School of Professional Studies

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


School of Professional Studies

Chief Instructor

Mary Piecewicz


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a leader in the United States, a gleaming example of the American dream and the way life should be. We are always at the forefront of world-class innovation, house arts and culture that rival some of the best cities in the world, and have high-class educational institutes rivaled by almost no other region. Massachusetts leads the way when it comes to progressive ideals that provide for the less fortunate and ensure equality for all while keeping taxes reasonable, unemployment down, and living wage jobs readily available. With all that said, I began to ponder why our economic development and grants system was centered around Gateway Cities. There is a concern in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regarding gateway cities and their effectiveness. Despite significant investment into the support and development of sizable former manufacturing and mill communities, it seems the Gateway Cities program has failed at creating economic and fiscal growth midpoints. A majority of the investment into these communities has been mismanaged. A large portion of this financial boost has stayed within the geographical barrier and not trickled out into the surrounding communities as initially intended. Has this investment from the Commonwealth changed anything or caused increased metrics in these communities? This problem has negatively affected non-gateway communities and made these once prosperous mill towns even more reliant on state funds. Turning negatives into positives, I believe the COVID-19 funding mechanism and the federal, state, and local partnership therein is the best way to re-distribute the Gateway funds to assist Massachusetts municipalities with overcoming covid and future economic and cultural developmental needs.





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