MassINC documents how collaborative partnerships are building capacity and making change in Gateway Cities.

 The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute, a program of Massachusetts-focused think tank MassINC, released a series of articles about collaborative leadership in “Gateway Cities,” the commonwealth’s small older-industrial communities.  This series features case studies of successful collaborations, with a particular focus on emerging patterns of leadership as local economies have changed.

As discussed in MassINC’s introduction to the series, three key factors emerge across the four case studies: collaborative leadership, transformational versus transactional leaders, and engaged residents. The case studies show that Gateway Cities have untapped leadership potential – an asset that can be built on for long-term community transformation.

The case studies can be read all together through the link at the top of this page, or viewed individually below:

The Five District Partnership: Five adjacent school districts aligned their curriculum to ensure that students moving between them during the school year did not lose significant instruction time. Superintendents from the different districts had strong relationships, laying the groundwork for this collaboration.

Lawrence Community Partnerships: When Lawrence Public Schools were taken over by a state-appointed receiver, the new school CEO worked to supplement student learning with extracurricular opportunities. Recognizing that there were existing community-based organizations that could provide services, the school district partnered with these nonprofits to supplement classroom-based learning.

The Holyoke Safe and Successful Youth Initiative: Stakeholders from a variety of organizations in Holyoke, including the police department, sheriff’s office, workforce investment board, Boys & Girls Club, and a counseling center, coordinated their services for young men who were especially at-risk for violence. Collaboration and effective leadership among the stakeholders appear to have produced a number of positive results, including a citywide drop in violent crime and personal successes for many of the young men in the program.

Developing a Fresh Generation of Civic Leaders in Worcester: Recognizing that the next generation of civic leaders needs to be reflective of the community, community organizations in Worcester are working to engage children from immigrant families in the city’s civic infrastructure while also ensuring that emerging leaders from many backgrounds build trust with one another.

Header Photo: Wikimedia Commons