ILC News Archive

The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc’s Marcia Hohn awarded by Office of New Bostonians

Marcia Hohn, EdD, Director of the Public Education Institute at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., is interviewed by the Office of New Bostonians before accepting her Community Champion 2011 award at the Office’s annual We Are Boston gala on December 14, 2011.


Cover of Adult Children of Immigrant Entrepreneurs report from The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.Study on Children of U.S. Immigrant Entrepreneurs   December 7, 2011

The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) has recently released a report examining diverse issues related to immigrant entrepreneurship whose parents had their own businesses, which were usually small and local.

See video of students from the study telling their stories
See the report Adult Children of Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Memories and Influences


Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month
Urban Update   November 20, 2011

Marcia Hohn, director of The Public Education Institute at the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.; Jill Cheng, owner, Cheng & Tsui Publishers; Vinit Nijhawan, high-tech entrepreneur and executive-in-residence, Boston University and Frank Soults, Communications Director, MIRA Coaltion discuss Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month on WHDH Chanel 7’s Urban Update on November 20, 2011.

See video of the Governor’s proclamation from the press conference
See the Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month press release


Immigrants fueling economy
Worcester Telegraph   November 13, 2011

“The disposition to take risks and start over in a new land are the outstanding characteristics of these talented strivers. The immigrant’s desire to start a business is strong,” said Marcia Hohn, a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Immigrants and Refugees.    More …


Pieces of the Dream
Commonwealth Magazine   Fall 2011

Businesses with expansion potential “are extremely important…because those are the ones that provide local jobs,” says Marcia Drew Hohn, director of the Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute, an adult education center in Malden. What’s more, immigrant entrepreneurs who invest in areas that have been in decline for years help revitalize neighborhoods.


New Citizens95 swear allegiance, become US citizens in Malden
Boston Globe   September 23, 2011

Holding up America flags and clutching Social Security cards, 95 people raised their right hand and took the oath of United States citizenship yesterday at the Malden Senior Center.   More...

See video of the swearing-in ceremony

9/11 Stories: Malden’s Immigration Advocates
Malden Patch    September 6, 2011

When her students faced racist harassment after 9/11, Immigrant Learning Center Director Diane Portnoy stepped up to the plate.    More…


The Vehicle of Opportunity
Color Magazine    September 2011

Two educational organizations, among several – the Immigrant Learning Center and Primary Source – and the Boston Public Schools are responding to the region’s changing demographics in innovative, energetic, and promising ways.


ILC News Update
Summer 2011

This bi-annual publication of The Immigrant Learning Center includes updates on students, volunteers, donors and events.



International festival connects all corners of the world
Malden Observer   July 8, 2011

When Diane Portnoy founded the Immigrant Learning Center in 1992, she envisioned a place where immigrants from around the globe could come together and embrace the fact that we are all members of the “Family of Man.” This concept still rings true to this day, and is no more evident than during the center’s annual International Day festivities.    More…


ILC News Update
Winter 2011

This bi-annual publication of The Immigrant Learning Center includes updates on students, volunteers, donors and events.



 2010 News

Babson event examines immigrant entrepreneurs
INDIA New England    November 29, 2010

A recent conference held by the Immigrant Learning Center Inc. and Babson College slammed home the point that immigrant entrepreneurs are engines of economic growth and job creation in Massachusetts, according to organizers.


Cover of Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Workers in Leisure and Hospitality Businesses report from The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.Foreign-born business owners, workers bolster the hospitality industry here in New England
Cape & Islands News   October 25, 2010

A research study presented last Friday morning at the Careers Opportunity Center in Hyannis revealed that one of every three hotel managers-owners and one of every four restaurant managers-owners across Massachusetts is foreign-born, a higher ratio than for native-born….The study was sponsored by the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., in Malden, which made the presentation in collaboration with the Cape and Islands Workforce Investment Board.
See the report Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Workers in Leisure and
Hospitality Businesses.


ILC News Update
Summer 2010

This bi-annual publication of The Immigrant Learning Center includes updates on students, volunteers, donors and events.


Women’s ESL Dominance Tied to Job Demands
Womens   January 13, 2010

Immigrant women far outnumber men in English as a Second Language classes across the states. Helping school-age children is one big reason. So is gaining access to work.   More…


ILC News Update
Winter 2010

This bi-annual publication of The Immigrant Learning Center includes updates on students, volunteers, donors and events.



 2009 News

Foreign and Native born residents of Massachusetts: a balanced relationship
Mass Rights blog   November 12, 2009

In the recent article prepared for The Immigrant Learning Center titled “Massachusetts Immigrants by the Numbers: Demographic Characteristics and Economic Footprint” foreign born immigrants to Massachusetts are examined in relation to native born in regards to basic demographics (age, location, profession, household make-up, degree attainment, etc), social services used (public education, welfare, etc), and societal contributions (tax payers, consumers, etc). What they found was that, on the whole, established immigrants and natives are much alike.


By The Numbers: Quantifying The Economic Impact Of Mass. Immigrants     June 24, 2009

Schools, welfare and taxes. Those are the big concerns some people have about immigrants’ impact on public spending. UMass Boston economist Alan Clayton-Matthews actually tried to quantify these impacts using the most recent census data from 2007…. The UMass Boston economist did this study for the Immigrant Learning Center, a non-profit organization in Malden that launched an “education initiative” in 2003 to, as the report says, “raise the visibility of immigrants as assets to America.”   More…


Cover of Immigrant Workers in the Massachusetts Health Care Industry report from The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.Immigrants and the Massachusetts Health-Care Workforce
Communities & Banking    Winter 2009

By 2005, foreign-born workers showed an increasingly robust presence across the spectrum of health care in Massachusetts, filling critical vacancies. Clustered at the high skill end were medical scientists (52 percent immigrants), pharmacists (40 percent immigrants), and physicians or surgeons (28 percent immigrants).   More…

See the report Immigrant Workers in the Massachusetts Health Care Industry


2008 News

An Unconventional Classroom for Adult ESOL Literacy
Essential Teacher    September 2008

Our one-room schoolhouse is on the second floor of the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) in the heart of Malden, Massachusetts, in the United States, and is funded by donations from banks, corporations, and private foundations. Our student body, volunteers, and staff reflect the diversity of this area, representing dozens of nationalities.


Cover of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Neighborhood Revitalization report from The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.Immigrant-focused commerce plays strong role in local economy
SouthCoast Today    July 1, 2008

A 2005 study of immigrant entrepreneurs in three Boston communities found that their new businesses revitalized neighborhoods and stimulated the local economy by reviving commerce, creating jobs and spin-off businesses, and enhancing public safety. The study, which covered East Boston, Allston Village and Fields Corner, was commissioned by the Immigrant Learning Center, an advocacy group in Malden that provides free English classes to adult immigrants and refugees.    More…

See the report Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Neighborhood Revitalization


Cover of Immigrant Workers in the Massachusetts Health Care Industry report from The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.Immigrants Make Up 25% Of Massachusetts Health Care Professionals, Study Finds
Medical News Today   March 27, 2008

Immigrants constitute more than 25% of health care workers in Massachusetts, including pharmacists, medical scientists and surgeons, according to an executive summary of a study commissioned by the Immigrant Learning Center

See the report Immigrant Workers in the Massachusetts Health Care Industry


 2007 News

Counting on Immigration
WBUR   November 13, 2007

Tens of thousands of legal immigrants like Naik run their own businesses in Massachusetts. No one knows the exact number, not even Marcia Hohn. She heads research for the advocacy group, the Immigrant Learning Center, and says you can get an idea of the statewide scale from regional surveys.   More…


Their peace of the dream
Boston Globe   August 16, 2007

“The many faces of immigrant entrepreneurship are revitalizing neighborhoods and contributing significantly to economic growth in Massachusetts,” said Marcia Hohn, director of public education for the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden, which sponsored the BU and UMass-Boston studies.   More…


Cover of Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry reportGreener Pastures
Mass High Tech   June 1, 2007

The Malden-based Immigrant Learning Center hopes lawmakers take notice of immigrant entrepreneurs’ contributions to the region’s tech economy, said Marcia Drew Hohn, the center’s director of public education.

See the report Immigrant Entrepreneurs in the Massachusetts Biotechnology Industry



 2006 News

Stepping In and Out: Performance Art in the Community College ESL Curriculum
Community Arts Network    October 2006

While preparing for the project curriculum, I came into contact with a nonprofit organization dedicated to public education on immigration. In Malden, Massachusetts, the Immigrant Theater Group was established to help immigrants/newcomers to learn English and also to give them a voice in the community.    More…


Community & Culture
Artcope Magazine    September/October 2006

EXCERPT:  One such “recipe for understanding” is the Immigrant Theater Group, led by instructor and playwright Kathleen Klose of the Immigrant Learning Center in Malden. The premise, like ILC’s mission, is simple and powerful. Productions by immigrant student actors strenghthen students’ English and educate the community about the predicaments and the positive contributions of immigrants to this country; post 9/11, this is not insignificant.



2005 News

Cover of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Neighborhood Revitalization report from The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.Report: Immigrants benefit the cities in which they live
Malden Observer   December 8, 2005

Since opening its doors in 1992, the Immigrant Learning Center has provided a program that allows immigrants to learn English and other tools to become better prepared to prosper in the United States. Now the Immigrant Learning Center has released a report that highlights contributions of immigrant residents and business owners that are often taken for granted by communities at large.

See the report Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Neighborhood Revitalization


A Voice for Immigrants>
Field Notes   Spring 2005

These are some of the situations that students in the Immigrant Learning Center’s ESL Theater class chose to explore and include in their first production If You Could Hear My Voice. This ESL theater program was created by playwright and ESL teacher Kathleen Klose. Their first live performance took place at the Malden Public Library in August 2003, and their first video was produced at the Malden Public Access TV station in October 2003.
Immigrant center aims to educate
Boston Globe   May 8, 2005

“After 9/11 , it became very clear that there was a lot of anti-immigrant sentiment in this country and a lot of misunderstanding about what immigrants actually bring to our economy and our culture,” said Diane Portnoy, cofounder and director of the center, who came up with the idea for the educational campaign in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Portnoy said that the center’s goal has always been to teach immigrants English but also “to see them become successful workers, parents, and community members.”   More…


2004 News

Asian population up in small cities
Boston Globe     June 13, 2004

The Immigrant Learning Center also is located in Malden, and offers free English classes for immigrant and refugee adults who speak more than 40 languages. From July to December 2003, the learning center served 448 students, according to Kathy Smith, director of development, who noted that the largest Asian populations were from China (65 students) and Vietnam (21 students).   More…


Romney visits ILC
Malden Observer   May 21, 2004

EXCERPT: Whisking through on a private tour of The Immigrant Learning Center, Gov. Mitt Romney got a glimpse of a successful English Immersion school in action…. “It’s a sense of vision, purpose and commitment,” Romney said about the center. He added, with the country now under a series of military, economic and social “attacks,” immigrants can help alleviate these through their skills, know how and ability to help the U.S. develop stronger relationships with their home countries.



 2003 News

Immigrant Learning Center  honored
Malden Observer   December 5, 2003

EXCERPT: Nine programs dedicated to the advancement of adult literacy and college transition for New England’s underserved populations were honored at the second annual Effective Transitions in Adult Education conference… The Immigrant Learning Center was honored for its comprehensive student assessment and program evaluation system.


Read all about it: Mass. Literacy Foundation honors ‘champions’
Boston Herald   October 20, 2003

EXCERPT: The daughter of East German Holocaust survivors, Diane Portnoy was forced to adapt to the culture of her adoptive America when she was a little girl. Now, she’s being honored for helping new immigrants do the same. Portnoy is one of 10 people being honored tomorrow morning at the World Trade Center by the Massachusetts Literacy Foundation for going beyond the call of duty to help people learn to read.


 2002 News

Coming to America: 10 years later
Malden Observer   October 24, 2002

EXCERPT: Malden’s Immigrant Learning Center celebrates a decade of putting newcomers on the path to success…. When the Malden-based learning center opened its doors in 1992 above the CVS on Pleasant Street with three teachers and three English classes, Portnoy couldn’t imagine that 10 years later, a black-tie affair at the JFK Library would honor the school’s achievements and raise $325,000.


Immigrant center to expand focus
Boston Globe   October 17, 2002

EXCERPT: Since 1992, the Immigrant Learning Center has taught English and other skills to about 3,000 adult immigrants in three dozen Eastern Massachusetts communities.  Now it also wants to educate the public at large – about immigrants. Diane Portnoy, cofounder and director of the Malden-based center, said she hopes to initiate a human rights institute at the center next year that would raise awareness about what she says are the positive contributions that immigrants make to society.


The Immigrant Learning Center, Malden commemorates growth and expansion
Malden Evening News   May 24, 2002

EXCERPT: Recently The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) held a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony commemorating its growth and expansion. Located at 442 Main Street, the ILC provides English As A Second Language, Adult Basic Education, Family Literacy and Computer Literacy free of charge to immigrant and refugee adults. Diane Portnoy, co-founder and director, was joined by Representative Christopher Fallon and Mayor Richard Howard of Malden to unveil the school’s expanded space.



 2001 News

Cofounder of immigrant school lauded
Boston Globe   June 24, 2001

EXCERPT: On an October day in 1949, a 3-year-old girl arrived with her parents aboard a ship at Ellis Island…. Last month, more than a half century after her arrival, Portnoy stepped foot again on Ellis Island, this time to be recognized for her work with fellow immigrants. At a ceremony, Portnoy received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, presented each year to citizens who exemplify the American way of life while helping preserve a particular ethnic heritage.


 2000 News

Immigrant Learning Center receives award
Malden Observer   November 2, 2000

EXCERPT: The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) received the Nellie Mae Foundation’s Horizon Award in recognition of its success in meeting the literacy needs of foreign-born immigrants who have settled in the Greater Boston area.


 1990’s News

Literacy Program has a busy summer
Malden Observer   September 30, 1999

EXCERPT: The Mellon/ILC Family Literacy program at the Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. of Malden held two family literacy day events this summer. A total of 110 parents and children attended.


Literacy program brings parents closer to their kids
Malden Observer   December 10, 1998

EXCERPT: For many foreign-born adults, the simple task of reading a permission slip or a  school lunch menu is impossible. Many of these parents’ children, even those in second- or third-grade, have a better understanding of the English language. Sensing a local need for a program aimed at helping parents with limited English skills, the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC) laid the foundation for its successful family literacy program more than three years ago.


Center marking five years of helping immigrants
Boston Globe   September 7, 1997

EXCERPT: It began with some conversations that Diane Portnoy and Joan Broude had in the early 1990’s…. Their discussions led them to open an adult education center in Malden in 1992 providing immigrants with language and other basic skills they need to survive in this country. Today the school has blossomed into a facility that last year served 404 immigrants from 41 countries – speaking 26 different languages.