The mission of the St. Louis Regional Chamber is to “inspire a greater St. Louis.” That means making the metro area even more attractive to a workforce that can help local businesses create jobs and grow the economy. The area’s burgeoning immigrant and refugee community — hailing from Bosnia, Mexico, India, China and beyond — is one of the most important assets in achieving this mission.
Whether they attend one of St. Louis’ many world-class universities, or own a small business like FroYo, a frozen yogurt business founded by Malaysian entrepreneur Jason Jan, every immigrant family calling the metro home makes it stronger. They contribute to much-needed population growth while reinvigorating the local economy and adding valuable cultural diversity to the community.
Cities are catching on to this fact — and the competition for foreign-born talent is heating up across the country. That’s why the bipartisan group New American Economy teams up with mayors’ offices and chambers of commerce to quantify the economic contributions of immigrant communities and develop strategies to attract, welcome and integrate these newcomers. In fact, 25 communities received awards through the Gateways for Growth Challenge, which New American Economy and Welcoming America co-run to foster a greater public-private commitment to immigrant integration.
Read the full story from St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Dreaming of a greater St. Louis”