New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America selected Mercer County to receive a Gateways for Growth (G4G) Research Award as part of the fourth cohort of the initiative.
Launched in 2016, G4G is a competitive opportunity for localities to receive research support and/or technical assistance from NAE and Welcoming America to disseminate reliable information about immigration and improve immigrant inclusion in their communities.
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, according to a prepared statement. In Mercer County, municipalities like Princeton have shown exceptional leadership in developing policies and programs to facilitate immigrant inclusion, according to the statement. As the country looks to rebuild and set a more inclusive path forward nationally, Mercer County, as part of the G4G 2020 cohort, will lay the groundwork and build the infrastructure for economic, civic, and social inclusion at the local level.
Reflecting on the importance of the Gateways grant, Nicholas V. Montalto, coordinator of the New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition, said, “Immigration is like the air we breathe. It sustains and lifts our economy in ways that people may not fully realize. The research of New American Economy will bring this connection into clearer focus.” Since 2000, the immigrant population of Mercer County has grown by 50 percent, ten times faster than the general population. The two largest immigrant groups in the County are Guatemalans and Asian Indians.
“We are thrilled to see the Gateways for Growth Challenge expand to another set of localities that reflect the diversity of our nation,” said Christina Pope, Senior 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 growth,” Mo Kantner, director of State and Local Initiatives at NAE, according to the statement. “We’re excited to see how these communities can use data and technical assistance to support their work to ensure that all residents are welcome and have pathways to success.”
As in previous years, G4G awardees will receive a combination of:
● 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.
Year-round, NAE and Welcoming America maintain an interactive map at gatewaysforgrowth.org that serves as a clearinghouse for the successes of all current and prior G4G awardees.