The inaugural round of the Boston Fed's Working Cities Challenge was launched in May 2013, with six cities—Lawrence, Fitchburg, Chelsea, Holyoke, Salem, and Somerville—awarded a combined $1.8 million in grant awards in January 2014. Four of those six cities were awarded multiyear grants, while two received seed awards. The cities have made tremendous progress in their efforts, and work is ongoing.


In the first round of the Working Cities Challenge, 20 cities with median family income below the median level, a poverty rate above the median level, and a population exceeding 35,000 (excluding Boston) were eligible for the Working Cities Challenge. See first round eligibility data for all cities.

map of working cities

Steering Committee