5 Things You Need To Know Today In Worcester - February 16

February 16, 2022 : This Week in Worcester, by Tom Marino

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.

In today’s edition - Wednesday, February 16 - Worcester receives new MassDevelopment assistance, Worcester's Cultural Development officer steps down, Worcester Boys & Girls Club is hosting a vaccination clinic, Worcester Public Library adds a free streaming music service and the second Planet Fitness opens in Worcester.

Worcester Included in New Funding for Gateway Cities

Governor Charlie Baker's office announced the expansion of the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI), a MassDevelopment program for Gateway Cities designed to accelerate economic growth within focused districts. Worcester, as well as Attleboro, Barnstable (Hyannis), Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Revere, Springfield, and Taunton, was included in the selection of 12 new districts.

All districts will be awarded TDI fellows – MassDevelopment employees who will provide on-the-ground economic development expertise and collaborative leadership in these cities – and will have access to a range of tools to help accelerate development, including technical assistance, grants to support local market development and arts and cultural infrastructure, collaborative workshops, resources, events, and more.

The announcement more than doubles the size of the TDI program, which currently operates districts in five Gateway Cities, and represents a $23.7 million investment in Gateway Cities over three years.

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative works with cross-sector partnerships in targeted commercial districts in Gateway Cities in order to engage community members, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur further public and private investment. Since 2015, MassDevelopment has invested $20 million in TDI districts through tools such as technical assistance, real estate investments, grant programs, and fellows who work in the districts. That investment has directly influenced over $100.2 million in public and private investments in the districts, and assisted an additional $219.9 million.