Welcoming KC Plan
The Greater Kansas City region has experienced a changing demographic over the past quarter-century, with the immigrant population increasing from 33,000 in 1990 to more than 150,000 in 2018. Immigrants are an important part of the economic and cultural fabric in the Great Kansas City area, working in a variety of industries and establishing strong roots in the community as homeowners and parents of U.S.-born children.
Through the Welcoming KC Plan, there is an opportunity to proactively address the changing community by bringing together key leaders in the region to learn more about current demographics, consider the implications of demographic changes to Greater Kansas City, identify priorities for action, and work together to develop new policies and programs. The Welcoming Standard, a comprehensive roadmap for immigrant inclusion and welcoming in communities developed by Welcoming America, provided the issue areas to organize the Welcoming KC Plan.
The plan was driven by a leadership comprised of key stakeholders from the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, REACH Healthcare Foundation, Communities Concerned for Immigrants and Refugees/Vibrant Health, and Shabbir Advisors. Additionally, the plan has been informed by input from community leaders, government officials, community members directly impacted by the plan, and the public at large. Welcoming America staff Molly Hilligoss, Midwest Regional Manager, and Melissa Bertolo, Certified Welcoming Director, participated on the Leadership Team of the Greater Kansas City Welcoming Planning Team to provide expertise on the Welcoming KC Plan.