Gateways For Growth
Immigrants Get the Job Done

The Northern Nevada International Center, a nonprofit global diplomacy, language-bank resource and resettlement agency along with the city of Reno joined the fourth cohort of the Gateways for Growth initiative. NNIC was chosen as an awardee for research support from New American Economy which includes customized quantitative reports covering various data points on the immigrant population impact in the community in Reno/Washoe County, including demographics, education levels, housing, businesses owned and other socioeconomic indicators such as taxes.


Local communities across the country have long seen the positive effects of a growing immigrant population. An influx in newcomers has driven population growth, revitalized neighborhoods, spurred innovation, and enriched communities with cultural diversity. In the face of this, many local governments, chambers of commerce, and nonprofits have been thinking more proactively about how to create an environment sending messages of inclusion and social cohesion, maximizing the contributions of all residents, and giving community members the tools needed to thrive together.

To support and scale these pursuits, in 2016 New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America (WA) launched the Gateways for Growth Challenge (G4G), a competitive opportunity for public and private sector organizations to jointly apply for up to three tiers of support to facilitate local immigrant integration and inclusion:

  • Customized economic research reports on local immigrant contributions
  • Tailored technical assistance to create an immigrant welcoming plan
  • Planning grants to fund welcoming plan efforts

Immigrants Get the Job Done data reveal event

NNIC welcomed attendees to the Lilley Museum at the University of Nevada, Reno, on Friday, September 17, from 6-8 p.m. where they disseminated data from the New American Economy's research report on Reno/Washoe County and highlighted the immigrant contributions in Northern Nevada. The Lilley Museum's current exhibition, En Medio|Senses of Migration, visually highlighted the immigrant contributions.

For a detailed copy of the report, please visit the New American Economy Research Fund.

Washoe County's immigrant data from the Gateways for Growth study was recently featured in an article for the Reno Gazette Journal and in the Nevada Independent.

Key data points about Washoe County

Data year 2021

Immigrant residents


Immigrant share of population


Immigrant taxes paid

$446.9 million

Immigrant spending power

$1.5 billion

Immigrant entrepreneurs


Immigrant share ranking

171 of 435

Taxes and spending power

Nationally, immigrants earned $1.7 trillion in 2019 and contributed $162 billion in state and local taxes and nearly $331 billion in federal taxes. This left them with almost $1.3 trillion in spending power. Immigrants play an important role contributing to local economies both as consumers and taxpayers.

Home ownership

Immigrant families have long played an important role helping to build housing wealth in the United States. In recent decades, the more than 40 million immigrants collectively in the country increased U.S. housing wealth by $4.4 trillion. Much of this was possible because immigrants moved into neighborhoods once in decline, helping to revitalize local communities and make them more attractive to U.S.-born residents.

Top industries in Washoe County with highest share of foreign-born workers

Share of immigrants by percent of industry workforce


Share of foreign-born workers







Retail trade


Wholesale trade


About New American Economy (NAE)

New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization founded to educate, empower, and support policymakers, influencers, and citizens across the country that see the economic and social benefits of a smart approach to immigration reform. NAE has created a coalition of civic, business, and cultural leaders who span the political spectrum and represent all 50 states. NAE makes the case for smart immigration reform in four ways:

Visit the New American Economy website to learn more.

About Welcoming America (WA)

Welcoming America leads a movement of inclusive communities across the world that are becoming more prosperous by making everyone who lives there feel like they belong. Through a membership network of 200+ local governments and nonprofits, Welcoming America connects and supports place-based initiatives that work to reduce divisions and support greater civic, social, and economic participation among new and longtime residents alike. Through the Welcoming Network, participating members access peer learning opportunities, technical assistance, tools, and training to help transform their communities into more welcoming places.

Visit Welcoming America's website to learn more.

About En Medio | Senses of Migrations Event

The exhibits EN MEDIO | Senses of Migrations will attempt to stimulate dialogue, raise consciousness about issues related to the act of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border through all the facets of art. The exhibition includes artists from all over the world that explore the theme of this show through music, photography, painting, video and performance art. This exhibit will be on display from July 9, 2021 until January 15, 2022 at the Lilley Museum of Art located at the University of Nevada, Reno.