Indy Doubling Down on Immigrant Efforts
The Immigrant Welcome Center is partnering with the city on a new strategy designed to help immigrants, a population a new study suggests has a $9.2 billion impact on the greater Indianapolis area's Gross Domestic Product.The "Beyond Welcome" plan includes creating an Office For International and Immigrant Affairs and language and cultural training for agencies that serve immigrants. The New American Economy study counts more than 7,200 immigrant entrepreneurs in the region as of 2014, earning more than $136 million in business income.
The center says the overall goal of the strategy is extending access and opportunity for the growing number of immigrants coming to the greater Indianapolis area. The report suggests immigrants account for 6.3 percent of the Indianapolis metropolitan area's total population, and accounted for 24 percent of the area's overall growth between 2009-2014.
The new strategy calls for the creation of a multi-ethnic taskforce and economic development liaison to serve immigrant communities as well as a "Welcome to Indianapolis" campaign. In addition, the plan recommends increased access to English as a Second Language classes for immigrants and training in Spanish and other languages for agencies serving that population.
The New Americans in Indianapolis report shows, in addition to strengthening the city's entrepreneurship climate, immigrants helped create or preserve 5,40 local manufacturing jobs that may have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere in part due to workforce availability.
You can see the study by clicking here and connect to the immigration strategic plan by clicking here.