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Community Development

Boosting Economic Development in St. Louis: A Workshop on Immigrant Entrepreneurship and Skilled Labor

8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. | Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 - St. Louis

Did you know that:

  • The St. Louis foreign-born community is 3 times more likely to be highly skilled?
  • St. Louis foreign-born residents are 44% more likely to have at least a college education?
  • St. Louis foreign-born residents are 60% more likely to be entrepreneurs?

Across the United States, cities are beginning to capitalize on a growing consensus that embracing immigrants is beneficial to the country as a whole and to the economy specifically. A June 2011 Brookings Institution report concluded, "U.S. global competitiveness rests on the ability of immigrants and their children to thrive economically and to contribute to the nation's productivity." In 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote that research shows "immigrants significantly benefit the U.S. economy."

More and more cities in Middle America have revisited their policies in an effort to become more welcoming to immigrants. It's not simply out of a sense of good will; many leaders view these policy changes as economic development tools.

This program will outline the benefits that immigrant entrepreneurs and highly skilled immigrants bring to communities and explain why the future of a city's growth and economic vibrancy is tied to the economic success of its immigrant population.

Featured speakers include:

  • Betsy Cohen, project director of the St. Louis Mosaic Project, who will provide an overview of the initiative's goal to make St. Louis the fastest-growing U.S. metropolitan area for immigration growth by 2020.
  • Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, director of outreach and program evaluation at the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, who will lead an interactive and hands-on session for economic and community developers to learn how they can boost the success of both immigrant and American-born small-business owners. From corridor managers and executive directors, to chambers of commerce and business associations, this session will offer a range of practical ideas.
  • Tadd Wamester, manager of Strategic Initiatives at Upwardly Global, who will share best practices on serving skilled immigrant job seekers, explain how to leverage volunteers and mentors within the process, and provide strategies for engaging employers within your program. This interactive session will include case studies and will engage participants in brainstorming new techniques for immigrant integration that can be incorporated into their existing programs.

This event is free; however, registration is required by Friday, Nov. 8, as space is limited. Continental breakfast will be provided.

Presented by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

To help create a more relevant and engaging experience, be sure to complete the brief questionnaire from the link in your confirmation e-mail after you register.