The City of Charlotte Just Won The Gateway For Growth Award


The Queen City has just been picked by the New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America to receive the prestigious ‘Gateways for Growth’ award.

The award gives cities a wide range of resources to assist in developing strategies to integrate immigrants, foster economic growth, and promote inclusion for all residents.

Charlotte is one of 13 cities across the country to receive the award, including;

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

Awardees will receive a combination of research, technical assistance, and matching grants from NAE and Welcoming America to support the development of welcoming strategies. Gateways for Growth (G4G) also serves as a network in which local communities can learn from each other and share best practices.

According to the most recent US Census, there are approximately 130,000 immigrants currently living in Charlotte.

“The facts prove it—cities that embrace immigration as a growth strategy reap the benefits,” commented NAE’s president John Feinblatt. “The Gateways for Growth Challenge spurs more local leaders to step up and make immigration a centerpiece of their economic agenda.”

Some of this year’s resources given to winning cities include;

  • Customized quantitative research reports from NAE on the demographic and economic contributions immigrants make in 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.
  • Planning grants from NAE and Welcoming America that local partners have committed to match.

“Over the past two decades, Charlotte has experienced a significant demographic transformation,” said Federico Rios, City of Charlotte’s International & Integration Manager. “In 1990, foreign-born residents made up less than two percent of Charlotte. The American Community Survey states that now over 16 percent of Charlotte’s population are foreign-born. This grant is a wonderful opportunity to enhance our integration efforts with our receiving community. By working on a neighborhood level, we can introduce our native born and newcomer neighbors, and unite them in a shared desire to improve our community’s economic mobility.”

The City of Charlotte now plans on utilizing the new resources to research the economic impact of immigrants in Charlotte and work with local partner organizations to increase outreach efforts toward economic mobility.