New Network Competition to Create State Partnerships

The National Resource Network (the Network) has announced a State Resource Network competition, focused on creating state-city partnerships that address economic, fiscal and other challenges. The states selected through the process will receive funding and support from the Network to establish their own State Resource Networks. The competition is funded by a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

To coincide with the launch of the competition, the Network and the state of California announced the formation of the California State Resource Network, which will provide technical assistance to cities to meet challenges ranging from budget shortfalls to the need for affordable housing.

State Resource Networks are based on the model of the National Resource Network, initially funded by the federal government, which has provided comprehensive technical assistance to 50 economically challenged cities in 22 states since its launch in 2013. In 2015, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts launched the first pilot state resource network.

State Resource Networks bring together states and cities to partner on issues that are most important to them. Examples of projects that can be created through a State Resource Network could include:

  • Creating a long term financial plan or working to ensure balanced budgets;

  • Developing a comprehensive affordable housing plan to address a shortage of options for low-income residents;

  • Identifying innovative workforce development strategies and roadmaps that connect hard-to-employ residents to jobs in high-growth industries; and

  • Helping to improve city service delivery in public works, education, or public safety, based on benchmarking and national best practices.

The Network has already seen great success with a State Resource Network in Massachusetts. In 2015, Massachusetts launched a pilot State Resource Network (MassSRN) with funding from MassDevelopment after identifying the approach as a comprehensive, innovative way to enhance economic competitiveness in Gateway cities. MassSRN projects are now under way in three additional cities across the state: Everett (community development and housing strategy), Pittsfield (operational review), and Worcester (strategic plan).

Only one application per state may be submitted. The deadline for submitting applications is January 30, 2018. Get more detailed information on the purpose and impact of State Resource Networks, as well as information on the application process, here; download and review the full application in our Resource Library.