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A Working City: Torrington Rises to Economic Development Challenge

A Working City: Torrington Rises to Economic Development Challenge

Torrington is getting high marks for its collaborative efforts to move the city forward.

The city has learned that it was one of 10 small cities selected for a grant to take part in the Working Cities Challenge, an initiative led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The initiative supports community leaders in smaller communities that face big city challenges and has been successful in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Torrington was chosen because of its strong “sense of community,” said Northwest CT Chamber of Commerce President JoAnn Ryan.

The Challenge helps the selected cities build collaboration with the public, private and non-profit sectors in order to remedy the issues that affect lower-income residents.  Participants are tasked with identifying a complex challenge and creating a solution that will have a positive impact on the community.

Leadership from Mayor back to top

The leadership team is headed by Mayor Elinor Carbone, Economic Development Director Erin Wilson and the Chamber. More than 30 stakeholders have been meeting since October to identify a challenge and a long-term goal. Ryan says they based their challenge on the following:

  • The city is distressed municipality that supports an entire region.
  • It has the fastest aging population in the state of Connecticut countywide along with a declining student enrollment and loss of millennials.
  • It needs to attract and retain a younger workforce.

The grant will go to support a team within the community as it works toward solutions.


“This is a wonderful, wonderful opportunity,” Economic Development Director Wilson said. “And there’s just so many different things that we can be doing to promote real, good change in Torrington from an economic perspective.