The SC2 pilot was focused on six cities: Chester, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; and New Orleans, LA. These cities were selected by members of the DPC and senior leadership from participating agencies. This group used an iterative process that included assessing the cities’ relative economic distress (measured by a number of indicators including unemployment, population decline, fiscal distress, and operational capacity), conducting an on-the-ground needs assessment, and ascertaining the cities’ level of interest in participating.
Distressed cities interested in working with a SC2 team hosted cross-agency assessment teams in March and April 2011. During these visits, cities discussed ideas about how team members might be able to help them advance their own economic development priorities, and federal staff assessed cities’ readiness to participate in this intensive program. Federal staff also began to strategize about the work that might be done by the SC2 team, and the technical skills that team members would therefore need.