The International Center of Greater Flint (ICGF) and the City of Flint win the Gateways for Growth Challenge


New York, NY — New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America have selected the City of Flint to receive a Gateways for Growth award in the third year of the initiative. Launched in December 2015, the Gateways for Growth Challenge is a competitive opportunity for local communities to receive tailored research, direct technical assistance, and matching grants from New American Economy and Welcoming America to develop concrete strategies to integrate immigrants, foster economic growth, and promote inclusion for all residents. This year’s awardees, alongside the City of Flint include:


Bowling Green, Kentucky
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Charlotte, North Carolina

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Lexington, Kentucky

Lowell, Massachusetts

Memphis, Tennessee

Northern Kentucky

Roanoke, Virginia
San Antonio, Texas

Toledo-Lucas County, Ohio

Wayne County, Michigan


The new Gateways for Growth cohort demonstrate a commitment to develop concrete strategies that ensure all residents have access to the tools and support they need to succeed and contribute to their communities, and to highlight the contributions immigrants are already making locally. As of 2017, approximately 2000 immigrants lived in the City of Flint, according to US Census Bureau data.


Awardees receive a combination of research, technical assistance, and matching grants from New American Economy 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.

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

“Welcoming America is delighted to be working with a growing number of local leaders like these that are fueling a movement of inclusion, recognizing that communities are more cohesive and more prosperous when everyone who lives there feels like they belong. G4G is an important opportunity for local governments, business, and civil society to come together to develop the plans, programs, and policies to promote a welcoming home for all,” said Rachel Peric, Executive Director of Welcoming America.


“The City of Flint is pleased to partner with the International Center of Greater Flint on this important initiative, Gateways for Growth. ICGF has taken the lead in our community to ensure that Flint is an inclusive and welcoming city for all people. Flint is one of three communities in the State of Michigan to receive this award. New Americans are a vital component of Flint’s rebirth, and revitalization. We look forward to the strategies and ideas that will come from this exciting initiative, to help move Flint forward,” said Mayor Karen Weaver, City of Flint.


This year, the Gateways for Growth Challenge will again offer resources to communities that demonstrate a public-private commitment to the development of a community-wide strategic plan for immigrant integration. Those resources include:

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

“The International Center of Greater Flint is pleased to have the support of the City of Flint, to fulfill our mission, which is to Celebrate and Promote diversity, because it strengthens our community,” said Adil Mohammed, ICGF Board President. “ICGF strives to make Flint a VIBRANT, and WELCOMING global community and to increase the prosperity of the region by encouraging, building and sustaining strong multicultural relationships,” said Phyllis Sykes, Executive Director, ICGF.