Evaluation of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Teams Pilot: Final Report. 2. Preparation for Implementation


This chapter discusses how agencies and pilot cities prepared for implementation and their perspectives on participating in the SC2 pilot. Steps included federal agencies agreeing to participate, the selection of pilot cities, an assessment process to identify pilot cities’ challenges and opportunities, and the selection and assignment of team members.

Chapter 2 Highlights

  • Federal agency participation in the pilot grew out of meetings between White House staff and an interagency group concerned with supporting distressed cities. Fourteen agencies initially participated (September 2011), with 17 participating by the end of 2013.
  • Agencies participated for a variety of reasons. The pilot presented an opportunity to refine or expand on existing work, further agencies’ missions, and strengthen relationships with local governments.
  • Federal staff engaged in the pilot included: team members, who worked directly on city priorities; SC2 team leads, who oversaw team member work and served as liaisons between SC2 teams and city leadership; and agency points of contact, who served as liaisons between their agencies and the team members they deployed.
  • SC2 pilot cities were selected through a multi-step process, including identifying cities with a high level of distress, contacting cities to gauge their level of interest, and then conducting on-site assessments to understand how SC2 teams might be able to help cities advance their economic development priorities.
  • City leaders expected the SC2 pilot to help address a range of barriers to their city’s economic development and to improve how their city government worked with the federal government.
  • In most cases team members were selected by senior federal agency staff and assigned to pilot cities based on how their expertise complemented the city’s needs.


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