Community Integration

A group of concerned citizens made a presentation to the Town Council and County Commission in July 2007 regarding immigrant integration in our community, asserting that a focus on integration will help our community be more harmonious, stronger and more vibrant. The group presented a Latino Fact Sheet that included data about our local Latino community, but expressed a desire to fill in some of the gaps. The group, called the Community Integration Team, felt the greatest need was for some concrete data regarding the economic impacts of all immigrants in our community.
In October of that year, the Council and Commission directed the University of Wyoming to develop and carry out a study of the Economic Impacts of Immigrant Workers in Teton County, Wyoming. The results were presented in April 2009; some of the key study findings include:

* Immigrant workers accounted for $355.5 million of the total $332 billion industry output in Teton County in 2007

* Immigrant workers accounted for close to $131 million, or 13%, of total labor earnings in Teton County in 2007

* Immigrant households spent $92 million in Teton County in 2007, 80% of their income after taxes

As the next step towards greater community integration, the Community Integration Team then proposed an attitude survey to assess local perceptions about immigrant integration, because such a survey would direct subsequent efforts to build a more integrated Jackson Hole community. The Town Council and County Commission endorsed the survey, and volunteers at Smith’s, Albertsons, Jackson Whole Grocer, K-Mart and the Teton County Library carried it out on a Saturday in November 2009. Over 1,100 people participated in the written survey by responding to five short questions. Three quarters of the survey respondents live in Teton County, Wyoming, and less than 20% were born outside of the United States. The Community Attitude Survey results show:

* Most respondents (53%) identify themselves as “pro-immmigrant integration”

* 13% of respondents identify themselves as “anti-immigrant integration”

 * 32% of respondents believe the Jackson Hole community is “well integrated”

* 57% stated that are concerned/interested in immigration integration and support more integration efforts

As of May 2010, the Community Integration Team is engaged in disseminating this information to the Jackson Hole Community. Please contact Councilwoman Melissa Turley  for further information regarding the Town of Jackson and Teton County’s community integration efforts, (307) 733-3932x1004.