Sister Cities, originally known in Europe as “town twinning,” is a concept whereby towns or cities in geographically and politically distinct areas are paired with the goal of forging relationships and cultural links. In Europe, these pairs have also been called friendship towns, partner towns or twin towns. In Russia, they’re called brother cities. In Asia and North America, the term Sister Cities has become the accepted term to describe these town links. Following the second World War, “twinning charters” between cities formerly on opposite sides fostered a closer understanding of each other, promoting acts of peace and reconciliation.  In North America, the official American “Sister Cities” program was launched in 1956 by President Dwight Eisenhower. The Kettering City Council established the Kettering Sister City Committee more than 50 years ago on March 28, 1967.

The city of Kettering has two sister city affiliations. Our relationship with Steyr, Austria was established by City ordinance in March, 1970, and our relationship with the Borough of Kettering, England, in February, 1978.

Sister Cities often have similar demographic and other shared characteristics. Steyr, Austria was formed at the confluence of two rivers, the Enns and the Steyr; Dayton had its beginnings at the joining of five rivers. Both Steyr and Kettering share a history of auto and tool manufacturing. Both cities benefited by visionary industrialists who advanced modern industrial techniques, while at the same time improving conditions for workers.

The Kettering Sister City program is award winning, receiving international recognition for Best Overall Youth Exchange in 1987 and as a five time winner of Best Overall Program.  A particular point of pride for the Kettering Sister Cities Association is the continuous history of youth exchanges.  Every year since 1976 Steyr and Kettering youth groups have alternated visits to each other’s countries.  Because of these student interactions, many long-term friendships have been established. The proceeds from the annual Spass Nacht event benefit the Kettering Sister Cities Association’s successful cultural exchange programs.

Kettering Sister Cities Committee is an entirely volunteer organization which relies on the support of their dedicated members to make events like Spass Nacht and the annual Youth Enrichment Exchange possible.  To learn more about how you can support the work of Kettering Sister Cities, please visit our membership page..