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Local View: Duluth newcomers, know that you are welcome here

From the column: "You don’t need to be from Duluth to love Duluth. The way I see it, if you live here, you are a Duluthian."

Three vitrines contain a series of framed travel posters. Prominent in front is one featuring the airport, an airplane, and a casino-style sign reading WELCOME TO DULUTH MINNESOTA.
Jamey Penney-Ritter's travel posters were seen on display at the Duluth International Airport on Aug. 5, 2022.
2022 News Tribune file photo by Jay Gabler
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In my job as director of membership development at the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, I hear from many new businesses and individuals recently relocated to our city that Duluth is a closed culture. They say it is difficult to get connected within such a close-knit community. Our staff at the chamber looks to ease this transition by providing accessible networking offerings where both new chamber members and long-time members can connect.

However, there is still much work to be done to help newcomers truly feel at home in our city.

I have recently taken over the direction of Fuse Duluth, the Duluth chamber’s young-professionals division, and here is a little-known secret: At the majority of our Fuse Duluth events, at least 50% of participants are transplants to the Duluth area. Additionally, our Leadership Council, which comprises 16 talented young professionals who help guide the program, has a far higher ratio of transplants than those born here.

The team at Fuse Duluth wants transplants to know that you are welcome at our table. We invite you to attend our events, participate in our programming, and meet our council members. We would be delighted to show you around Duluth and warmly welcome you to our city.

After all, who wouldn’t immediately fall in love with the way the sunrise looks over Lake Superior or the cozy homegrown feeling that settles in when you visit any of our local restaurants, coffee shops, or breweries?

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It is the highest compliment that people have chosen to move beyond just visiting our city and choose to put down roots in Duluth to raise their families, open their businesses, and join in the exciting growth of our community.

If you are a transplant to Duluth, please know I am glad you are here. Thank you for choosing Duluth as your home. If you would like help getting connected to jobs, professional networking, social groups, mentors, or resources — or are simply looking for a friendly face — please reach out to me at ahagen@duluthchamber.com . Our team at the Duluth chamber can help you get connected through our accessible networking events, referrals to helpful member organizations, and the Fuse Duluth program, which is welcoming of all ages. We would love to see you at an upcoming event or for a one-on-one meeting.

You don’t need to be from Duluth to love Duluth. The way I see it, if you live here, you are a Duluthian. It’s truly that simple.

Aubrey Hagen is director of membership development and the program director of Fuse Duluth for the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce ( duluthchamber.com ).

Aubrey Hagen.jpg
Aubrey Hagen

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