The Welcoming Economies (WE) Global Network is a regional Network of immigrant economic development organizations working in cities and regions across the Midwest. The Network is designed to strengthen the work, maximize the impact, and sustain the efforts of individual local initiatives across the region that welcome, retain, and empower immigrant communities as valued contributors to local economies. The Network, a project of Welcoming America in partnership with Global Detroit, is comprised of over a dozen regional economic development initiatives from across the Midwest working to tap into the economic development opportunities created by immigrants.

Members of the Network benefit from peer-to-peer learning exchanges, increased publicity, policy and research tools developed for immigrant economic development organizations, access to technical assistance, and other capacity building resources.

Geographic Footprint

The Network is made up of local organizations that operate in a 10-state region including:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin

Member Characteristics

The value of the Network for members has stemmed, in large part, from the unique shared experience of the cities, regions, and organizations comprising the network. The following characteristics are shared by many of the metro regions in this 10-state region and help unite organizations of the Network:

  • Declining or slow growth populations with rapidly aging cohorts
  • Local populations with a rate of foreign-born below the national average
  • Economies that were 20th Century industrial economic powerhouses and are no longer growing at the same rate as the nation’s leading areas of growth
  • Foreign-born populations with higher college attainment rate than local native-born populations, as well as the national average for foreign born
  • Foreign-born populations with higher entrepreneurship rates than the local native-born population
  • Proximate to great research universities and institutions, as well as global leading corporations with a historic presence

Member Categories

The WE Global Network invites governments, nonprofits, and economic development organizations that welcome, retain, and empower immigrant communities in the 10-state region to join the Network.

The WE Global Network has three membership categories. To learn more about membership options and how to apply, visit Join the Network.