Lowell, MA – Immigrant households earned nearly $1.5 billion and contributed $402 million in taxes in 2017, according to new research by New American Economy (NAE) in partnership with the Lowell Refugee and Immigrant Support and Engagement (RISE) Coalition and the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce. The report also finds that immigrants helped revitalize the city — they were responsible for almost 90 percent of the area’s population growth between 2012 and 2017. In addition to their financial contributions, like the $83.9 million to Social Security and $20 million to Medicare that immigrants contributed in 2017, the report shows how important immigrants are for Lowell’s economy and workforce. Immigrants play a major role in Lowell’s key industries that are vital to the economic stability of Lowell, representing 44.4 percent of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workers, 47 percent of construction workers, and 32.7 percent of healthcare workers.
The full report will be released at a press conference hosted by the Lowell TeleMedia Center (LTC) at 246 Market Street on Wednesday July 10 at 1:00 PM. The conference will feature remarks by Sovanna Pouv, Executive Director of the Cambodian Assistance Association, Emma Tobin, Managing Director and Director of Research Initiatives and Impact Assessment at the International Institute of New England, and Christian Ko, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the International Institute of New England. This event comes as the RISE Coalition brings together leaders across sectors to develop a strategic plan to ensure that Lowell welcomes and harnesses the potential of all residents. Lowell was one of 14 communities selected nationally for the 2019 Gateways for Growth award to receive research from New American Economy (NAE) and technical assistance from NAE and Welcoming America to support this work.
“The Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a partner in Gateways for Growth here in Lowell! Immigration plays a huge role in Lowell’s story and it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase and celebrate a city built on the American Dream,” said Danielle McFadden, President and CEO, Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce.
“Lowell is joining a growing group of cities and counties that recognize immigration is key to economic success, despite inaction in Washington,” said Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “By understanding the value this population brings for all, Lowell is strengthening itself for the future.”
“Immigration is a critical component of Lowell’s identity. My organization, the International Institute of New England, has been welcoming immigrants to Lowell for over 100 years and the same things were true at our founding that are true today: Lowell’s community and economy would be unrecognizable without the contributions of immigrants,” said Emma Tobin, Lowell Managing Director and Director of Research Initiatives and Impact Assessment, International Institute of New England. “Gateways for Growth is an opportunity to bring together diverse community members and think strategically about how to ensure that everyone’s contributions are recognized and celebrated and that everyone has an opportunity to succeed in the City of Lowell.”
“As the son of Taiwanese immigrants to Guatemala, and an immigrant myself to the United States, I believe that people like me have a responsibility to ensure that everyone arriving in this community, including immigrants, is empowered to pursue their goals,” said Chris Ko, Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Specialist, International Institute of New England. The research produced under Gateways for Growth confirms definitively that immigrants contribute to the City of Lowell and its economy.”
Read the full research brief here.