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Challenge to boost Connecticut jobs

Posted on April 5, 2016

A recent challenge will help to boost Connecticut jobs.

Connecticut will be the latest state participating in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge competition, an economic development effort that builds cross-sector collaboration and leadership to solve challenges affecting urban communities.

“This Working Cities Challenge is about delivering collaborative, transformative projects that will improve the economic outcomes in our cities, creating strong, resilient, and inclusive communities.  These funds will be geared towards communities with a disproportionate number of low and moderate-income individuals, with the goal of improving our cities and improving our economy,” Governor Malloy said.  “To build a stronger Connecticut, we must build upon the strengths of our urban areas, and I commend the Boston Fed for their leadership on this effort.  We look forward to working with them in support of Connecticut and cannot thank our private partners enough for their participation.”

Funding for the competition prize awards will be provided both by the State of Connecticut, which has committed $1 million, and an additional $2 million commitment from private partners.  The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Living Cities, NeighborWorks America, The United Illuminating Company, Stanley Black & Decker, Boehringer Ingelheim, Travelers Companies, Inc., The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Webster Bank, Eversource Energy, Liberty Bank Foundation, Hartford HealthCare, Barnes Group, Hoffman BMW of Watertown/Hoffman Auto Group, United Technologies Corp., Charter Communications, and Fairfield County’s Community Foundation have all committed to participating in the challenge.

“We are pleased to bring the Working Cities Challenge to Connecticut and are thankful to Governor Malloy for his support of the effort, as well as the Hartford Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation, Living Cities, The Kresge Foundation, and many others,”Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said.  “The partners have come together to make it possible to bring the competition to Connecticut – precisely the model of cross-sector collaboration that forms the basis of the Working Cities Challenge.  This competition focuses on the residents of the state’s postindustrial cities – places with unique assets that taken together can help to build civic leadership infrastructure, which our research shows is a key component of economic resurgence.”

“It’s gratifying to see the strong support from Connecticut companies, foundations, and the Malloy administration for the Working Cities Challenge under the thoughtful  leadership of the Boston Fed,”  James C. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Webster Bank, said.  “By encouraging the development of civic infrastructure as a prerequisite to physical infrastructure, the Working Cities Challenge promises to revitalize Connecticut’s smaller cities economically and transform the lives of inner city residents.”

“Across the country many, many communities lack cohesive leadership to make use of their disconnected assets,” Rip Rapson, President and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, said.  “The Working Cities Challenge offers a short-term incentive for smaller communities to come together for a prize.  But its true value will be felt when those communities find the long-term benefits of collaborations that engage citizens to right economic wrongs and provide for widespread opportunity.”

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