The signature component of TDI is the “TDI Fellows” program.
TDI Fellows are full-time MassDevelopment employees (with benefits) hired specifically to provide economic development expertise and collaborative leadership in Gateway Cities for the duration of their designation as a TDI district. TDI Fellows serve as the main organizers for place-based economic development, leading and facilitating the day-to-day work of each TDI Partnership. The program offers an opportunity to be part of something different—it’s a unique, intensive on-the-ground role that requires flexibility, curiosity, and an entrepreneurial spirit, one that is much more focused on “field work” than “desk work.”
TDI Fellows are mid-career professionals with experience in a wide variety of urban planning, development, and small business initiatives.
This is a unique program that requires significant professional and lived experience in small- and mid-sized cities, strong social intelligence, demonstrated success working with people of different backgrounds, and the ability to thrive in ambiguous circumstances. TDI Fellows are leaders without egos, ultimately charged with empowering community members and setting them up to succeed as project leads. Each cohort of TDI Fellows engages in group team-building, cohort trips and learning journeys, and other leadership and professional development opportunities, and are integral members of MassDevelopment’s Community Development division. Previous TDI Fellows have gone on to serve in other TDI districts, advanced to leadership positions at MassDevelopment and at other community-facing organizations, and have started their own businesses.
MassDevelopment's new cohort of TDI Fellows will soon begin their work in assigned TDI districts in Gateway Cities in September 2022.
Francisco, Fitchburg TDI Fellow
- “Being a TDI Fellow has quite literally changed my life. It has changed my outlook on economics, small business, and municipal politics. I enjoy the sense of autonomy that I am entrusted with, and I always feel fully supported by my superiors. I work with an incredibly passionate, intelligent, and diverse group of people, who I care an awful lot for. And every day I wake up with excitement about the change and transformation we are bringing to the Commonwealth.”
Andrea, Chicopee TDI Fellow
- "Serving as a TDI Fellow has been both the most rewarding and challenging experience of my career. No two days are the same and you are constantly using different skill sets to help the community achieve its objectives. It is incredible to have the opportunity to work so closely with dedicated local partners and have the support of an amazing central team at MassDevelopment to take on some of the biggest economic challenges in our Gateway Cities."
George, Senior Regional TDI Fellow
- “No day is ever the same on Team TDI. Getting to work at the nexus of real estate, creative placemaking, finance, policy, etc. gives you a bird’s-eye view of what it takes to plant the seeds of change in a community. My time with TDI in Lawrence was as challenging as it was dynamic and informational. Working on the ground with passionate and experienced partners from various sectors helped me develop and improve my professional approach in the planning and development industry.”
Jess, Former Lawrence TDI Fellow