build cross-cultural understanding between immigrants and U.S.-born residents. This integration model empowers immigrants to achieve their fullest potential and prepares communities to be inclusive through a focus on language and education, economic integration and employment, health and well-being, citizenship and civic engagement, and community development.
“We’re grateful for Tenowo Inc.’s investment in our New American Welcome Center initiative,” says Lincoln County YMCA Executive Director Joe Kovalcheck. “Tenowo is leading the way in creating an inclusive and cohesive Lincoln County – not just for immigrant and refugee families, but for the entire community.” Since announcing the NAWC last summer, the Lincoln County YMCA has worked to expand its services to the newcomer community.
In January, the Y began hosting ESL classes in partnership with Gaston College, providing students free child care while they attend class. The Y is also partnering with US Customs and Immigration Services and Lincolnton’s Immigrant Hospitality Center to offer informational seminars, naturalization resources and community events. The Y hopes to expand its NAWC services to include a community technology lab for newcomers to access online GED, Citizenship, and ESL courses.
“The Y is excited to stand in the gaps to ensure everyone has the tools and resources to live a happy and healthy life,” says Kovalcheck. “Partners like Tenowo, Gaston College and others are helping the Y build a stronger community that is truly for all.”