Immigrants & Internationals Initiative

The Immigrants & Internationals (I&I) Initiative was established by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) in 2007 to further the DHS vision of creating an accessible, culturally competent and comprehensive human services system for all residents of Allegheny County.

About the Initiative

The DHS I&I Initiative is driven by…

Our Vision of a human services network that empowers immigrants to achieve self-sufficiency, build their individual and collective strengths, celebrate their cultural identity and integrate into the communities of Allegheny County.

Our Mission to support and advance a human services network that can meet the unique needs of immigrants and internationals in Allegheny County through a combination of capacity-building, research, information exchange and community-empowerment activities.

For more information about the I&I Initiative, please contact the I&I Initiative Manager via email or phone at (412) 320-4681.

Immigrant Community Blueprint

A Community Blueprint: Helping Immigrants Thrive in Allegheny County

Immigrants in Allegheny County offer a wealth of diversity in terms of language, culture and talent that helps our communities to become increasingly vibrant and innovative places to live and work. With our growing immigrant population, strong support from our immigrant-serving agencies, and local efforts to welcome and support immigrants through projects like the DHS Immigrants & Internationals Initiative and Welcoming Pittsburgh, the time is right for a coordinated, county-wide approach.

The Immigrant Community Blueprint is a set of strategic priorities and plans developed through broad community participation and designed to help immigrants thrive in Allegheny County, to be implemented over the next three to five years. Building on existing efforts to welcome and support immigrants, it was created in collaboration with 173 local residents, including 88 immigrants and leaders from government, education, health, community development, philanthropy, social services and economic development.

Immigrant Community Blueprint(PDF, 8MB)

Specific action plans of the Blueprint are divided into strategic priority areas.

Latino Community Assessment

Conducted concurrently with the Immigrant Community Blueprint, the Latino Community Assessment engaged numerous members of the Pittsburgh area's Latino population to better understand their community's hopes and challenges. Lead by the Latino Family Center and Casa San Jose, the Assessment articulates Latino community members' goals related to family reunification, education and financial success, as well as barriers related to the lack of bilingual services and information, access to healthcare and more. Local Latino leaders and other stakeholders will use the Assessment to guide the community toward opportunities for growth and success.

The Immigrant Community Blueprint Action Plans

Guiding the Immigrant Community Blueprint are a number of Action Plans organized into strategic priority areas identified through broad community participation. These plans and priorities will guide implementation of the Blueprint over the next three to five years.

  • Language Access(PDF, 475KB) - Enhance the capacity of local organizations and systems to provide access for residents with limited English proficiency (LEP) and increase the ability of LEP residents to exercise and advocate for their language rights.
  • Health and Well-Being(PDF, 380KB) - Make high quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate physical and behavioral healthcare readily accessible to immigrant residents.
  • Education(PDF, 466KB) - Enable educators to support immigrant student success, family engagement, and lifelong learning.
  • Economic Development(PDF, 496KB) - Promote career, entrepreneurial, and other economic opportunities for immigrant residents, including access to affordable housing, childcare and transportation.
  • Family Support(PDF, 371KB) - Strengthen supports for immigrant across the life span.
  • Civic Engagement(PDF, 487KB) - Develop opportunities for immigrants to participate fully in the civic life of the community.

I&I Initiative: Internship Opportunities

The I&I Initiative employs interns to support various projects and activities as it seeks to advance a human services network that understands and meets the needs of immigrants in Allegheny County.

To be eligible for an internship, candidates must:

  • Be currently enrolled in a program of higher education (graduate or other professional students preferred)
  • Have significant professional or volunteer experience related to the internship responsibilities
  • Be willing and available to work for a minimum of eight months (two academic terms) with the I&I Initiative

DHS Immigrants and Internationals Internship Description(PDF, 302KB)


Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council

The Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council (IIAC) was established to inform and advise the director and executive staff of the Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding the human service needs of immigrant and international residents of Allegheny County. The council is a diverse, representative group of immigrant leaders, service providers and other stakeholders who identify issues of concern and important changes in the needs of immigrant and international communities in order to support the DHS mission to be culturally competent and inclusive.

Immigrants & Internationals Advisory Council