Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said regional collaboration between cities and government agencies is a “crucial factor” in strengthening the economies of smaller cities.
“Loss of a manufacturing base does not mean loss of assets, and we want to support these cities as they move toward greater economic prosperity,” Rosengren said today. He spoke in prepared remarks for the opening of the Fed district bank’s Working Cities Challenge, a program to support lower-income residents in small towns.
The Boston Fed initiative focuses on 20 cities from the Boston suburbs to the border with New York State. They are eligible to participate because their family income falls below the national median while their poverty rate exceeds the median, according to the district bank’s website. Grants will exceed $1 million, according to today’s statement by the Boston Fed.
“We need more public-private cooperation, collaboration, and investment aimed at removing the barriers that are holding back our smaller and medium sized cities,” Ben Hecht, president of Living Cities Inc., a philanthropic organization that is also helping to fund the initiative, said in the statement today.
The cities in Massachusetts include Pittsfield, Revere, Taunton and Worcester.