Working Cities ‘works’ in Chelsea, Holyoke, Fitchburg, and Lawrence Working Cities ‘works’ in Chelsea, Holyoke, Fitchburg, and Lawrence

After four years participating in the initiative, cities see progress and momentum After four years participating in the initiative, cities see progress and momentum

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September 12, 2018

In 2013, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston took findings from research that studied why some small and mid-sized former industrial cities were economically faring better than others—and lifted off the page into action with the pilot round of the Working Cities Challenge in Massachusetts.

The Fed found when leaders across sectors (public, private, and nonprofits) worked together, problems could be identified and addressed for long-term, systemic change—and ultimately economic vitality.

Fast forward four years and Chelsea, Holyoke, Fitchburg, and Lawrence—the cities that participated in the inaugural round of the Working Cities Challenge—are making significant progress toward improving the lives of residents in their communities.

The Boston Fed partnered with the independent evaluation firm Mt. Auburn Associates to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Massachusetts program and the cities’ efforts.

 

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Chelsea Chelsea

The Chelsea Thrives team created an evidence-based, cross-sector crime prevention effort to identify and serve families with acute risk of crime, resulting in a successful pilot with over 205 families receiving intervention. The effort saw crime figures decrease in the target neighborhood and at the city-level. 

 

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Fitchburg Fitchburg

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Holyoke Holyoke

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Lawrence Lawrence

The Lawrence Working Families Initiative (LWFI) is a two-generation effort that coalesced regional employers, service providers, and the public school system to transform the local workforce supports for parents of students, connecting over 200 individuals to higher-paying jobs and introducing nearly 650 families to wrap-around services to help their children thrive.
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