The Welcoming Economies Program is an opportunity for members and their partners to access support from Welcoming America and Global Detroit to advance economic inclusion for immigrants and contribute to local economic development. Many cities, counties, and regions have comprehensive economic development plans in place. Such plans vary as to what extent they include and capitalize on the economic development opportunities immigrants bring. In 2021, the Welcoming Economies Program will help local leaders include immigrants in the implementation of local economic development (or economic inclusion) plans and strategies that focus on entrepreneurship and housing. 

Through a peer learning community, tailored coaching and technical assistance, direct access to subject area experts, and some funding, leaders will receive support to advance local policies, programs, partnerships, and practices that include immigrants as part of their local or regional economic strategy. Participants will receive a total of 9 hours of hands-on technical assistance and coaching, two virtual training sessions with subject area experts on immigrant economic inclusion strategies, four virtual peer learning opportunities, and a $5,000 stipend to support ongoing efforts.

Participants will learn about practical strategies to include immigrants in economic development plans, while also having the opportunity to work with a coach for accountability, guidance and referrals to research and promising practices, as well as with a peer community of other participants. Participants will use these resources and tools to contribute meaningfully to a more inclusive local economy. 

Who is qualified to participate?

Participants are selected in a competitive application process. Applicants who are setting goals in the areas of housing and small business support for immigrants & refugees will be prioritized.

Appropriate applicants are: 
  • A Welcoming America member (local nonprofit or local government) in good standing at the time of application and throughout the Program.
  • A member that is the project lead on a local/regional economic development plan or submit a joint application with a local organization that is the project lead on such a plan. The project lead may be a local nonprofit (including chamber or economic development entity) or local government. 
    • In the case of a joint application, the member and partner may be different organizations or may be divisions of the same organization - for example, a city Office of Immigrant Affairs could jointly apply with their city Office of Economic Development.
    • In the case of a joint application, members will be asked to submit a letter of support from the organizational partner noting the partner’s full participation in the Program.
  • In a position of leadership and decision-making authority related to economic development strategies, with the capacity and ability to execute strategies on behalf of their organization.
  • Committed to achieving equity across race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and other aspects of identity.
If submitting a joint application, please email a letter of support from the organizational partner to proposals@welcomingamerica.org.

Questions? Contact proposals@welcomingamerica.org.