1200px Federal Reserve from South BostonBOSTON: Concern about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates in the face of good economic news may have sent the stock market reeling, but ten Connecticut cities will be getting good news from the Fed, with the Working Cities Challenge.

Bridgeport, Danbury, East Hartford, Hartford, Middletown, New Britain, New Haven, Norwich, Torrington, and Waterbury are to receive $15,000 “design grants,” to “support cross-sector collaborative leadership and ambitious work to improve the lives of low-income people in Connecticut's cities"

Following a six-month design phase, the cities will compete for larger implementation awards expected to be between $300,000 and $500,000. The goal of the Challenge is “increasing job opportunities for various populations (youth, Latino, single-headed households); aligning workforce training with local industry needs; retaining and attracting a younger workforce; and reducing barriers to employment (basic life skills, childcare, and transportation).”

Funding is not provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

The Working Cities Challenge, was first launched in 2013 in Massachusetts, and “builds on Boston Fed research that identified cross-sector collaboration and leadership as the key ingredients in resurgent smaller cities across the country.”

Funding for the Working Cities Challenge in Connecticut is provided by the State of Connecticut, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Living Cities, NeighborWorks America, the Avangrid Foundation, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals BI Cares Foundation, Eversource and Eversource Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Stanley Black & Decker, Travelers and the Travelers Foundation, Webster Bank, Liberty Bank Foundation, Bank of America, Barnes Group Foundation, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Charter Communications, Connecticut Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, Ion Bank, Fairfield County's Community Foundation, Hartford HealthCare, Hoffman BMW of Watertown/Hoffman Auto Group, Jewish Community Foundation of Hartford, Main Street Community Foundation, New Canaan Community Foundation, Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, Thomaston Savings Bank, United Technologies Corporation, and Valley Community Foundation.

For more on the Working Cities Challenge, visit www.bostonfed.org/WorkingCities.