20 Communities Selected for “Gateways for Growth Challenge” to Welcome & Integrate New Americans

March 29, 2016

Sarah Doolin, PNAE, Sarah@renewoureconomy.org
Deborah Hakes, Welcoming America, Deborah@welcomingamerica.org

Twenty Communities Selected for “Gateways for Growth Challenge” to Welcome and Integrate New Americans

New York, NY — Building on the growing desire of civic and business leaders to attract, retain, and integrate immigrants as part of an economic growth strategy, the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) and Welcoming America are pleased to announce communities that have been selected as part of the Gateways for Growth Challenge.

Launched in December 2015, Gateways for Growth invited communities across the United States to apply for research, technical assistance, and matching grants to support the development and implementation of multi-sector strategic plans for welcoming and integrating new Americans.

These communities are part of a national trend in which local government, business, and civil society leaders embrace research showing that being inclusive toward immigrants helps cities and counties thrive economically. They are working proactively to ensure an environment where all residents can contribute and succeed.

Of the many communities that applied to the challenge, the following were selected:

  • Akron and Summit County, OH
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Brownsville, TX
  • Columbus, OH
  • Detroit, MI
  • Fargo, ND
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Kansas City, KS/MO
  • Lancaster, PA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Macomb County, MI
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Phoenix, AZ and Arizona State
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • San Jose, CA
  • Salt Lake County, UT
  • Upstate NY Region (Syracuse/Buffalo, NY)

“While Congress fails to enact legislation that would bring the best, brightest, and hardest-working to this country, cities across the United States have recognized the economic contributions immigrants make—as consumers, job creators, and entrepreneurs,” says John Feinblatt, Chairman, Partnership for a New American Economy. “The Gateways for Growth Challenge will help communities develop and implement plans to integrate immigrants into their localities and compete in the global economy.”

“These communities are leaders in the broader and growing trend to be more inclusive, countering the narrative often heard in the mainstream news,” says David Lubell, Executive Director, 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 to live, work, and thrive.”

PNAE and Welcoming America will provide communities selected for Gateways for Growth with one or more of the following:

  • Customized quantitative research reports on the contributions immigrants make to their local economies
  • On-the-ground, technical assistance to help communities draft, execute, and communicate a multi-sector immigrant integration strategy
  • Small planning grants that a local partner has committed to match.

PNAE and Welcoming America have produced an interactive map showing 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.

Complementing the Gateways for Growth Challenge, PNAE and Welcoming America will be working this fall in partnership with EngageNWA, with support from Walmart, to conduct a study on the impact of immigration in the Northwest Arkansas region. The groups will also convene leaders to develop a regional approach to welcoming and integrating immigrant communities as part of a broader strategy for promoting the region as a global community of talent.

About the Partnership for a New American Economy

The Partnership for a New American Economy 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. The Partnership’s 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. Partnership members understand that immigration is essential to maintaining the productive, diverse, and flexible workforce that America needs to ensure prosperity over the coming generations. Learn more at www.RenewOurEconomy.org.

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.

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