In early 2016, MassDevelopment (through its Transformative Development Initiative, or TDI) and the Network launched MassSRN – a collaborative effort designed to increase participating cities’ economic competitiveness. Massachusetts was the first state to pilot such a partnership leveraging federal, state and local funds to deliver customized, comprehensive and cross-cutting technical assistance to its cities. Through MassSRN, cities that did not meet the eligibility criteria for the Network, but had a TDI district were the focus of targeted investment by the Commonwealth and eligible to request assistance from the Network.
We have worked in six Gateway cities, with federal funding of efforts in Brockton, Fall River and New Bedford, and MassDevelopment-funded efforts in Everett, Pittsfield, and Worcester. While each city faced its own challenges, the MassSRN worked with local leadership and stakeholders in each of the six cities to begin to move the needle on those areas that either were the greatest barriers to or opportunities for enhancing overall competitiveness. By rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach, the Network has been able to go beyond being a mere technical assistance provider and instead became a vehicle for creating and maintaining partnerships.
Participating MassSRN Cities are:
- City of Brockton: An Asset-Based Communications Strategy for a Neighborhoods Initiative
- City of Everett: An Affordable Housing Plan
- City of Fall River: A Multi-Year Financial Plan
- City of New Bedford: Downtown Development Opportunities
- City of Pittsfield: Efficiency Study
- City of Worcester: Strategic Plan