The Gateway Cities Journal
News and information for leaders who care about Gateway Cities


Innovation through collaboration


The ever-increasing pace of innovation is rewriting the rules of the game for all types of institutions. In business, it's better now to be small and fast than large and slow. The same is true for communities, which are finding they need to innovate their learning systems to keep in sync with the economy. The communities that respond most adeptly will be best positioned to compete for both residents and businesses.

The scale of Massachusetts' Gateway Cities - small to midsize urban areas - enables them to move nimbly to take advantage of innovation. What they want for is resources. Funding is certainly critical - starting new models requires upfront investment - but ideas and vision are a currency all their own in this new landscape. Fortunately, there's no monopoly on great ideas, and cities can collaborate and share models that work.

That's the idea behind the Gateway Cities Education Vision project, which is launching a series of events in the Gateway Cities this spring. This week, Worcester leaders came together to discuss how they can join forces with other Gateway Cities across the state to support one another as they work to build more dynamic learning systems to adapt to the 21st century economy. We look forward to engaging in this conversation with Fitchburg leaders next week, and with leaders in other Gateway Cities as this regional tour unfolds.

- Benjamin Forman




The Telegram & Gazette and the Republican report on the Worcester Gateway Cities Vision forum, the first stop in our regional tour. Jen Carey, our co-host, pens a column for the T&G on the connection between collaboration and innovation in education.


We posted our testimony in support of investments in the Gateway Cities Vision at last week's Ways and Means FY15 education budget hearing on our blog.


Massachusetts is investing $15 million in a "pay for success" grant program to provide adult basic education. Under the plan private investors would supply the funds and be repaid by the state based on the results of the program. Holyoke and Springfield are two cities that already have programs in place.


UMass Lowell announces a plan to elevate its honors program to an honors college, in hopes of attracting the best and brightest to campus.


A small portion of students within Worcester Public Schools want to opt out of the field test of the PARCC standardized assessment.


New Bedford Public Schools will host its first annual educator recruitment fair on March 29.




The Immigrant Learning Center is hosting the third annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner in Cambridge on May 8. Gateway City economic development leaders should contact the ILC to nominate local businesses.


At an event in Worcester, the Patrick Administration announced $3 million in Community Investment Tax Credit allocations to local community development corporations. The credits are meant to encourage investment in economic opportunities for low and middle-income families.


In Lowell, local, state, and federal government officials discuss strategies to maximize the city's economic potential at the Manufacturing Community Roundtable.


Despite having a hard time adjusting, refugees that came to Springfield and Westfield from Iraq, Somalia and elsewhere are starting to enter the workforce New England Public Radio reports.




A new capital bond bill (House Bill 3920) cuts the Cultural Facilities Fund to $50 million dollars. MassCreative is working to build support Rep. Cory Atkins' amendment, which would restore funding to $75 million dollars.




The Berkshire NAACP calls on Pittsfield to hire more minorities in city government.


Mayor Richard Kos lays out a vision for Chicopee focusing in on jobs, education, and public safety.


In his state of the city address, Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni emphasized the importance of development and education.




Revere voters approved Mohegan Sun's $1.3 million dollar plan to build a casino at Suffolk Downs. Mohegan Sun announced that they will be hosting a series of workforce development information sessions in collaboration with local community colleges.


Leominster lost out to Plainville in the bidding for the state's single slots parlor license.


As Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan puts his support behind building a Foxwoods casino in the city, the search for an appropriate site for the project continues. 




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MassINC's Gateway Cities Innovation Institute
Tel: (617) 742-6800
Fax: (617) 589-0929


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