A year long study just out from CenterState CEO and New American Economy shows the impact immigrants and refugees are having on the Syracuse area economy.
In 2014, foreign-born residents in Syracuse contributed nearly $2 billion to the metro area’s GDP.
Dominic Robinson, Vice President of Economic Inclusion at CenterState CEO, says, “I think that there’s an image of immigrants and refugees sometimes as takers.”
The report found that, in 2014, this population contributed $89.2-million to Social Security and $22.4-million to Medicare.
It says immigrants living in Metro Syracuse have helped companies fill their workforce needs and keep jobs in the U.S., creating or preserving 1,877 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.
Robinson says the report can help CenterState CEO harness even more of their talents and skills.
“We need to take the Iraqi doctors in our community, the Cuban doctors in our community and train them up again, get them better English and help them participate in our workforce because right now we don’t have enough people with those skills and yet they’re sitting there, right,” Robinson says is just one example.
The report also points out the impact immigrants are having on local neighborhoods, which for decades had been losing population.
Between 2000 and 2014, however, this trend reversed to a 1.8% increase in the overall population thanks to a 42.5% growth in the foreign-born population.
Robinson tells NewsChannel 9, “So what we’re seeing is a stabilizing effect. And over time what we’re seeing is communities getting settled becoming part of the fabric of a neighborhood, becoming upwardly mobile.”