Omar D’Angelo and his family moved to Columbus in 2000 to escape a crippling financial collapse that devastated the middle class in their native Argentina.
Shortly after arriving here, he started helping his parents bake cakes and other South American confections for family members and friends. At the same time, he was learning English, taking college classes and working full time at an automotive assembly plant.
Although D’Angelo was initially interested in becoming an architect, he decided to stay faithful to his roots.
“My father was a baker, and I started helping with our family’s bakery when I was 7 years old,” he said.
D’Angelo is just one example of how the United States’ growing immigrant population is creating businesses, generating income and taxes and jump-starting the economy in Ohio and beyond, according to a new report being released today.
Ohio is home to more than 480,000 foreign-born residents, including 151,231 who live in the Columbus metropolitan area, according to a new report by New American Economy, a bipartisan group of more than 500 mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms to help create jobs.