PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Three Rhode Island cities have been awarded $400,000 each to spur workforce development and job creation among low and moderate-income residents.

Rhode Island is participating in the Working Cities Challenge competition coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Providence, Cranston and Newport won the multi-year grants.

The challenge was launched in Massachusetts in 2013 and in Rhode Island in 2015.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says the cities spent months collaborating on their plans to improve their communities and she looks forward to seeing the results of their hard work.

Seven Rhode Island municipalities were awarded $15,000 grants in August to design proposals. Providence, Cranston and Newport were selected for the larger award.

The state of Rhode Island and local and national philanthropic organizations are funding the program.

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