Stadtwerke Jena Group supports the "Weltoffenes Thüringen" initiative

Jan 24, 2024, 12:00:00 PM | Stadtwerke Jena Gruppe | Aktuelles | Weltoffen | Perspektiven

Joint press release from the city administration of Jena, the municipal utilities and the Stadtwerke Group on today's kick-off event of the network „Weltoffenes Thüringen“.

Together we are many! The city administration of Jena with its municipal enterprises JenaKultur, Kommunale Immobilien Jena, Kommunalservice Jena and jenarbeit as well as the Jenaer Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft and the companies of the city family, the Stadtwerke Jena Group including jenawohnen, support the initiative „WELTOFFENES THÜRINGEN“

Mayor Dr. Thomas Nitzsche emphasized at the opening event in the historic town hall that openness to the world is the prerequisite for a successful future. We are convinced that if openness to the world is lost here locally, much more will be lost. That is why we must all stand together in the middle of society. We need a clear stance on preserving democracy and diversity. We can no longer remain neutral in these times.“ 
Nitzsche made it clear that racism and exclusion have no place in Jena and that it will be an ongoing task to make this clear commitment visible again and again in the city and the surrounding area with the help of a broad network, to inform, educate and commemorate. „Especially against the backdrop of current socio-political events, defending our basic democratic values and taking a firm stand against right-wing extremism is the order of the day. In Jena, we are also aware of our special responsibility, because the perpetrators of the National Socialist Underground grew up here.“  Jena's success is directly linked to a very good network of business, science and civil society. This network and the numerous cooperations and partnerships thrive on internationality, cosmopolitanism, tolerance and diversity. It is important to maintain and further expand this through joint daily work in a strong city association. Mayor Dr. Thomas Nitzsche says: „Together we are many. And together we can achieve a lot. The strength of our municipal association is also evident, and even more so in difficult times, when we need each other. Let us remember the beginning of the war in Ukraine, when we worked together to coordinate the arrival of more than 1,500 refugees on the ground. We will now also stand together in the fight against right-wing extremism and hatred. For Jena and our region.“ 

Selection of municipal projects for democracy, diversity and open-mindedness 
Democracy - No end in sight! – NSU reappraisal and Enver Şimşek Square renaming 
In 2021, the city of Jena, under the leadership of JenaKultur, has endeavoured to make the concerns of the victims of the NSU complex visible nationwide. As visible and successful as the project has become with its approximately 70 individual events of various formats (readings, panels, discussions, exhibitions, concerts, artistic interventions, city tours and much more), it remains clear that what was true before the project is also true after the project: The title No End! is our mission. In 2020, in memory of Enver Şimşek, the first victim of the so-called National Socialist Underground, a square in Jena Winzerla was named after him, thus creating a central place of remembrance and reappraisal for the atrocious acts of the NSU. As part of „Kein Schlussstrich! Jena“, the citizens' wish was expressed to also name the Damaschkeweg bus stop after this square, which was also implemented. It will and must be our ongoing task to make the commemoration and reappraisal of the NSU complex visible in the city and for urban society.

Diversity and equal treatment – 10-point plan against racism and anti-discrimination office 
The city of Jena joined the Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) in 2022. The inclusion in the coalition of cities recognizes the city of Jena's commitment to date in the fight against racism and discrimination. Since then, a 10-point plan against racism has been consistently pursued. One key measure was the establishment of a municipal anti-discrimination office, which people can turn to not only because they have experienced racism, but also because they feel discriminated against because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability. With a city-wide campaign against racism this year, the city of Jena wants to draw attention to racism and discrimination as well as the corresponding offers of help in public spaces.

Projects of the Jena Economic Development Agency

i-work Business Award  
The i-work Business Award is the intercultural business award for Jena and the region. The competition was launched in 2017 on the initiative of the Jena Economic Development Agency and Friedrich Schiller University Jena. The aim is to make companies visible that are committed to the integration of their international employees in the company and in society in an exemplary manner. Last year, the prize was extended to applicants from the Jena region for the first time. Companies from Jena and the surrounding area can learn first-hand what is important for successful cooperation and which measures and strategies work well. The aim is to make these experiences visible and show how diverse and international the Jena region and its companies already are.   

Welcome Center Jena  
Jena has been home to the first municipal Welcome Center in Thuringia since 2022. It informs skilled workers from Germany and abroad about the wide range of career opportunities in the City of Light, helps newcomers take their first steps in the city and advises local companies on recruiting foreign employees. Due to demographic change, Jena is particularly dependent on international employees to ensure that companies can continue to operate successfully. Jena must be well positioned to compete with other locations for the best talent. The city offers extensive support services for various needs and target groups. Knowing about each other and utilizing synergy effects is the basis for making Jena's welcoming culture visible both internally and externally and also for expanding it further. As a hub, the Welcome Center Jena at Teichgraben 5 plays a central role in this.