Fourteen communities commit to welcome new Americans

Gateways for Growth announces its latest cohort, forming an initiative of 54 communities who aim to integrate immigrants and create opportunities for all

New York, NY — Building on the increasing demand from local government, business, and civic leaders who aim to develop concrete strategies to integrate immigrants, foster economic growth, and promote inclusion for all residents, New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America are pleased to announce the 14 communities who will receive a Gateways for Growth award in the third year of the initiative. The awardees include:

  • Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Flint, Michigan
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Lexington, Kentucky
  • Lowell, Massachusetts
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Middlesex County, New Jersey
  • Northern Kentucky
  • Roanoke, Virginia
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Toledo-Lucas County, Ohio
  • Wayne County, Michigan

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. Since joining Gateways for Growth, cities and counties across the United States have made strides in immigrant integration. Achievements include:

  • Through the Gateways for Growth Challenge, NAE and Welcoming America worked with Congressman and former Salt Lake County mayor Ben McAdams’ office and the Salt Lake Chamber to support the creation of the Mayor’s Office for New Americans, which recently launched a campaign to naturalize 22,000 eligible immigrants in the county.
  • With support from Gateways for Growth, the City of Tulsa and the Tulsa Regional Chamber published the New Tulsans Welcoming Plan, with the goal of bringing immigrants into the economic and civic life of the city.
  • The City of Dallas used research provided by New American Economy on Dallas’ economic contributions as part of its effort to launch the city’s first Welcoming Plan.

The new Gateways for Growth cohort demonstrate a commitment to develop concrete strategies that ensure all residents have access to the tools and support they need to succeed and contribute to their communities. As of 2017, over 600,000 immigrants lived in the 13 communities receiving a Gateways for Growth award this year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Awardees receive a combination of research, technical assistance, and matching grants from New American Economy and Welcoming America to support the development of welcoming strategies. Gateways for Growth also serves as a network in which local communities can learn from each other and share best practices.

“The facts prove it – cities that embrace immigration as a growth strategy reap the benefits,” said John Feinblatt, President of New American Economy. “The Gateways for Growth Challenge spurs more local leaders to step up and make immigration a centerpiece of their economic agenda.”

“Welcoming America is delighted to be working with a growing number of local leaders like these that are fueling a movement of inclusion, recognizing that communities are more cohesive and more prosperous when everyone who lives there feels like they belong. G4G is an important opportunity for local governments, business, and civil society to come together to develop the plans, programs, and policies to promote a welcoming home for all,” said Rachel Peric, Executive Director of Welcoming America.

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 for immigrant integration. 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 and Welcoming America that local partners have committed to match.

Welcoming America is a nonpartisan, national nonprofit that leads a growing movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by helping everyone know they belong. We provide a roadmap and support for places to reduce barriers to full participation and build bridges between immigrants and long-time residents through direct contact and dialogue.

Year-round, NAE and Welcoming America maintain an interactive map at that serves as a database of innovative local initiatives alongside detailed information and guidance for communities seeking to replicate successful immigrant integration programs and policies.