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CHEFA Grant Supports Workforce and Economic Development in Connecticut’s Urban Centers

CHEFA awarded the Working Cities Challenge (WCC) a $250,000 grant through our FY 2020 Targeted Grant Program. The Working Cities Challenge is a program of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and is focused on the revitalization of post-industrial cities. The program is operating in the cities of Hartford, East Hartford, Middletown, Waterbury and Danbury. The cities form multi-stakeholder teams focused on workforce development and supporting economic growth in their communities. The fiscal sponsor for the grant is the CT Council for Philanthropy.

Connecticut’s economic recovery will depend on our cities’ ability to collaborate across sectors and with local residents to get their economies moving quickly and equitably. The Working Cities Challenge gave East Hartford, Danbury, Hartford, Waterbury, and Middletown the tools to do just that, and early outcomes show that these cities are ready for the task ahead.

Some of the noteworthy achievements to date include:

•55 community engagement events held

•145 publications of e-news blasts reaching more than 1,000 people each week

•88 trainings completed 

•1,070 individuals referred to wrap around supports

•15 business champions committed to supporting related programing

•43 individuals placed into jobs 

•1,296 community residents engaged

•72 adaptive, cross-sector leaders engaged and committed to supporting related programing. 

CHEFA is proud to support this important initiative, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have in these five communities as they continue their work.