I’d like to thank the city of Portland, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Portland Press Herald for your efforts to promote how “people from away” contribute to the economy.

In the Aug. 27 article “Report touts immigrants’ economic contributions to Greater Portland,” by Press Herald Staff Writers Randy Billings and Dennis Hoey, the director of Portland’s office of economic opportunity, Julia Trujillo, said, “It is important to reiterate the positive contributions that this population” makes and “that without them, Portland would be in a much more difficult place.”

As a longtime Portland resident, I know very well that Portland would be a different place without our friends, neighbors and co-workers who are born in other countries. In terms of the costs related to integrating foreign-born populations that was mentioned in the Aug. 30 editorial, “Our View: Immigrants contribute to Portland’s economy,” those resettlement costs continue to be worthwhile investments that continue to grow. According to the report by the city and the chamber, $1.2 billion was added to the local economy in 2016 by foreign-born residents.

For many businesses, including my own employer (for over 19 years), Paradigm Window Solutions, the workplace would be “a much more difficult place” without these essential people. Over 40 percent of my co-workers identify themselves as immigrants, including myself. We left 27 countries to start over in the U.S.

The immigrants’ journey to economic stability is not a solo excursion. I’d like to thank the human service organizations that support the transition of newcomers, including Goodwill, Catholic Charities and the Portland Public Schools Adult Education programs.

Julka Arsovski


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.