Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Sparking Change in New England’s Smaller Cities: Lessons from Early Rounds of the Working Cities Challenge

September 12, 2017

The Boston Fed developed the Working Cities Challenge (WCC) to advance leadership and collaboration in New England’s smaller, postindustrial places. The Boston Fed, in partnership with a team of private-, public-, and philanthropic-sector leaders, offered competitive grants of up to $700,000 to teams from smaller cities in Massachusetts that committed to working collaboratively across sectors on initiatives that would improve outcomes for low-income residents. This essay examines four key lessons learned from the Working Cities Challenge process to date, along with the ongoing questions the team is focused on as the initiative moves into new states and further funding rounds.

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