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New England Knowledge Corridor Partnership to Host Mayors’ Forum

SPRINGFIELD — What are the current economic challenges and opportunities confronting former industrial hubs such as Hartford, Chicopee, New Haven, Springfield, and New Britain?

That is exactly what will be discussed in Central Connecticut State University’s Torp Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at this year’s Mayors’ Fall Economic Forum, hosted by the New England Knowledge Corridor Partnership (NEKC), a consortium of more than 30 diverse organizations all focused on creating a more competitive and prosperous cross-border region stretching from New Haven north through Hartford, Springfield, and beyond.

“While no one denies our region faces its share of economic challenges, it has become increasingly apparent that much of the potential presented by our many institutions of higher learning and healthcare, as well as our advantageous proximity to Boston and New York, has yet to be fully tapped into,” said NEKC chair and Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Executive Director Tim Brennan. “The New England Knowledge Corridor Partnership is all about working across sectors and state borders to ensure our region fully capitalizes on our strengths and addresses our challenges with clear eyes and a willingness to collaborate.”

On stage for a moderated dialogue focusing on key economic and workforce efforts will include the mayors of four of the region’s largest cities, including Domenic Sarno of Springfield, Richard Kos of Chicopee, Toni Harp of New Haven, Conn., and Erin Stewart of New Britain, Conn. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from economist Don Klepper-Smith, who will present a Knowledge Corridor economic-assessment report that will give all those present a better sense of the cross-border region’s economic metrics and how collaborative approaches can be implemented.

Additionally, Prabal Chakrabarti, senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, will present on the Working Cities Challenge initiative that has placed considerable resources into addressing structural and policy issues in many of New England’s post-industrial cities in order to maximize employment of their residents.

The lead sponsor for this interstate forum is Farmington Bank, which has expanded its service area from Connecticut into Western Mass. over the past several years and has increasingly looked for opportunities to highlight and support collaborative interstate ventures such as the Knowledge Corridor Partnership. The event’s other co-sponsors include Central Connecticut State University, UIL Holdings Corporation, the University of Hartford, the Capitol Region Council of Governments, and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

The event will start at 8 a.m. and is scheduled to conclude at 10:45 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. To register, click here.

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