Building on the increasing demand from local government, business, and civic leaders who aim to develop concrete strategies to integrate immigrants and foster economic growth, New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America are pleased to announce the 25 communities who will receive a Gateways for Growth award in the second year of the initiative.
Launched in December 2015, the Gateways for Growth Challenge is a competitive opportunity for local communities to receive direct technical assistance from New American Economy and Welcoming America to develop multi-sector plans for welcoming and integrating immigrants. New American Economy also provides tailored research on the contributions of immigrants and matching grants to select communities as part of the Challenge.
This year’s Gateways for Growth awardees demonstrated a strong commitment from local government, business, and civil society partners to recognize and highlight the contributions immigrants are making—by bolstering population growth, increasing the tax base, starting new businesses and creating jobs, and adding vibrancy and culture to our social fabric—and to develop concrete strategies and recommendations to maximize these contributions.
“While Congress debates the value of immigration, in city after city, the evidence is already in—immigrants revive neighborhoods and drive economic growth,” said John Feinblatt, President of New American Economy. “The Gateways for Growth Challenge offers local leaders blueprints for attracting immigrant talent and jump-starting their economies.”
“These communities are leaders in the broader and growing trend to be more inclusive, offering an alternative to the divisive rhetoric around immigration and showing how inclusion is good for our economy, neighborhoods, and future,” said David Lubell, Executive Director of Welcoming America. “Inclusive economic growth strategies that take into account both U.S. and foreign-born communities make cities more vibrant, attractive places for all residents.”
Following a rigorous application process, the following 25 communities were selected:
- Austin, MN
- Boise, ID/Ada County, ID
- Bowling Green, KY
- Champaign-Urbana, IL
- Chicago, IL
- Corpus Christi, TX
- Dallas, TX
- Dane County, WI
- Des Moines, IA
- Fort Wayne, IN
- Grand Forks, ND
- Grand Rapids, MI
- Harrisonburg, VA/Rockingham County, VA
- Lancaster, PA
- Little Rock, AR
- Long Beach, CA
- Memphis, TN
- Missoula, MT
- Northwest Arkansas
- Portland, ME
- San Diego, CA
- Siouxland, IA/NE/SD
- South Bend-Elkhart, IN
- Tulsa, OK
This year, the Gateways for Growth Challenge will again offer resources to communities that demonstrate a public-private commitment to the development of a community-wide strategic plan. Those resources include:
- Customized quantitative research reports from NAE on the demographic and economic contributions immigrants their communities;
- On-the-ground technical assistance from NAE and Welcoming America to help communities draft, execute, and communicate a multi-sector immigrant integration strategy; and
- Planning grants from NAE that local partners have committed to match.
NAE and Welcoming America also maintain an interactive map outlining initiatives across the United States that support immigrant and U.S.-born entrepreneurs, promote citizenship and financial empowerment, improve public safety and access to services, and advance education and workforce goals to help regions compete in the global economy. The map provides detailed information about and examples from the communities that have embraced this work, as well as guidance for those seeking to replicate successful programs and policies.
About New American Economy
New American Economy (NAE) brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic, and Independent mayors and business leaders who support immigration reforms that will help create jobs for Americans today. Coalition members include mayors of more than 35 million people nationwide and business leaders of companies that generate more than $1.5 trillion and employ more than 4 million people across all sectors of the economy, from Agriculture to Aerospace, Hospitality to High Tech and Media to Manufacturing.
About Welcoming America
Welcoming America is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is leading a movement of inclusive communities across the nation becoming more prosperous by making everyone who lives there feel like they belong. As communities are reshaped by demographic change, there must be an intentional effort to manage that transformation. Just as fertile soil is needed for a seed to grow, receptive communities are critical for immigrants to be able to fully participate in the social, civic, and economic fabric of their adopted hometowns. Our unique focus is helping communities move beyond divisiveness and fragmentation to a coordinated web of policies and programs that ensure that all residents—including immigrants—can fully participate and belong. We partner with more than 100 communities across the United States, and we are piloting international welcoming efforts in Germany and Australia. Learn how your community can become a more welcoming place for all: www.welcomingamerica.org.