Evaluation of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Teams Pilot: Final Report. A2.3.2 Work Approach—Interactions, Communication, and Meetings


With the initial work plan established, team members worked with their city counterparts and relevant community members on the projects within their areas of expertise. The SC2 team lead played dual roles as coordinator for the team and ambassador for SC2 in the community. She held many internal and external meetings with city leaders, community stakeholders, and other local organizations to introduce the SC2 team to the community, make connections for team members, and help set priorities. She supported team members by facilitating relationships with city staff and other stakeholders, acting as ombudsperson and representing “the Fed” to the city. Upon the departure of the first lead, a second lead stepped in and acted as the main SC2 team point of contact with the city. She also oversaw team members’ work, routinely checking in with them via email to monitor progress, and she retained an active role as a regular team member providing substantive expertise related to workforce development.

As mentioned earlier, the city and the SC2 team each had a primary point of contact. These women remained in regular contact through weekly scheduled meetings. The city’s contact, the chief of government affairs, served primarily as a logistical point of contact for the SC2 team lead, although she also communicated with the department directors and engaged team members in the mayor’s priorities.

Communication between the team members and the city staff took the shape of formal meetings and informal communications. Formally, the SC2 team lead and department heads involved in the SC2 pilot met weekly for “cluster” meetings. These meetings provided SC2 team leadership with additional substantive opportunities for communication in the city. There were also quarterly meetings during Year 2 implementation where team members, city staff, and a Port representative met to review the work plan and deliver progress updates. Remotely based team members attended these quarterly meetings in person when possible but could also participate by phone. The meetings were led by the city point of contact. In between the quarterly meetings, team members and their city or community points of contacts communicated informally and on an unscheduled basis. The two team members who relocated to Cleveland were placed at city hall in the WIB office alongside their city counterparts. This close proximity enabled frequent contact, and the constant and informal communications helped to develop stronger relationships. Other team members did not describe frequent communication but said that the process and frequency of contact was sufficient.

Team members stayed in regular communication with each other. In the first year, the SC2 team lead organized weekly conference calls for team members to update each other. In the second year, lines of communication were more informal and on an as needed basis, with conference calls and emails supplementing the quarterly meetings with the city.

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