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    1. MGM Springfield culinary team preps for mass hiring

      MGM Springfield culinary team preps for mass hiring

      Chris Smigel, assistant executive chef at MGM Springfield, moved up the career ladder at the soon-to-open casino before he was even hired. A Westfield native who got his culinary training at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, Smigel applied to MGM hoping for a job as a chef running one of its restaurants. Instead, he was hired to oversee culinary operations for all MGM-operated facilities on the property in Springfrield's South End. It's a step up for him, having worked for Hyatt Hotels for 10 years with stops Austin, New Orleans and, most recently, Cambridge. The MGM Springfield ...

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    2. Western Massachusetts hospitality workers named finalists for 2018 Howdy Awards

      Western Massachusetts hospitality workers named finalists for 2018 Howdy Awards

      The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau has revealed the 55 finalists for the 2018 Howdy Awards. The Visitor's Bureau will host its Howdy gala May 21 at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. Tickets are on sale now and are $75 per person. Those interested are asked to call Michele Goldberg at 413-755-1344. The Visitors Bureau created the Howdy Awards in 1996 as a way to honor front-line hospitality workers.

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    3. Amherst, Hampshire, Smith join college solar energy collaborative

      Amherst, Hampshire, Smith join college solar energy collaborative

      Five New England liberal arts colleges have joined together to create a solar power facility that will offset 46,000 megawatt-hours of their collective electrical use. The partnership represents the first collaborative purchase of New England-generated solar electricity by higher-education institutions, according to a press release. The facility will be built in Farmington, Maine, and is expected to open in 2019. Each of the colleges will purchase zero-carbon electricity from the site to reduce carbon emissions from campus electricity use. Participating colleges are Bowdoin in Brunswick, Maine, Amherst and Hampshire in Amherst, Smith College in Northampton and Williams College in ...

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    4. 'Opportunity Zones' designation could spur Westfield Urban Renewal

      'Opportunity Zones' designation could spur Westfield Urban Renewal

      The city's downtown corridor was designated an Opportunity Zone this week by Gov. Charlie Baker. Mayor Brian P. Sullivan said this will help attract investors to Westfield. "The Opportunity Zone designation has potential to be very beneficial to the revitalization of the city's downtown," said Sullivan. "It is another tool in the toolbox for developers and people looking to invest in our community. We are very thankful that Governor Baker and (Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay) Ash share our vision for Westfield." Westfield Advancement Officer Joe Mitchell was thrilled Baker recognized the city.

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    5. Panel Discussion to Focus on HCC’s Role in Valley’s Future

      Panel Discussion to Focus on HCC’s Role in Valley’s Future

      Holyoke Community College is bringing together an all-star lineup of regional leaders for a panel discussion on April 25, focusing on the future of the Pioneer Valley and HCC’s role in it. That discussion, “Shaping the Future: HCC and the Pioneer Valley,” will be conducted over breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Room in the HCC Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on the main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The breakfast is open to the public. Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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    6. Valley Opportunity Council wants to hire low-income and at-risk youth for summer

      Valley Opportunity Council wants to hire low-income and at-risk youth for summer

      The Valley Opportunity Council is taking applications for summer jobs for low-income and at-risk youth between the ages of 14 and 21. The program, which is done in collaboration with the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, offers a structured, well-supervised work experience where employees will learn a variety of job skills while earning a paycheck.

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    7. Afghan girls education advocate Shabana Basij-Rasikh to speak at Springfield Public Forum April 25 | masslive.com

      Afghan girls education advocate Shabana Basij-Rasikh to speak at Springfield Public Forum April 25 | masslive.com

      Afghan women's rights advocate Shabana Basij-Rasikh will speak before at the Springfield Public Forum on Wednesday, delivering a talk on her efforts to educate girls in her home country.  Basij-Rasikh was born in Kabul and lived there under the Taliban, which had banned girls from attending school. To receive an education, she dressed as a boy to go to classes, the Springfield Public Forum said in a press release.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    8. Westfield State University partners with UMass on law program

      Westfield State University partners with UMass on law program

      Westfield State University and the University of Massachusetts School of Law in Dartmouth are partnering on a new law program. Under the new initiative, called 3 Plus 3, students who complete the six-year program will obtain both a bachelor's degree and a law degree. The idea for the program was to include diverse majors, such as business, ethics, gender studies and English. This is in addition to criminal justice, political science and other majors related to law.

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    9. From Lenox to Nantucket, 36 Massachusetts communities get state energy efficiency grants;...

      From Lenox to Nantucket, 36 Massachusetts communities get state energy efficiency grants;...

      Gov. Charlie Baker's administration awarded $4 million in energy efficiency grants to 36 Massachusetts cities and town during a ceremony at the Ware High School auditorium on Thursday. The money will be used by the municipalities' water and wastewater treatment facilities to reduce energy use, improve energy efficiency and in some cases generate renewable energy. The announcement was timed to coincide with Earth Day, which will be on Sunday.

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    10. Gov. Charlie Baker looks to spur investments in Springfield, other 'Opportunity Zone'...

      Gov. Charlie Baker looks to spur investments in Springfield, other 'Opportunity Zone'...

      Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has recommended that Springfield and several other communities across the state be deemed "opportunity zones" -- a designation created under the GOP tax law to open municipalities to private, tax-free investments.  Baker, in paperwork submitted to the U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday, suggested that a total of 138 communities -- the maximum amount allowed for Massachusetts -- be considered for the "Opportunity Zone" program, according to officials.

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    11. Mayor Reichelt: West Springfield zoning changes could make city 'more exciting' for developers, beer-brewing companies

      Mayor Reichelt: West Springfield zoning changes could make city 'more exciting' for developers, beer-brewing companies

      With news that West Springfield is working to bring Two Weeks Notice Brewing Co. to the city, the mayor has proposed changing zoning regulations to include recreational facilities, breweries, distilleries and wineries in the city's industrial zones. "We're in talks with a couple (of breweries) now, namely Two Weeks Notice, to relocate in town," said Mayor William C. Reichelt, who is petitioning the Town Council to approve changes to make the city's industrial sites "more exciting to developers."

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    12. VVM and Western MA help with Kauffman Foundation Springfield Survey

      We have been working for two years to get VVM and Western MA on Kauffman Foundation's radar.  We now have the potential to be part of nationwide investigation regarding startup community growth with Startup Genome and seeking a select group of metropolitan areas to join this effort and participate in data collection and analysis. Most cities pay for this diagnostic, but Kauffman is footing the bill for 10 smaller cities to have the same opportunity & Springfield has been selected to receive a free report.  

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    13. Westfield's special permitting process could be revamped

      Westfield's special permitting process could be revamped

      The Westfield City Council's ad hoc Business Development Committee has been revived under Chairman Michael Burns (Ward 4) and plans to revamp the special permit process. City Advancement Officer Joe Mitchell is working with the committee and said most communities' special permits go through the planning board. He said that makes sense because the planning board works with businesses every step of the process. But over the years, some Westfield councilors requested that special permits go before the council. "Different councilors felt it was their purview to issue special permits," said Mitchell.

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    14. Holyoke SPARK to offer social media tips to businesses

      Holyoke SPARK to offer social media tips to businesses

      Business owners will get tips on how to make the most of a social media presence at a Holyoke SPARK event today from 5 to 7 p.m. at Holyoke Hummus, 285 High St. "Do you have burning social media questions you need answers to for the life of your business? Bring your questions and your knowledge and join the conversation," a press release said. SPARK stands for Stimulating, Potential, Accessing, Resource & Knowledge. The federal and state granted-funded program began in March 2015 to help entrepreneurs become business owners.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    15. Eastern States Exposition donates over $240K to Big E/West Springfield Trust

      Eastern States Exposition donates over $240K to Big E/West Springfield Trust

      The Eastern States Exposition has donated over $240,000 to The Big E/West Springfield Trust Fund, the largest contribution since the fund was established 24 years ago. The sum represents 1 percent of the ESE's gross revenues for 2017. "This is a special year because it's the biggest check we've been able to give to the town," ESE President Eugene J. Cassidy said Wednesday, presenting a check for $240,198 to West Springfield Mayor William C. Reichelt. "Your success is our success," said the mayor, who is one of three trustees responsible for administering the fund ...

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    16. Western Mass News will open standalone studio at MGM Springfield

      Western Mass News will open standalone studio at MGM Springfield

      Western Mass News will have a standalone studio on the grounds of the MGM Springfield casino when it opens in September. MGM Springfield announced Tuesday that the studio will "go live" near the resort's outdoor plaza and will broadcast select news on a daily basis when the casino opens. The studio will have floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing those passing by to see live broadcasts and interviews. When the studio is not in use, guests will be invited inside to see the "Western Mass News experience," officials said.

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    17. When will CTrail Hartford Line train service to Springfield begin?

      When will CTrail Hartford Line train service to Springfield begin?

      Commuter train service from Springfield to Hartford and New Haven, Connecticut, begins Friday June 15, the Connecticut Department of Transportation announced Tuesday afternoon. That day will feature an inaugural event for the train service and will be followed by free weekend train service Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17.

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    18. Washington company's $722,000 gift brings state-of-the-art equipment to UMass Center at Springfield nursing students

      Washington company's $722,000 gift brings state-of-the-art equipment to UMass Center at Springfield nursing students

      The company behind the equipment that monitored Neil Armstrong's vital signs when he walked on the moon has donated $722,000 in state-of-the-art gear to the nursing lab at the University of Massachusetts Springfield Center in Tower Square. And what Spacelabs Healthcare President Sujit Kumar wanted to talk about during Tuesday's celebration of the gift is the next step in his Washington-based medical equipment company's relationship with UMass.

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    19. Hampshire College names Miriam 'Mim' Nelson as president to succeed Jonathan Lash

      Hampshire College names Miriam 'Mim' Nelson as president to succeed Jonathan Lash

      - Hampshire College has named Miriam E. Nelson, a health and nutrition scholar, scientist, university professor, higher education administrator and government policy adviser, as its seventh president. Nelson, the director of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire, will replace Jonathan Lash, who announced last year he would retire in June. She starts July 1.

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    20. Summer Program Offers Teenagers a Paycheck — and Much More

      Summer Program Offers Teenagers a Paycheck — and Much More

      t’s hardly news that far fewer teenagers work during the summer than they did decades ago, for many reasons. Those who do want to work are often happy to nail down a steady paycheck, while others gain something more — a career-oriented summer job that comes with training, mentorship, and connections. That’s the goal of a state-funded program that will send 900 area teens into the workforce this summer, but its administrators say that number isn’t nearly enough.

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    21. People in Business: Paul Robbins Associates takes top International Summit Emerging Media Award | masslive.com

      People in Business: Paul Robbins Associates takes top International Summit Emerging Media Award | masslive.com

      Paul Robbins Associates (PRA) has been chosen as a Leader Award winner in the 2017 Summit Emerging Media Award (Summit EMA) competition for its digital work on the 413families/413familias community texting program, led by the 'Reading Success by 4th Grade' initiative. The company is now a seven-time winner of the Summit Creative Awards, having formerly won in video categories.

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    22. FloDesign Sonics Aims to Bring Cell Therapy to the Masses

      FloDesign Sonics Aims to Bring Cell Therapy to the Masses

      The “filterless filter company,” as FloDesign Sonics dubs itself, was launched in 2010 in an effort to separate contaminants — particularly anthrax — from the water supply. There’s nothing trivial about that goal, but the company’s co-founder and CEO, Stanley Kowalski III, and his team have only been thinking bigger ever since. “We don’t like mediocre challenges; we take on pretty big issues, and we back it with the best thought leaders in this space,” he told BusinessWest. “We’ve targeted some of the biggest things mankind could be working on, and it gets people motivated on a different ...

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    23. Finding People Jobs Is Only Part of Nicole Griffin’s Calling

      Finding People Jobs Is Only Part of Nicole Griffin’s Calling

      A job seeker came to see Nicole Griffin recently after making a careless mistake — one he didn’t even recognize at the time. The mistake was leaving a temporary position at a large, well-known firm two weeks before his contract was up because he didn’t like the environment and the job wasn’t quite what he thought it would be. “I said, ‘you kind of ruined all the work you did there for several months by leaving before your assignment ended,’” said Griffin, president of the employment firm she launched in 2013 as Griffin Staffing Network. “That was a ...

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    24. Deerfield Strives to Be More Than a Tourist Town

      Deerfield Strives to Be More Than a Tourist Town

      Wendy Foxmyn acknowleged that, when pressed to describe Deerfield with a word or two, most responders would say ‘tourist town,’ or something to that effect. And, sounding somewhat like the Seinfeld characters in that infamous episode, she said there’s nothing particularly wrong with that. But she quickly, and repeatedly, stressed that this community that is home to Yankee Candle’s flagship store — one of the most visited attractions in New England — as well as Mount Sugarloaf, Historic Deerfield, and the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservancy and Garden wants to diversify and broaden its commercial portfolio.

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