Rhode Island and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston are partnering on an effort to boost economically depressed parts in the state. The program is aimed at cities most affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs.
With the exception of Newport, many Rhode Island cities were hard hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs over the last few decades. And many of those cities are still struggling to recover.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge will provide at least 1.5 million to at least three cities, for workforce development and other projects. The details have yet to be announced, but a similar effort in rolled out in Massachusetts, where officials say it made a difference.
The cities will each receive a few hundred-thousand dollars… enough, officials say, to spur the initial development needed to help rebuild an economy.
Tamar Kotelchuck of the Fed Bank of Boston, says the money is meant to kick off small projects, and increase conversations between civic leaders.
“While that may sound intangible, it is economically very important. Our research shows that the difference between cities that recover from job loss, and those that don’t is often just that, leadership and collaboration,” said Kotelchuck.
The money does not come from the Federal Bank, but from the state of Rhode Island, and philanthropic organizations.
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