Five cities from the Working Cities Challenge share insights about applying the principles of collective impact to improve the lives of their low-income residents.

Massachusetts cities are transforming the lives of their low-income residents with the support of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge and Living Cities. Twenty small cities formed cross-sector partnerships to solve complex challenges impacting the lives of these cities’ lower income residents. In the fall of 2013, cities submitted proposals for awards to help fund their initiatives. While all of the cities continue to strive toward their goals and participate in collective learning, representatives from the winning cities took a moment at a recent learning community to share highlights about their progress to date. As the initiatives continue to apply the principles of Collective Impact, we hope to continue sharing their developments in real time so that the rest of the field can learn alongside the Massachusetts Working Cities and ultimately improve outcomes for low-income people.

Hear about early progress in five of the Massachusetts Working Cities:

Amanda Maher and Maxwell MacCarthy from the City of Somerville share their progress toward more effective and consistent employer engagement.

Marcos Marrero of Holyoke shares his excitement about rolling out a cross-sector entrepreneurship program to support job creation and empowerment efforts.

Mickey Northcutt of Salem discusses two early successes for their effort: record voter turn-out and robust local business participation in the partnership.

Tom Skwierawski of Fitchburg talks about creating report cards that help them see what is working, but more importantly, working with their community to shape the goals and measures for their effort.

Abel Vargas from the City of Lawrence talks about the connection between the education and workforce systems, and their efforts to lay the groundwork for a holistic approach to revitalization.

What inspired you about the Massachusetts Working Cities? What would you like to learn more about? Share with us in the comment section below, or email Brittany Ramos at

Image credit: The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston; Working Cities Challenge, Haverhill