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Women’s Fund Announces Innovative Public-private Partnership

SPRINGFIELD — Today, Feb. 2, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is announcing a groundbreaking public-private partnership aimed at driving economic prosperity for young women in Springfield. MassMutual Foundation Inc. — a dedicated corporate foundation established by MassMutual, and a representative from state Treasurer Deb Goldberg’s Office of Economic Empowerment will be available to comment on their commitment to be lead corporate and government partners for the project.

The MassMutual Foundation will also announce it is awarding $150,000 to the Women’s Fund to support the launch of an innovative project called the Partnership for Young Women’s Progress: Springfield (YWP). As part of the project, Goldberg’s office will offer its Women’s Economic Empowerment series, share state-agency-generated research and data, and participate in final recommendations.

“We truly value this partnership that leverages available resources in an innovative and collaborative way,” said Ali Mathias, MassMutual director of Charitable Giving and vice president of the MassMutual Foundation. “This program will not only expand the economic opportunity for young women, but also economic development in the city of Springfield.”

Added Goldberg, “I am thrilled to be participating in this program. Public-private partnerships such as this, are crucial in creating opportunities to empower young women across the state.”

The YWP will elevate the leadership of local young women (ages 12 to 24) to help design a lasting blueprint for investing in the Springfield community that addresses the needs, programming, best practices, policies, and research that will build the pathways to economic prosperity for themselves, their families, and their community.

A three-year pilot will allow partners to create leadership and high-level decision-making opportunities for young women in Springfield, and reward their efforts as part of a Young Women’s Leadership Advisory Council; analyze available data, examine current investments, and identify where partners can make a lasting impact; create a public document with young women’s economic growth and empowerment recommendations; generate and fund a phased action plan for the region that will include re-granting partnerships; and engage message research conducted by a leading national firm that will help shape strategic communications. These strategic communications will be aimed at creating a positive shift from the current negative cultural narratives regarding young women in Springfield.

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