The Gateways for Growth Challenge (G4G) is a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support and technical assistance from the American Immigration Council and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities.
Since 2016, the Gateways for Growth Challenge has supported:
Awardees: Baltimore County, Office of Community Engagement
“Baltimore County’s diversity is its strength, and our goal is to create an inclusive, welcoming environment that is accessible and welcoming for all. Becoming part of the Gateways for Growth cohort will help to enhance our work of creating equitable programs and policies for everyone who has chosen Baltimore County as their home and highlight the many ways our new neighbors have enriched the community. We are honored to have the support of Gateways for Growth, and look forward to the partnership helping us continue to build a strong and vibrant future for all Baltimore County residents.” Giuliana Valencia-Banks, Immigration Affairs Outreach Coordinator, Office of County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Baltimore County, MD
Photo caption: Courthouse-summer 2016
Awardees: Brockton Interfaith Community and Sabura Inc.
Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC) recently completed a Public Action where local officials were invited to hear some demands centered around Brockton becoming more welcoming and inclusive. We asked the City to partner with BIC and local stakeholders to create an Office of Immigrant Affairs and asked them to adopt the Welcome America Welcoming Standards. 2023 is a local election in Brockton and we aim to make the issue of Immigration a forefront topic of accountability. We were excited to hear about the G4G Research Grant because we wanted to present the data on the immigrant and newcomer contributions as far as the diversity, economic, political and social capital present here. Having this research is imperative as we aim to hold elected officials accountable to create more inclusive policies and programs in Brockton.”
Awardees: Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Amani Family Services, Downtown Fort Wayne
“In Fort Wayne and Allen County, we are working together to build a high-growth, innovative, and inclusive economy. As one of the fastest-growing metros in the Great Lakes region, immigrants and refugees have helped to power our community’s workforce and added to our cultural vibrancy. Participating in the 2023 G4G Challenge will provide our leaders with technical assistance to ensure we are approaching economic development equitably and welcoming all with Hoosier Hospitality.” John Urbahns, President/CEO, Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
Awardees: City of Pittsburgh Mayor Office: Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs
“The City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs is excited to receive the customized research report from Gateways for Growth. This grant will ensure that our key focus areas align with the lived experiences of our immigrant and refugee communities and assist us in creating a city where everyone feels safe, welcome, and has opportunities to thrive. This award will also allow us to further highlight the key role of immigrants and refugees in driving growth and economic opportunities in our City.” Feyisola Akintola, Manager, Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.
Awardees: University of Southern Maine is represented by the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Community Impact and the Career and Employment Hub
“University of Southern Maine is the comprehensive regional and urban institution in the University of Maine System. It is located on three campuses in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston as well as online. The purpose of the G4G participation is to explore how USM as a higher education institution can play a proactive role in promoting the interests of New Americans in Maine and in Lewiston-Auburn, in particular, and provide meaningful educational and support services to the immigrant populations.” University of Southern Maine
Awardees: Refugee and Immigrant Forum of Santa Clara County, City of San Jose Office of Racial Equity, Rapid Response Network, Citizenship Collaborative, and local immigrant-serving organizations
“The County of Santa Clara is one of the largest and most diverse counties in California as its fifteen cities are home to over 1.9 million residents, 40% of whom were born in another country. The diverse immigrant communities of Santa Clara County have contributed close to $48 billion to the economy with their tax contributions and spending power and through their work in essential industries. The Office of Immigrant Relations (OIR) and partners are excited to collaborate with G4G in the collection of tailored research that will inform the development of a county-wide welcoming plan to increase belonging in Santa Clara County.”
Photo credit: Jim Colton, ProBonoPhoto.org
Awardees: Somos Un Pueblo Unido, City of Santa Fe Immigration Committee, City of Santa Fe Youth & Family Services, City of Santa Fe Economic Development
“In 2018, with a host of nonprofits and business entities, Santa Fe became a City for Citizenship, helping hundreds of low-income Lawful Permanent Residents naturalize. The City also led the way during the pandemic in providing cash assistance to mixed-status families excluded from federal stimulus and relief payments, innovating a model followed by other cities in our state. Now with the assistance of Gateways for Growth, we seek to increase immigrant prosperity with tailor made strategies and legislation for our immigrant residents.”
Awardees: The City of South Bend, United Religious Community, South Bend-Elkhart Partnership and the South Bend Regional Chamber
“The City of South Bend and Welcoming Michiana, a program of the United Religious Community, know from the most recent census data that our population growth over the last decade is largely thanks to the arrival of immigrants to our communities. The opportunity to work with Welcoming America and the American Immigration Council to develop a strategic plan for immigrant inclusion and to get current data will enable us to learn from others and be more purposeful in our approach to immigrant inclusion.” City of South Bend Mayor’s Office
Awardees: Global Cleveland
“Global Cleveland applied for the Gateways for Growth to receive tailored research to build community support to expand our work beyond Cuyahoga County, which we’ve been able to do in a limited manner to date. We would be able to incorporate better research into grant requests to garner more philanthropic, donor and government support to help us achieve this goal. We believe the data will show an increase in the foreign-born population throughout Northeast Ohio, reinforcing the need to further grow our organization beyond Cuyahoga County. We are excited to work with the Gateways for Growth team!” Joe Cimperman, President, Global Cleveland
Awardees: US Together, City of Columbus and Welcoming City
“When our families came to Columbus, we found a welcoming community, but we want to ensure that this great city goes beyond offering a welcoming atmosphere to fully developing pathways for integration. Immigrant inclusion is vital to the success of the Columbus Metropolitan Area as we recognize the positive cultural, social, and economic impact that New Americans bring to our neighborhoods and communities. We feel strongly that only through inclusive policies can we have an infrastructure that is equitable for all to thrive,” Nadia Kasvin, Co-Founder and Director of US Together.
“The makings of a good city is defined by the people who call it home. No matter who you are or where you are from, the Columbus community will welcome you and guide you to your dreams,” said Columbus City Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy. “Columbus is a city of relentless collaboration that continues to develop community leaders, small business owners, and jobs. This is one of many reasons I call Columbus home.”
Awardees: Contra Costa Employment and Human Services Department and Contra Costa Health Services Department
I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Contra Costa County takes pride in the vibrant diversity of its community of more than 1.1 million people, where nearly half the population are people of color, immigrants or members of immigrant families. We recognize the inequities that persist and are exacerbated by the COVID pandemic in our systems, and are committed to advancing further inclusion and fairness in everything we do. As a result, plans to establish a County Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice are underway. The Gateways for Growth Award is a timely boost to our efforts on welcoming and immigrant inclusion and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to enhance our work,” Devorah Levine, Contra Costa Employment and Human Services Department & Erika Jenssen, Contra Costa Health Services Department.
Awardee: Dayton Human Relations Council
“The Dayton Human Relations Council (HRC) is excited to work with the G4G team over the coming months. The HRC anticipates that the new G4G will be an addendum to the original goals that will broaden and improve upon Welcome Dayton’s pre-existing plan. It is anticipated that the G4G initiative will refine immigrant integration as well as: how it needs to be measured, develop metrics to determine progress/success, identify or develop tools for data collection, identify data collection processes and timelines, disseminate to stakeholders and community residents, gain consensus on recommendations, and move forward with an action plan to implementation.” Erica Fields, Executive Director, Dayton Human Relations Council (HRC)
Awardees: Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas in collaboration with the City of Dodge City.
“Catholic Charities is proud to partner with the City of Dodge City to strengthen our community’s commitment to welcoming New Americans through the Gateways for Growth Initiative. Together we are ready to strive to increase access to naturalization, promote civic engagement, and further inclusion of New Americans by nurturing a safe, healthy, and connected community,” Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas.
Awardees: City of Erie and Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership
Our vision for Erie: Erie is a Community of Choice. We celebrate our diverse cultures, welcoming & vibrant neighborhoods, world-class downtown and bayfront, schools of excellence, and abundance of family-sustaining jobs. But what is the economic impact of the resettlement of immigrants in Erie? The City of Erie does not currently have a data report focused on New Americans similar to the G4G products. So this G4G report will serve many purposes in the future, including to open conversations with leaders, residents, businesses, funders, and other stakeholders; and help the City and partners better plan and implement strategies.
Awardees: City of Gainesville, Rural Women’s Health Project, Madres Sin Fronteras, Migrant Education, TRACE Program, Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County, City of Gainesville Office of Equity and Inclusion, Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, University of Florida Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Peaceful Paths, United States Attorney’s Office (North District), United Way of North Central Florida, Santa Fe Community College, Community Foundation of North Central Florida, Gainesville 4 All (GNV4All), Gainesville Regional Utilities, Gainesville Police Department, Welcoming Gainesville & Alachua County, Alachua County Board of Education, University of Florida, University of Florida International Center
“Gainesville’s foreign-born neighbors are vital to our community and our economy — creating unique businesses, filling voids in critical service delivery, enriching academic circles and adding immeasurably to the richness of our art, cuisine, entrepreneurship and music scenes. We have long valued the contributions of our immigrant neighbors, but have yet to fully integrate them into our daily operations. We applied for Gateways 4 Growth because we recognize the strength, vibrancy and relevance of creating a more equitable and welcoming community and wish to more fully consider the immigrant experience in our policy making and governance,” Deborah Bowie, Assistant City Manager, City of Gainesville, lead of the G4G initiative in Gainesville, FL.
Awardees: City of Lincoln and Lancaster County
“As we continue to build a thriving 21st century economy and city, the commitment to working together to attract and engage immigrants as an important part of our Lincoln community will help create a strong and vibrant future for all of us. We look forward to working together with the New American Economy and Welcoming America to build on a multi-sector partnership to address barriers and accomplish goals surrounding integration in our community and address challenges faced by immigrant and refugee community members. The Gateways for Growth initiative will help in ensuring our community’s shared future, purpose, and prosperity,” Christa Yoakum, Lancaster County Commissioner
Awardees: Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
“CHIRLA seeks to gather data that allow us to capture the contributions and experiences of immigrants in Los Angeles and ensure their stories and voices are included in local conversations about community needs. The research and data resulting from CHIRLA’s participation in the G4G cohort will inform our work to serve undocumented and mixed-status families. With the findings we hope to highlight the need for resources and opportunities for immigrants’ inclusion in various protections and services, including COVID-19 relief programs that serve all residents regardless of their immigration status,” Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA).
Awardees: The New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition (NJBIC) in partnership with the Princeton-Mercer Regional Chamber of Commerce
“Immigration is like the air we breathe. It sustains and lifts our economy in ways that people may not fully realize. NAE’s research will bring this connection into clearer focus,” Nicholas V. Montalto, NJBIC Coordinator.
Photo Caption: Community organizations in Mercer County, like LALDEF, help improve the English-speaking skills of immigrant neighbors, fostering intercultural communication that strengthens the larger community.
Awardees: Miami-Dade County’s Office New Americans
“Miami Dade County is a vibrant immigrant-majority, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual community that serves as a reflection of the future of America. Over the past 3 years, The Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade (ONA) has focused on the needs of our immigrant residents through naturalization assistance and civic education. It is clear that we must do more for the 1.3 million immigrants and New Americans residing in our county. Our participation in the Gateways for Growth cohort will enable ONA to address the full economic, civic, and social integration of our residents, so that we have a healthy, secure, and engaged citizenry,” Krystina François, Executive Director of the Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade
Awardees: The Minneapolis Regional Chamber
“Immigration is the cornerstone of Minneapolis’ economic competitiveness. As the City builds its economic recovery efforts, a multi-sector strategic plan is vital to ensure immigrant communities’ needs are understood, resourced, and financed. Gateways for Growth support will bolster existing infrastructure within the city and partner organizations and support current municipal efforts to rebuild in a way that is equitable.” Jonathan Weinhagen, President and CEO, Minneapolis Regional Chamber
Awardees: Ottawa County
“As Ottawa County continues to grow in diversity, we look forward to using this economic research to better understand how our immigration population impacts our economy and where our community has been shaped, strengthened and enriched. Having access to this important data, especially during times like these, will inform us on our immigration inclusion planning efforts, which is a benefit to us all,” The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Ottawa County
Awardees: County of Passaic in partnership with the City of Paterson, City of Passaic, William Paterson University Small Business Development Center, Passaic County Community College, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Hijos Y amigos De Colombia, Peru Square Community Association, Mi Casa Es Puebla, Palestinian American Community Center, Downtown Paterson Special Improvement District Management Corporation
“We’re excited to be receiving this grant that will assist our county in developing strategic plans that will assist immigrant populations to secure the educational opportunities that they need to enter and succeed in the workforce. Although the grant is county-wide, we’re looking forward to working with the City of Paterson and the City of Passaic on this important study, where we will collect economic and demographic data on immigrant populations, and where the needs lay. We’re also partnering with William Paterson University’s Small Business Development Center, Passaic County Community College, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ, Hijos Y Amigos De Colombia, Peru Square Community Association, Mi Casa Es Puebla, the Palestinian American Community Center and the Downtown Paterson Special Improvement District Management Corporation,” Cassandra Lazzara, Freeholder Director, County of Passaic.
Awardees: Northern Nevada International Center (NNIC)
“Participating in the 2021 G4G challenge is a huge honor for our city; although Reno is known as the Biggest Little City, our community has made huge strides in terms of economic diversification, cultural, ethnic and racial advancements, and integration of newcomers,” Carina Black, Executive Director of NNIC.
Awardees: The City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce
“The City of Saint Paul has a long and proud tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees into our community and now more than ever, sustaining an inclusive environment for all residents, regardless of immigration status is vital. Amid this public health and economic crisis, the challenges that many in our community face have been exacerbated, including barriers to economic security experienced by our immigrant community. Participating in the G4G cohort gives us the opportunity to develop a strategic plan to address these negative economic realities and make Saint Paul a more inclusive and welcoming community,” The City of Saint Paul.
Awardees: San Mateo County’s Office of Community Affairs Immigrant Services
“Nestled within Silicon Valley, San Mateo County (SMC) is home to 766,000 residents, with 34.8% being foreign-born. Both recent immigrants as well as generations of immigrants have made SMC their home. This richness in diversity is what makes SMC an amazing place to live and work, but equally presents challenges in ensuring programs and policies are equitable to foreign-born and U.S. born residents alike. To understand and address the contributions as well as the challenges our immigrant community faces, we applied for G4G to receive data and technical assistance to guide our strategic planning now and for years to come,” Office of Community Affairs Immigrant Services, County of San Mateo.
Awardees: City of Spokane in partnership with the ZoNE Project, World Relief, Hispanic Business/Professional Association, Latinos en Spokane, and RAIZ.
“As a person of color on the Spokane City Council, I am pleased that we’re recipients of the Gateways for Growth grant. Often our communities of color are overlooked—especially our immigrant and refugee residents; however, through this research grant it will not only aid in our development to be more inclusive, the grant will also act as an entryway into connecting with those communities that otherwise remain unheard. I am grateful to our Manager of Equity and Inclusion, Alex, for spearheading this effort and look forward to the research results,” Betsy Wilkerson, Spokane City Council Member.
Awardees: Washtenaw County Government, Washtenaw County Office of Community & Economic Development
“Washtenaw County Government strives to become a world class service provider for all County residents in an inclusive manner. Being part of the G4G cohort will further our commitment to welcoming immigrants through immigrant-friendly policies, practices and programs. Our immigrant communities have been growing over the last decade and it’s important to understand those changes and how the County should respond. Through participation in G4G initiative, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of our community and its support systems’ strengths and challenges, informing a more comprehensive Washtenaw County response towards providing support and stability for our immigrant neighbors,” Washtenaw County.
Awardees: City of Bowling Green, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, South Central Kentucky Workforce Development Board
Photo credit: Wayne Garnon
Awardees: City of Cedar Rapids and Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance
Awardees: City of Charlotte, Office of International Relations, University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Urban Institute
Awardees: International Center of Greater Flint and City of Flint’s Mayor’s Office
Awardees: Samaritas, City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Kent County
Awardees: Global Lex, City of Lexington, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Commerce Lexington
Awardees: Refugee and Immigrant Support and Engagement (RISE) Coalition and Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: Latino Memphis and City of Memphis
Awardees: Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Einstein’s Alley, and The New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition (NJBIC)
Awardees: Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Workforce Investment Board, Duke Energy, Gateways Community and Technical College
Awardees: City of Roanoke and Local Colors
Awardees: City of San Antonio and San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: Welcome Toledo-Lucas County, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, Bowling Green State University’s Center for Regional Development
Awardees: Wayne United and Office of Wayne County Executive
Awardees: City of Alexandria, The Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, The Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council, Northern Virginia Community College, Virginia Community Capacity Initiative
Awardees: City of Austin and Austin Area Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: City of Boise, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Global Talent Idaho, Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: City of Bowling Green, South Central Kentucky Workforce Development Board, Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
Photo Credit: Tanner Kremer
Awardees: University YMCA at the University of Illinois, Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, City of Champaign, City of Urbana, The University of Illinois
Awardees: City of Chicago, Mayor’s office of New Americans, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition
Awardees: United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and Texas A&M University Corpus Christi
Awardees: City of Dallas, Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affair, World Affairs Council Dallas Forth Worth
Awardees: Jewish Social Services of Madison, HIAS, The City of Madison
Awardees: Greater Des Moines Partnership, The City of Des Moines, Polk County
Awardees: Welcoming Fort Wayne, The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, Associated Churches of Fort Wayne & Allen County
Photo credit: Ellie Bogue (2013)
Awardees: Mayor’s Office Grand Forks, Grand Forks’ Global Friends Coalition, Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation
Awardees: Samaritas, City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Kent County
Awardees: Rockingham Chamber of Commerce, James Madison University, City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County
Awardees: Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and City of Little Rock
Awardees: City of Long Beach
Awardees: Latino Memphis and City of Memphis
Awardees: City of South Bend, South Bend Regional Chamber, United Religous Community, South Bend-Elkart Regional Partnership
Awardees: International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Missoula, City of Missoula’s Housing and Community Development Office
Awardees: Northwest Arkansas Council, City of Fayetteville, City of Springdale, City of Bella Vista
Awardees: City of Portland, Maine Office of Economic Opportunity, The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce,
Awardees: City of San Diego, San Deigo Regional Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, The California Endowment
Awardees: One Siouxland Initiative, Sioux City, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: City of Tulsa, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, YWCA Tulsa
Awardees: International Institute of Akron, City of Akron, Summitt County
Awardees: The Municipality of Anchorage and Anchorage Economic development Corporation
Awardees: Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, City of Birmingham, Birmingham Business Alliance, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Awardees: City of Columbus and Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: City of Detroit, Detroit Regional Chamber, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Global Detroit
Awardees: City of Fargo and New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment
Awardees: Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities, and Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative
Pictured in photo: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Department of Neighborhoods Director, Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities staff and members of the Mayor’s Advisory Council of New Americans.
Awardees: Immigrant Welcome Center and Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: Mid-America Regional Council Community Services Corporation (MARC), Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Lancaster County Refugee Coalition, City of Lancaster
Awardees: Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Office of Immigrant Affairs, City of Los Angeles
Awardees: OneMacomb Initiative
Awardees: Nashville’s Mayor’s Office Nashville and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: City of New Orleans’ Mayor’s Neighborhood Engagement Office
Awardees: Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and International Rescue Committee (IRC) Phoenix
Awardees: Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative, City of Pittsburgh, The Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh, and Allegheny County
Awardees: Salt Lake County and Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
Awardees: City of San Jose’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, San Jose City College
Awardees: City of Buffalo Office of New Americans, International Institute of Buffalo, Economic Inclusion at CenterState CEO