Cleveland—The Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University was one of three partner organizations awarded a $2.5 million grant to manage the Strong Cities, Strong Communities fellowship program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development made the announcement this week. The two other partners are Virginia Tech’s Metropolitan Institute and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a non-partisan American public policy and grant making institution.
This summer, The White House announced the new pilot program aimed at strengthening neighborhoods, towns, cities and regions throughout the country by increasing the capacity of local governments to develop and execute their economic vision and strategies. The Rockefeller Foundation donated $2.5 million to HUD to implement the program.
This is great recognition for the Levin College of Urban Affairs and for the University, said CSU President Ronald Berkman. We see this as a real opportunity to use and expand our capacity in leadership development as well as our expertise in urban development.
During the pilot phase, as many as 30 fellows will be assigned to six cities, including Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans, Memphis, Chester, Pa. and Fresno, Calif. The program will provide funding for early to mid-career professionals to work for 24 months in those cities.
The initiative aims to encourage partnerships among local community organizations, anchor institutions, businesses, foundations and government agencies to help leverage federal investments. CSU’s Center for Leadership Development will take the lead in training the HUD fellows, which includes completing replicable projects that innovatively address the pilot city’s challenges. CSU’s Center for Community Planning and Development and Virginia Tech will provide mentoring and evaluation components.
"The Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative represents a new and innovative way for the federal government to work with local governments, the private sector and institutions of higher learning to support local economic growth and encourage community development,” said Melody Barnes, White House Domestic Policy Council Director.
About Cleveland State University
Founded in 1964, Cleveland State University is a public research institution that provides a dynamic setting for engaged learning. With an enrollment of more than 17,000 students, 8 colleges and approximately 200 academic programs, CSU was again chosen for 2011 as one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.