Evaluation of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Teams Pilot: Final Report. A1.4 Conclusion


The Chester SC2 team was successful in furthering several goals of the SC2 initiative. The team helped Chester address economic development priorities, establish local partnerships, leverage the resources of local anchor institutions, and build a promising new relationship with the federal government.

Initially challenged by the political transition that took place during the pilot and the general lack of capacity of the city’s small staff, the SC2 team was ultimately able to make progress by building a number of coalitions with community institutions and community groups. These coalitions are expected to benefit the city long after the pilot has ended.

Perhaps most importantly, the Chester example showed the value and effectiveness of a regional-based model of federal-local engagement. Being able to visit Chester on a regular basis and interact with other team members was important to the SC2 team in terms of building deeper relationships with Chester and regional stakeholders, as well as for building a strong team spirit among individual members. Through their close working relationship, the members came to see an advantage in continuing their involvement in Chester after the pilot ends and plan to extend that work to other distressed cities in the area.

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