Announcing the Newest Cohort of the Gateways for Growth Challenge

The Gateways for Growth Challenge announces its fifth cohort, forming a network of over 75 localities across 35 states deploying economic research and multi-sector welcoming plans to forward inclusion and economic opportunity for all.

DECATUR, GA & WASHINGTON — Today, the American Immigration Council and Welcoming America are pleased to announce that 9 localities will receive Gateways for Growth (G4G) awards as part of the fifth cohort of the initiative. Launched in 2016, G4G is a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support, technical assistance, and/or matching grant funds from the American Immigration Council and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities. This year’s awardees include:

  • Baltimore County, Maryland
  • Brockton, Massachusetts
  • Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • North Shore Region, Massachusetts
  • Ottawa County, Michigan
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Portland and Southern Region, Maine
  • Santa Clara County, California
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • South Bend and Michiana Region, Indiana

The American Immigration Council and Welcoming America teams support G4G awardee communities as they create a local narrative, backed in data, on the imperative for building inclusive communities and, for those ready to take the next step, build a community-wide plan for immigrant inclusion supported by multi-sector local stakeholders.

Local communities across the country have long seen the positive effects of their growing immigrant population. Newcomers help drive population growth, revitalize neighborhoods, spur innovation, and enrich communities with cultural diversity. The communities in the G4G 2023 cohort are thinking proactively about how to create an environment that sends a message of inclusion and social cohesion, maximizes the contributions of all residents, and gives community members the tools they need to thrive together.

“We are delighted to see the Gateways for Growth Challenge expand to another set of localities that reflect the diversity of our nation,” said Molly Hilligoss, Network Director at Welcoming America. “With each cohort, there is an opportunity to support and connect local leaders making their communities more welcoming and resilient places where everyone, including immigrants, can prosper and belong.”

“The Gateways for Growth program helps communities quantify what many people already know -- that immigrants play a key role in driving innovation and growth,” said Mo Kantner, Director of State and Local Initiatives at the American Immigration Council. “We’re excited to see the network continue to grow to nearly eighty communities, and look forward to supporting localities with data and technical assistance as they work to ensure that all residents are welcome and have pathways to success.”

G4G awardees will receive a combination of:

  • Customized quantitative research reports from the Council on the demographic and socioeconomic contributions immigrants make in their communities; and/or
  • Tailored technical assistance from the Council and Welcoming America to support communities as they draft, execute, and communicate a multi-sector immigrant inclusion strategy; and in some cases
  • Matching grant funds from the Council and Welcoming America which, combined with support from a local funder, are used to aid in a community’s strategic planning process.

Since joining Gateways for Growth, cities, counties, chambers of commerce and nonprofits across the United States have made significant strides in developing and executing concrete strategies that ensure all residents have access to the tools and support they need to succeed and contribute to their communities. Year-round, the Council and Welcoming America maintain an interactive map at that serves as a clearinghouse for the successes of all current and prior G4G awardees.

About the American Immigration Council

The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. In January 2022, the Council and New American Economy merged to combine a broad suite of advocacy tools to better expand and protect the rights of immigrants, more fully ensure immigrants’ ability to succeed economically, and help make the communities they settle in more welcoming. Follow the latest Council news and information on and Twitter @immcouncil.

Visit to learn more.

About Welcoming America

Welcoming America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that leads a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs. We believe that all people, including immigrants, are valued contributors and vital to the success of our communities and shared future.

Through the Welcoming Network, we work to help communities develop the roadmap they need to create welcoming policies and share new approaches to inclusion to create an environment where everyone can truly thrive. Learn more at