On Thursday, at the future site of their new downtown headquarters, 276 Bridge Street, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (Women’s Fund) announced a groundbreaking public-private partnership aimed at driving economic prosperity for young women in Springfield.
MassMutual Foundation, Inc. – a dedicated corporate foundation established by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company - also announced that they are awarding $150,000 to the Women’s Fund to support the launch of the innovative project called The Partnership for Young Women’s Progress: Springfield (YWP). As part of the project, Treasurer Goldberg’s office will offer their Women’s Economic Empowerment series, share state agency-generated research and data, and participate in final recommendations. Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Springfield Public Schools assistant superintendent Lydia E. Martinez-Alvarez will also join the project’s leadership team.
“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.”
"I am thrilled to be participating in this program," said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. "Public-private partnerships, such as this, are crucial in creating opportunities to empower young women across the state."
Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno states, “This is all about empowerment access and pathways to secure better, educational, social and economic development opportunities for the women of our community. My hats off to the MassMutual Foundation – always a great corporate citizen, the Women’s Fund of Western Mass, and Treasurer Deb Goldberg for their continued efforts.”
The YWP will elevate the leadership of local young women (12-24yrs) 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.
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.
“This project, more than any other, is squarely aligned with the Fund’s mission and its vision for our community,” said Layla Taylor, Women’s Fund Board of Directors President. “What we know from available data is that young people, and particularly young women, are leaving our region for perceived lack of economic opportunity. However, we are invigorated by the leadership of the project’s partners. We stand together because we believe in the young women of Springfield, and are committed to finding solutions to cultivate and retain their talent as a critical component to the future economic success of Springfield and our Region.”