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Local News

February 6, 2013

Meeting in Salem to explain gateway cities program

SALEM — The term “gateway city” has been tossed around a lot since the city was awarded $128,000 last week through the state’s gateway cities grant program.

A public meeting to explain what a gateway city is, and what it means for Salem, will be held Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. at the Salem Five bank community room on the Essex Street pedestrian mall.

Salem was one of 19 urban school districts awarded grants last week through the governor’s Gateway Cities Education Agenda, meant to close the achievement gap for poor and immigrant children in so-called gateway cities. Salem will use the grant for a summer program, run by Salem State University, for high school students that will focus on work and career readiness while boosting English language skills.

The state defines gateway cities as communities with a population between 35,000 and 250,000, a median household income below the state average, and a rate of residents with a bachelor’s degree (or higher degrees) below the state average.

Wednesday’s meeting is co-sponsored by the city of Salem, the Salem Partnership and the Salem Chamber of Commerce.

Benjamin Forman, research director at MassINC, is the evening’s speaker. MassINC’s website describes the organization as “an independent think tank using non-partisan research, civic journalism and public forums to stimulate debate and shape public policy.”

— Bethany Bray

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