Welcoming Week in Cedar Rapids September 11-20

Jul 30, 2020

Making Cedar Rapids more attractive to international talent expands economic opportunity for all. Making sure that our economy continues to work for residents and maintains a high quality of life for all members of our community.

Cedar Rapids was one of 14 communities selected nationally for the 2019 Gateways for Growth award to receive research and technical assistance from New American Economy and Welcoming America. The City of Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the Catherine McAuley Center, the Intercultural Center of Iowa, and YPN worked together for apply for the Gateways for Growth award.

The Welcoming Cedar Rapids Action Plan was created to ensure that foreign-born residents have the education, preparation and connections necessary to reach their ultimate potential here in Cedar Rapids. Immigrants have played a key role in the economy of Cedar Rapids, both founding and supporting some of our most important local businesses. Making sure our economy continues to work for everyone will maintain a great quality of life for all members of the community.

The Welcoming Cedar Rapids Action Plan outlines three primary focus areas:

  • Creating a Welcoming Community – Cedar Rapids will become a destination of choice for international talent. Immigrants will feel welcomed, and immigration will be understood as a source of cultural and economic strength.
  • Strengthening Workforce and Education – Education will continue to be responsive to the needs of immigrants and the business sector to address workforce challenges and ensure long-term solutions for the supply of qualified workers.
  • Supporting Business Development and Entrepreneurship – A comprehensive continuum of support will exist to support immigrant entrepreneurs.
  • The Economic Alliance will lead Welcoming Week in Cedar Rapids, September 11-20, with resources and events. Residents and immigrants can come together in the spirit of unity with virtual events that will create stronger communities, meaningful connections and and benefit our economic growth. City, Business, Educational and Human Service Resources specifically for immigrants are already available in anticipation of the week at the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s website, www.crlibrary.org/welcome-resources.

While COVID-19 has halted the progress on some in-person activities planned for the week, a Welcoming Week committee is working towards what can be done in the virtual space. Welcoming Week demonstrates that in places large and small, people of all backgrounds can come together and create stronger communities by building meaningful connections and affirming the benefits of being welcoming to everyone. For more information about Welcoming Week, visit


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