Danbury, East Hartford, Hartford, Middletown, and Waterbury win Boston Fed’s Working Cities Challenge competition Danbury, East Hartford, Hartford, Middletown, and Waterbury win Boston Fed’s  Working Cities Challenge competition

$450,000 per city for proposals designed to bolster economic equality in Connecticut’s smaller cities $450,000 per city for proposals designed to bolster economic equality in Connecticut’s smaller cities

February 6, 2018

Hartford, Conn. – Today Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren, along with Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut’s commissioner for Economic and Community Development Catherine Smith, announced that Danbury, East Hartford, Hartford, Middletown, and Waterbury had won the Reserve Bank’s Working Cities Challenge, a competition for Connecticut communities to improve the lives of low- and moderate-income residents. The program officially launched in Connecticut in 2016 with state, private sector, and not-for-profit support.

The five cities will each receive multiyear grants of $450,000 to support programs designed to bolster economic equality and workforce development in the cities. Danbury seeks to reduce the number of immigrants and people of color who are in poverty by 30 percent within 10 years. East Hartford looks to improve the quality of life in the Silver Lane neighborhood by improving access to workforce development and educational resources. Hartford plans to tackle poverty and workforce education, and seeks to attract and retain employers to the city. Middletown aims to reduce the percentage of single-parent families living at or below the federal poverty level from 35 percent to 20 percent over a ten-year period. Waterbury will address the economic and racial inequalities that have devalued the once-vibrant River Baldwin neighborhood.

“Congratulations to these five cities for putting together proposals designed to address significant needs in their communities,” said Rosengren. “This is just the start of a lot of hard work on behalf of these cities’ residents. I’m looking forward to working with these communities and following their progress over the coming years.”

“Bringing greater vibrancy and opportunities to our cities has been one of the key goals of my administration, and thanks to tremendous partners such as the Boston Fed, we have reason to be hopeful,” said Governor Malloy. “These five Connecticut cities deserve this recognition for their innovative and forward-thinking proposals to spur additional economic development and growth in our communities. We’d like to thank the Boston Fed for supporting this challenge and to all those who participated for their hard work. And we look forward to the tremendous benefits that these projects will bring to our communities in the years to come.”

Rosengren and other Boston Fed officials will tour each of the winning cities on Feb. 6 and 7. The cities will collectively be celebrated at an event with President Rosengren and Commissioner Smith to be held at 3 p.m. at the Old State House in Hartford on Feb. 7.

About the Working Cities Challenge

The Working Cities Challenge, launched in 2013 in Massachusetts, builds on Boston Fed research that identified cross-sector collaboration and leadership as the key ingredients in resurgent smaller cities across the country. The Working Cities Challenge in Connecticut builds upon the success of the initiative in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

In April 2017, ten Connecticut communities received $15,000 design grants to sharpen their proposals. After a six month design phase, the teams submitted implementation award applications to and were interviewed by an independent jury, which selected the winning cities in January 2018.

Funding for the Working Cities Challenge is not provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, but by a collaboration of the state of Connecticut including the Malloy administration, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Living Cities, NeighborWorks America, Avangrid Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals BI Cares Foundation, Eversource Energy, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Travelers Companies, Inc., Webster Bank, Liberty Bank Foundation, Bank of America, Barnes Group Foundation, Hartford HealthCare, Hoffman BMW of Watertown/Hoffman Auto Group, United Technologies, Charter Communications, Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, Connecticut Community Foundation, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Main Street Community Foundation, Thomaston Savings Bank, Ion Bank, Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, Valley Community Foundation, Jewish Community Foundation of Hartford, New Canaan Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

For more on the Working Cities Challenge, visit www.bostonfed.org/WorkingCities.