White House Champions of Change: Promoting Citizenship in the Workplace

On October 22, 2014 the White House honored nine “Champions of Change” who are leading the efforts around the country to prepare immigrant workers for citizenship. Of those honored, five were ‘New American Workforce’ Partners.

New American Workforce (formerly known as The Bethlehem Project) works with businesses to assist eligible immigrant employees with the citizenship process in seven cities with high concentrations of legal permanent residents: Los Angeles; San Diego; San Jose; New York City; Miami; Washington, D.C.; and Houston.

Each honoree shared their stories about the work they are doing to promote citizenship in their workplace:

Investing in Employees 
Posted by Robert Hill, General Manager of the InterContinental Miami hotel (Miami Beach, Fla.)

Focusing on People and Partnerships are the Keys to Providing the Benefits of Citizenship to Employees
Posted by Wendy Kallergis, President and CEO of the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association (Miami Beach, Fla.)

Why Supporting Citizenship is Good for Business
Posted by Barbara B. Kamm, President and CEO of Tech CU (Los Altos, Calif.)

Using Our Business to Make Change
Posted by Jonathan Plutzik, Chairman and principal owner of The Betsy, a luxury hotel in Miami Beach, Florida (Miami Beach, Fla.)

The U.S. Opens Its Doors, But Its Citizenry Welcomes Us In
Posted by Teresita Wisell, Vice President and Dean for continuing Education and Workforce Development at Westchester Community College, SUNY (White Plains, N.Y.)

For the full list of honoree blog posts, visit the Champions of Change Blog.

Posted on November 6, 2014

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

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Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More