March 12, 2020

Online Conference shared One Region Report and ideas to promote a more welcoming community in Northern Virginia

The Community Foundation's 2020 Shape of the region conference was held as an online conference on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Nearly 300 guests attended virtually to kick-start a big conversation around the large and growing impact of recent immigrants in Northern Virginia.

Below is the full 2-hour conference, and PDF files of the Power Points are available here. Please enjoy and share broadly with our community:

Here are some of the more memorable data points from the One Region Report:

  • Recent immigrants to Northern Virginia contribute $57.7 billion to our local GDP, which is 25% of Northern Virginia’s GDP. As contributing taxpayers, they help fund necessary public programs, education services, and infrastructure project that benefit us all.
  • They hold 195,272 STEM related jobs in our region.
  • In a tight labor market with some of the lowest levels of unemployment in the country, immigrants help fill Northern Virginia workforce gaps in local businesses, farms, and factories, from labor-intensive roles in service industries or construction to highly technical jobs requiring extensive training and years of study.
  • While less than two thirds of the U.S. born population in Northern Virginia is working age (between 16 and 64 years old), more than 4 out of 5 of our immigrants are working age. This means that while immigrants make up 27.4 percent of the overall population, they make up 34.0 percent of the region’s working age population, playing an outsize role among the active and employed workforce.

The population of Northern Virginia is not only growing. It is among the most globally diverse populations in America. The top 5 countries of origin for Northern Virginia immigrants are El Salvador, India, Korea, Vietnam, and Ethiopia. Recent research shows that foreign born immigrants are twice as likely to start a new business than their U.S. born counterparts. In fact, more than 47,000 foreign born immigrant entrepreneurs contribute to our local economy.

Attracting and welcoming immigrants to Northern Virginia always has been and always will be a smart, strategic investment.

The data and frame of ideas shared today will help co-create a more inclusive and welcoming region. Please “like us” on Facebook and retweet our posts about Shape of the Region and the One Region Report. Help spread the good news. Here, too, is a link to the Northern Virginia Regional Commission’s Dashboard on the One Region Report.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors without whom we could not have held this event:
Booz Allen Hamilton – Platinum Sponsor
Bank of America – Bronze Sponsor
Odin Feldman Pittleman – Copper Sponsor
Anthem Healthkeepers, Plus – Copper Sponsor

Thank you to our impressive Presenting Partners, The Asian American Chamber of Commerce, George Mason University, Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Community College, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Northern Virginia Technology Council, and Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. You work hard every day to strengthen the region’s economy and promote the region’s interests, strengths, businesses, students, workforce, and – most of all - inclusive culture.

Thank you to our amazing presenters and speakers – Bernard Mustafa, Harry Klaff, Bob Lazaro, Mo Kantner, Ashley Putnam, Carlos Castro, Ronnie Galvin, Ester Lee, Katie McQuaid, and Christina Winn – who brought the economic case for inclusivity to vivid life with data, stories, perspectives, and passion.

And thank all of you – our conference attendees! We did this for you, and for the extensive networks of family, friends, colleagues and community acquaintances with whom we encourage you to share our learnings.
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