Sunday, Jul 24, 2016
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Chinese professionals come to Toledo for jobs

Growing technology sector a main draw

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Sam Yang, holding daughter Lydia, is joined by his wife, Ying Li, and son Evan in their Perrysburg home. Mr. Yang, a research and development manager at First Solar Inc., would like to see more facilities in the area for Chinese and Chinese-Americans.

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Four years after moving to Toledo, Sam Yang's family welcomed newborn Lydia in May.

Mr. Yang came to Toledo for his post as a research and development manager at First Solar Inc. This year will be his 12th in the United States.

"In my past few years here, I have seen more Chinese faces. It is inevitable for technology companies to employ more and more Asian and Asian-Americans," Mr. Yang said.

Today many well-educated Asian and Asian-American professionals like Mr. Yang come to Toledo for work and to raise their families here.

"Before I came to Toledo, I heard that it is a great place to raise a family. I have less pressure from work and can spend more time with my family. Neighbors are very nice, and there's not much traffic. Education is good too," he said.

Mr. Yang's 11-year-old son, Evan, started middle school this fall at Perrysburg Junior High School. He received a U.S. President's Education Excellence Award this year.

"But of course, there are pros and cons about Toledo. The downside is food and facilities. Chinese love food, but there are not enough good Chinese restaurants," he said. "Sometimes we have to drive to places like Detroit or even Chicago for culinary experience."

As a fan of badminton, Mr. Yang said that he looked for badminton courts everywhere as soon as he got to Toledo, but he could not find any.

"But fishing in the Maumee River is fun. It's so easy to catch fish. That's my new hobby," he said.

As Mr. Yang settled in Toledo, he became active in various local organizations. He joined the Chinese Association of Greater Toledo and was elected vice president this year. He is also an active member of the Chinese Church Alliance. "When my family first moved here, the Chinese church gave us a lot of help. I want to give back, too," he said.

From his experience at his church and company, Mr. Yang said that he has observed the substantial growth of the Chinese and Chinese-American population in Toledo.

"Besides professionals like me, there have also been many young Chinese students. The increase is obvious and it will definitely change the demographics of Toledo," he said.

"I think we would really like to see more facilities for the Chinese and Chinese-American community, such as adding Chinese books to the libraries. It will help attract more talented Chinese and Chinese-Americans to come and stay in Toledo."

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