Welcoming America, a national grassroots-driven collaborative, works to promote mutual respect and cooperation in communities to help immigrants integrate into the social fabric of their adopted hometowns, and has also been recognized as a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action.
“Austin’s immigrant population is a key driver of our economic prosperity and an asset to our entire community,” said Natalie Betts, the City of Austin’s Acting International Economic Development Program Manager. “It is imperative for our continued success that new immigrants feel welcome and at home in Austin, and I’m thrilled to be joining this national initiative to learn new welcoming strategies from other communities.”
Welcoming Cities and Counties affiliates will share promising practices with each other and serve as a model to help communities across the nation learn from their local level innovations that support economic development and create vibrant global communities that are great places to live, work and do business.
Welcoming Cities and Counties Affiliates include:
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
High Point, North Carolina
Macomb County, Michigan
Montgomery County, Maryland
St. Louis, Missouri (city)
St. Louis, Missouri (county)
The City’s International Economic Development Program within the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office hosts the International Welcome Program. These quarterly orientation sessions serve as information and resource fairs, and convene representatives from City agencies and community partners to provide valuable information to new residents. Information on everything from how to connect utilities, or start a business to access City resources such as libraries is shared.
The Program also offers a Welcome Ambassadors service which matches international newcomers with local volunteers who familiarize newcomers with Austin and act as their point of contact for questions about life in the United States and Austin. In partnership with GlobalAustin, the program also developed an online portal for all things international in Austin, www.internationalaustin.org, which will soon include a robust online Newcomer’s Guide.
City of Austin International Economic Development Program
The City of Austin International Economic Development Program is housed within the Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Office and is dedicated to promoting Austin’s position in the global marketplace to create a sustainable cultural and economic environment for the community that enhances the livability and economic vitality of Austin.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701