The International Institute of Akron, along with the city and Summit County, submitted a proposal in February.
Other partners in this effort include Global Ties Akron and ASIA Inc. Gateways for Growth is a matching grant in support of the development of multi-sector plans for welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into the local community.
More and more communities across the United States are being shaped by immigration, seeing demographics shift with new populations that have revitalized neighborhoods, added vitality to business corridors, enriched communities with cultural diversity,and increased the tax base.
With these changes have come both opportunities and challenges. In the face of this, the community of Akron and Summit County have begun to think proactively about how to formulate policies and initiatives that maximize the contributions of all residents and helps New Americans thrive and succeed.
A working group, co-chaired by Executive Russ Pry and Mayor Dan Horrigan, will be convened within the next month to begin the planning process.
“The Gateway to Growth Challenge is a unique opportunity for the county to partner with many important local agencies to create multi-sector programing for our immigrant and refugee populations,” said County Executive Russ Pry. “Our community has always welcomed new cultures, along with their businesses, community involvement and rich traditions.”
“The city of Akron is proud to be a part of an initiative that infuses vitality, job creation and growth into the city by providing opportunities for our newest citizens. Akron is recognized and viewed as a welcoming city. This grant will further support our commitment to maintain this recognition,” said Horrigan.
“Having the support and leadership of Mayor Horrigan and Executive Pry, along with our partners, is really critical to the success of this endeavor,” said Elaine Woloshyn, executive director of the International Institute. “We are excited for the work ahead, and look forward to hearing from all parts of the community as the process begins.”
The International Institute of Akron will receive $12,500 from Gateways for Growth. Matching funds have generously been committed from the city of Akron, Summit County, Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation and Akron Community Foundation.
The Gateways for Growth Challenge is a project of the Partnership for a New American Economy Research Fund (PNAE) and Welcoming America.