Contact: Dawn Berney, Executive Director
(608)442-4081 or (608)345-2833 (cell)
address:[email protected]

Madison, Wisconsin —New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America announced this week that Dane County, Wisconsin will be one of the 25 communities to receive a Gateways for Growth award in the second year of the initiative. Launched in December 2015, the Gateways for Growth Challenge is a competitive opportunity for local communities to receive direct technical assistance from New American Economy and Welcoming America to develop multi-sector plans for welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees.

Jewish Social Service of Madison, a LOCAL social services and refugee resettlement agency, in partnership with the national organization HIAS  will use the opportunity to help build on the increasing demand from local government, business, and civic leaders who aim to develop concrete strategies and foster economic growth by integrating immigrants and refugees.

“Diversity of cultures and ideas directly affect our viability as an economic leader,” saidJewish Social Services of Madison Executive Director Dawn Berney. “The quantitative research and technical assistance provided by NAE and Welcoming America will go a long way toward allowing Dane County to continue its strong economic growth.  We are very concerned about the anti-immigrant sentiment in the current political climate. Particularly we are dismayed by the travel ban on refugees and the rescinding of DACA and will use these data to show how important immigrants are to our local economy. We are honored to be partnering on this important initiative with HIAS, the City of Madison, Dane County, the United Way of Dane County, and the many other organizations within our county who interact with immigrants.”
The Gateways for Growth Challenge will offer 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 that local partners have committed to match.

Following a rigorous application process, 25 communities were selected, including the following:

Alexandria, VA
Austin, MN
Boise, ID/Ada County, ID
Bowling Green, KY
Champaign-Urbana, IL
Chicago, IL
Corpus Christi, TX
Dallas, TX
Dane County, WI
Des Moines, IA
Fort Wayne, IN
Grand Forks, ND
Grand Rapids, MI
Harrisonburg, VA/Rockingham     County, VA
Lancaster, PA
Little Rock, AR
Long Beach, CA
Memphis, TN
Missoula, MT
Northwest Arkansas
Portland, ME
San Diego, CA
Siouxland, IA/NE/SD
South Bend, IN

Tulsa, OK

About Jewish Social Services: Jewish Social Services is a non-profit organization working with Dane County residents to help them with their basic needs. Since its inception in 1978, the organization is dedicated to providing short-term advocacy, long-term case management, and immigration services including refugee resettlement. JSS serves people of all ages and backgrounds. To learn more visit or call (608)442-4081.

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