This spring, the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center is active all over Portland. We continue to offer free iEnglish classes at FedCap, Northern Light Mercy Hospital, Goodwill, and Avesta Housing. Our language lab is open for drop-in learning Monday through Thursday. We expect to add one or more additional class locations in the next few months.
Africa to Maine, a photo exhibition assembled with the assistance of many New Mainers, is on display at the Portland Public Library through June 18. The pictures depict family scenes in African communities, presenting a vivid portrait of the homelands of those who now make their homes in Maine. Admission is free, six days every week. Community Discussions will help illuminate the photographs on the evenings of May 5 and June 2.
In partnership with Maine SNAP-ed, IWC hosts Cooking Matters, a class that combines delicious food with nutritional information, grocery tours, shopping tips, and English vocabulary. These free classes are offered every Wednesday at 12 p.m. noon at the Welcome Center, 24 Preble Street, fourth floor.
IWC is gearing up for the second summer of New Mainers On Stage, a free concert series featuring musicians representative of Maine’s immigrant communities. Presented in partnership with Friends of Congress Square Park during First Friday Art Walks, the block parties feature music, food, and our team of community navigators distributing swag and registering people to vote. Watch for details on our website: www.welcomeimmigrant.org.
Planning is underway for welcoming the first cohort of immigrant women entrepreneurs to IWC’s newest program, Women Lead. A comprehensive program of training, mentorship, and financial assistance, the program aims to support women who aspire to start new businesses or enter corporate leadership. It is supported by an award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, secured by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D, Dist-1). IWC anticipates launching the first programs in the fall of 2023.
IWC’s Business Hub team is busy meeting with immigrants interested in starting and expanding businesses, by providing mentorship and referrals for funding.
The Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center is hiring. Please check out our website for details or call (207) 517-3401.