We are thrilled that the Princeton Mercer Regional Chamber representing Mercer County, in partnership with New American Economy and Welcoming America, is a recipient of the 2021; “ Gateways for Growth” award. We stand with pride, with the other 18 communities, in working to recognize the positive impact of immigrant inclusion in our communities. We look forward to presenting our report to the Mercer County community later in the year.
Today, New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America are pleased to announce that 19 localities will receive a Gateways for Growth (G4G) award as part of the fourth cohort of the initiative. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, local communities have been increasingly proactive about prioritizing response efforts and economic recovery strategies that benefit all residents, including immigrants, who have positively impacted the greater community. As the country looks to rebuild and set a more inclusive path forward nationally, these 19 localities will lay the groundwork and build the infrastructure for economic, civic, and social inclusion at the local level.
Launched in 2016, G4G is a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support and/or technical assistance from NAE and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities. This year’s awardees include:
- Dayton, Ohio
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Columbus, Ohio
- Contra Costa County, California
- Erie, Pennsylvania
- Gainesville, Florida
- Lancaster County, Nebraska
- Los Angeles, California
- Mercer County, New Jersey
- Miami-Dade County, Florida
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Ottawa County, Michigan
- Passaic County, New Jersey
- Reno/Washoe County, Nevada
- Saint Paul, Minnesota
- San Mateo County, California
- Southwest Kansas
- Spokane, Washington
- Washtenaw County, Michigan
In light of the scale and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gateways for Growth Challenge this year prioritized localities that demonstrated a public-private commitment to better integrating immigrants into recovery efforts and emergency management systems. G4G support this year includes:
- Customized quantitative research reports from NAE on the demographic and economic contributions immigrants make in their communities; and/or
- Tailored technical assistance from NAE and Welcoming America to help communities draft, execute, and communicate a multi-sector immigrant inclusion strategy.
Since joining Gateways for Growth, cities, counties, chambers of commerce and non-profits 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.
Explore our new G4G Website!
Year-round, NAE and Welcoming America maintain — and have recently revamped — an interactive map at gatewaysforgrowth.org that serves as a clearinghouse for the successes of all current and prior G4G awardees. Some of these achievements include:
- Launching a multi-sector immigrant Welcoming Plan this past September for the City of Grand Rapids, Kent County, the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, and Samaritas. Over the course of two years, Gateways for Growth worked with local partners to highlight the critical steps that the community will collectively take to foster economic and social integration for all residents.
- Shortly after launching their G4G action plan in 2018, the Portland, ME, Office of Economic Opportunity launched their first strategy for supporting civic inclusion – the Natural Helpers Leadership Program, an initiative that helps bridge the information divide between residents and city resources by training informal immigrant and refugee community leaders on how to help newcomers navigate city services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Natural Helpers have served a critical role in helping the city better communicate public health and relief efforts to immigrant-owned businesses and residents.
- After launching the Welcoming San Diego Plan in February 2019, the City of San Diego hired its first-ever Immigrant Affairs Manager to oversee the implementation of its Welcoming Plan recommendations, which include facilitating career advancement for immigrants, enhancing multicultural curriculum in K-12 education, and expanding language access.