Celebrating Gateway Cities

The Gateway Cities Journal

Copy of A Gateway Cities Innovation Institute (4)

Gathering the links below has become one of my favorite parts of the job. It’s a window into the collective work of Gateway City leaders—whether they’re finding solutions to the Commonwealth’s most pressing problems or advancing bold, ambitious visions that reflect optimism for their communities and unwillingness to settle for projects that sell their cities short.

But sifting through the stories, there’s also always some bittersweet disappointment. Despite the very worthy attempts, the media coverage rarely captures the richness and complexity of these efforts. It’s especially difficult to connect what’s happening to policy (or lack thereof). We come away feeling even more pressure to work with our allies to help get the https-%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F24448974%2F107331583395%2F1%2Foriginalcomplete story out there. And that’s what our annual Gateway City Innovation Awards and Summit is all about.

This year we’ll be coming together in Springfield on November 15th. Our theme is workforce development transformation. Concurrent morning sessions will explore High School Redesign, Community College Transformation, and Justice Reinvestment. We’re fortunate to have some of the most innovative thinkers in these fields leading these sessions. They’ll be sharing their visions for the future and facilitating conversations about how we can collaborate to advance workforce development policy at all levels.

The awards luncheon will recognize examples of workforce development transformation in our Gateway Cities. We’re thick in the process of gathering nominations for these awards. If you have suggestions for programs or collective efforts to recognize this year, please pass them along. And join us on November 15th as we celebrate the innovative spirit of devoted Gateway City leaders.

– Ben Forman

GCIA banner

Housing and Economic Development

WBUR looks at how Gateway Cities are crafting new identities.

The former Worcester State Hospital will be redeveloped into biomanufacturing space.

Three off-shore wind companies sign agreements to use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal, which is great news for the $113 million state-funded marine terminal.

River Styx looks to open a brewery in Fitchburg.

The state’s largest private jet operator will locate its maintenance base at the Worcester airport.

Plans for a boutique hotel in downtown Salem are unveiled.

Governor Baker and Secretary Jay of Ash announce a plan to bring 320 units of housing to Chelsea.


Three schools in Lawrence move up dramatically to the highest classification. Lowell students show improvement in math and English. A Fall River elementary school is designated underperforming. Worcester schools hold steady and Springfield schools show gains.WEBINAR-Know the Signs-Using Data to Identify and Support At-Risk Students

UTEC, which works to connect court-involved and at-risk youth with job opportunities, has been awarded $700,000 in federal funding to expand its mattress-recycling operation and add 28 new jobs.

Worcester’s recovery high school has only 14 students, half as many as last year.

Enrollment at Quinsigamond Community College continues to fall, while it holds steady at Worcester State University.

The commissioner of Massachusetts public schools granted conditional approval for Brockton’s charter school to be temporarily located in Norwood.

Fall River schools will continue to have extended school hours and after-school programs due to an extension of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Creative Placemaking

The Worcester Common is coming back to life.

Springfield Museums is named a Smithsonian affiliate

Brockton’s Stacy Adams Cultural Arts Building, once troubled with gang activity and crime, celebrated its grand re-opening this weekend with new studios, art galleries, and event spaces.

The historic Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield achieves new growth through community engagement, opening a range of programs from youth theater to parenting skills classes.


Lowell and UMass Lowell reach a 20-year deal on expansion and payments to the city

A Berkshire Eagle editorial says Pittsfield doesn’t need a residency rule for city employees.

A grant extension from the US Department of Justice will allow Fall River to retain 10 police officers currently working in city schools as resource officers.

The Lowell City Council is considering reallocating money originally approved for a gun-shot detection system to surveillance cameras, which they believe could prevent a broader array of crimes.

Mayor Linda Tyler of Pittsfield will appoint a new city firefighter with a criminal background despite criticism from firefighter union members, hoping to encourage second chances and opportunities for growth.

After 20 years, Worcester is allowing dogs into the city’s 60 public parks.

Stephen Goldsmith writes for Governing on the power of data in small cities.

Communities and People

John Cook, Springfield Technical Community College’s new president, hopes to push the college in a new direction and attract new students and programs to the school.

Copy of Copy of Summit Logo 3 (1)Entrepreneurship for All, which serves entrepreneurs in five cities around MA, is hosting an EforAll Summit on Entrepreneurship in Mid Sized Cities November 3 in downtown Lowell.  There’s time to nominate programs and cities for awards and register with early bird pricing, which ends soon –summit.eforall.org.  Network, learn, and share with mid-city leaders, program directors, and entrepreneurs from mid-sized cities across the US and Canada!

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