Indianapolis Selected for Gateways for Growth Challenge

Twenty U.S. cities chosen for program created by
Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) and Welcoming America

INDIANAPOLIS — The Partnership for a New American Economy Research Fund (PNAE) and Welcoming America selected Indianapolis to take part in their Gateways for Growth Challenge, a program that supports the development and implementation of multi-sector strategic plans for welcoming and integrating new Americans. The Immigrant Welcome Center submitted the application for the challenge and will serve as the lead organization for this initiative locally.

Indianapolis was one of 20 cities chosen for this unique program. “These communities are leaders in the broader and growing trend to be more inclusive, countering the narrative often heard in the mainstream news,” says David Lubell, executive director of Welcoming America.

PNAE and Welcoming America will provide the Immigrant Welcome Center with:

● Customized quantitative research reports on the contributions immigrants make to the local economy.
● On-the-ground, technical assistance to help the Immigrant Welcome Center draft, execute, and communicate a multi-sector immigrant integration strategy.

The Immigrant Welcome Center’s 100-member Welcoming Cities Task Force is working to address ways to make Indianapolis a more immigrant-friendly city. Terri Morris Downs, executive director of the Immigrant Welcome Center says, “The support and expertise offered through the Gateways for Growth Challenge will help our Task Force craft recommendations for a citywide immigrant integration plan that will offer practical solutions for creating a city that welcomes and supports all residents.”

For more information about the Gateways for Growth Challenge and a complete list of cities selected for the program, visit http://www.renewoureconomy.org.

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About the Immigrant Welcome Center
The Immigrant Welcome Center began community outreach in 2007 through its Natural Helpers program, which has expanded to include 96 volunteers representing 32 countries and speaking 46 languages. Natural Helpers are immigrants themselves who live and work in the communities they serve. They are a trained, dedicated group of bilingual volunteers who connect newcomers to a variety of community organizations that can provide information and referral for assistance with transportation, health care, employment and job training, education, legal issues, ESL classes, and more.

In addition to the Natural Helpers program, the Immigrant Welcome Center serves as a resource for community programs by collecting information about immigrant needs and how to best meet them, as well as by coordinating interagency services and addressing barriers to access.

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