Northwest Arkansas is a region that has seen continuous growth over the years. This growth has been seen in the business community, nonprofit community, education systems, and in the region’s population. This success has resulted in the recognition of our region for its business friendliness, its fast growing diversity, its philanthropic spirit, and its top performing education system, among others. The direct implication of this success to our region is the continued relocation of newcomers to communities throughout Benton and Washington Counties. In fact, a recent estimate provided by the NWA Council indicated that more than 30 new residents relocate to NWA every day. This continued growth has transformed our regional community into a community of global talent; however, we have learned that not all of our residents are integrated and engaged.
The problem of the lack of integration and engagement of many newcomers in NWA has manifested itself through different disenfranchising experiences for each of the aforementioned subgroups, but the consequences for our regional community and for the three subgroups have been the same. Specifically, we have not retained many of our newcomers and for those that we have retained, we have not been successful in helping them establish roots and in engaging them in the forward progress of our regional community.