Middletown, Waterbury win $450K 'Working Cities' grant

BY Natalie Missakian

Middletown and Waterbury were among five Connecticut cities to win $450,000 grants aimed at improving economic opportunities and workforce development in small cities.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston awarded the grants through its "Working Cities Challenge" competition, launched in Connecticut in 2016 with state, private sector and nonprofit support. The Boston Fed is overseeing but not funding the program.

Middletown will use the grant for programs aimed at reducing the percentage of single-parent families living at or below the federal poverty level from 35 to 20 percent in 10 years.

Waterbury plans to use the money to address economic and racial inequalities that have devalued the city's River Baldwin neighborhood.

The cities of Hartford, Danbury and East Hartford also won grants.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy applauded the winning cities Tuesday for their "innovative and forward-thinking proposals to spur additional economic development and growth."

The program began in Massachusetts in 2013 and builds on Boston Fed research that identified cross-sector collaboration as key ingredients in resurgent smaller cities across the country, the Boston Fed said.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at