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Memphis One of 6 Cities in Obama Administration ‘Strong Cities’ Pilot Project

DETROIT (AP) — The Obama administration is launching a pilot program designed to spark economic growth in urban America by partnering federal officials with local decision-makers in six cities, the U.S Housing and Urban Development secretary announced Monday.
The idea, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said, is to create what he called Community Solutions Teams, which will include employees from several different federal agencies, and have them work directly with local officials in Detroit; Chester, Pa.; Fresno, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; Cleveland and New Orleans.
The federal staffers will in effect be embedded in the cities, working on issues the mayors have identified as important, such as developing transportation infrastructure, improving job-training programs and the like. In Detroit, Donovan said, up to a dozen “federal folks” will be in town for a year or two.
“Too often, the federal government has been part of the problem, rather than part of the solution,” Donovan said at a loft development, where he announced the tenets of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities plan.

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