Central Iowans of Asian and Pacific Island descent are gathered this week to talk over the contributions of their cultures, and look at the needs of the community. Project Coordinator Keri Badding says it’s clear Iowa has an increasingly diverse population.The census found 36,600 Asian Iowans, about one-point-three percent of the population, and 2,000 residents of Hawaiian or Pacific Island descent. A reception tonight will highlight information gathered on those residents, and the needs that could be the focus of action.One example is health care, when children of immigrants must translate for their parents when they’re talking to people like doctors. Badding says other needs of the community are bilingual educators and role models in jobs and higher education. The Asian community could use a “one-stop shop” for information from babysitting to car insurance to Iowa’s legal system. Tonight’s reception recognizes the contributions of the Asian and Pacific Islander American community, as well as its needs. Badding points out that meeting such needs is more important as the work force includes a growing number of immigrants.
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