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Baker-Polito Administration Awards Inaugural Urban Agenda Grant in Roxbury

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Grants empower communities to lead on meeting local needs

Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced Tuesday the inaugural award from the Commonwealth’s Urban Agenda Grant Program, which seeks to unlock community-driven responses to local economic opportunities through partnership-building, problem-solving, and shared accountability. The first award supports a workforce development partnership between the Madison Park Development Corporation and Boston Education, Skills & Training Corp.

“The focus of our urban agenda is community empowerment across the Commonwealth, to meet local needs with locally driven solutions,” said Governor Baker. “The partnership between Madison Park and BEST Corp. embodies the spirit of our urban agenda. In establishing a new vocational training center in the heart of Dudley Square, Madison Park and BEST Corp. are connecting Roxbury residents to economic opportunities, and building a foundation for long-lasting economic development.”

“Our administration is committed to empowering communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito. “By supporting communities that work cooperatively to generate community-driven responses to local economic opportunities, this grant program will help transform urban neighborhoods.”

“Urban Agenda grants prepare communities for future successes,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “This grant program challenged community-based organizations to identify local economic assets, and to act as drivers of broad-based economic development in their own neighborhoods. I am thrilled with the response. ”

The $225,000 grant to Madison Park Development Corp. and BEST, a nonprofit workforce development organization focused on training Boston residents for jobs in the hospitality industry, will create a new 3,400 square foot hospitality training facility in Dudley Square. The workforce development center will feature a new computer lab, class and event space, and a model hotel room that will give trainees hands-on experience. The workforce training center, which will train Boston residents for jobs in the city’s hospitality cluster.

The Commonwealth’s Urban Agenda promotes economic vitality and cultivate safer, stronger urban neighborhoods and communities throughout Massachusetts. The grant program seeks to advance vibrant communities, and unlock economic mobility for residents, through community-based partnerships that address workforce development, entrepreneurship, mixed-income housing development.

The administration will make additional Urban Agenda grant announcements on Wednesday, January 13.