Supported by the Free State of Thuringia and the European Social Fund Plus
The ESF project WORT, funded by the Free State of Thuringia through the European Social Fund Plus, has a clear objective: to establish a culturally inclusive model region centred around Schmalkalden and the surrounding district. Playing a pivotal role in this initiative is Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences (SUAS), currently positioned as the primary migration hub within the region. With its vibrant international community of over 1,000 students, SUAS acts as both the anchor institution and the driving force behind the project's implementation.
The primary aim of this project is to attract, retain and effectively integrate international skilled professionals in South Thuringia. This goal will be orchestrated through a series of well-designed intercultural initiatives, with SUAS at the forefront as the anchor institution supporting these efforts. A comprehensive set of strategic measures has been put in place to support this overarching vision. These include the fields of public communication, organisational communication, organisational and human resources development and qualification. Their purpose is twofold: to counter the potential emergence of resentment towards international skilled professionals and migrants, and to proactively prevent the growth of such negative sentiments. The project's framework is carefully conceived to consider the holistic nature of the measures, the interconnectedness among stakeholders, and the creation of momentum to foster intercultural opening processes. The strategies implemented and tested within the project are intentionally adaptable, serving as a potential blueprint for similar initiatives in other regions. This adaptability ensures that the project's success can be replicated, providing valuable insights and guidance for comparable endeavors elsewhere.