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A Cultural Mosaic takes shape in St. Louis

The St. Louis Mosaic Project was created to attract more people to the St. Louis area like University of Missouri–St. Louis alumnus Jason Jan, BSBA 1999. The native Malaysian ultimately stayed in St. Louis where he launched the frozen yogurt store and brand FroYo. 

“I got my bachelor’s in finance from UMSL. I met my wife in St. Louis,” Jan told the St. Louis Beacon. “It has a good quality of life, good school districts, reasonable cost of living. I can tell you that I love St. Louis. It’s a great place to start a family, great place to start a business.”

The goal for the St. Louis Mosaic Project, which kicked off last week at the Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., is to increase the number of St. Louis-area foreign-born residents in an effort to enhance the region’s economy. In fact, project organizers want to make greater St. Louis the fastest growing U.S. metropolitan area for immigration by 2020, according to St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU.

The St. Louis Mosaic Project will be led by a 23-person steering committee that includes Joel Glassman, director of the Office of International Studies and Programs at UMSL, and four UMSL alumni:

• Sue Bhatia, MS management information systems 1990, chief executive officer of Rose International Inc.
• John Nations, BSPA 1985, president and CEO of Metro Bi-State
• Kathy Osborn, BSEd 1970 and MEd 1974, executive director of Regional Business Council
• Vince Schoemehl, BA history 1972, president and CEO of Grand Center Inc.

St. Louis Public Radio reported that many of the plans announced for the St. Louis Mosaic Project are similar to recommendations from a report co-written by Mark Tranel, director of the Public Policy Research Center at UMSL. Titled “Immigration Recommendations for St. Louis Region: How can we Jump-Start Growth?”, the collaborative report was co-written by Jack Strauss of Saint Louis University and Jeremy Caddel of Washington University in St. Louis. 

Read more about St. Louis Mosaic on the St. Louis Public Radio, St. Louis Beacon and St. Louis Mosaic Project websites.