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    1. Change Agent | BusinessWest

      Change Agent | BusinessWest

      Dena Hall was talking about some of the many things that have changed since she was promoted to Western Mass. regional president at United Bank roughly a month ago. She said her phone calls are being returned more frequently and more promptly now. Meanwhile, she’s taking more calls, including some from people who want to know if the attractive positions that once dominated her business card — senior vice president of marketing and community relations and president of the United Bank Charitable Foundation, are “up for grabs.” They are not — she’ll still have those duties.

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      Mentions: United Bank
    2. Holyoke to get 'progress' update about economic development, quality-of-life

      Holyoke to get 'progress' update about economic development, quality-of-life

      he Innovation District is the area downtown around the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. The center is a $165 million research facility on Bigelow Street that overlooks the canals and is operated by a cluster of universities like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, private companies and the state. Vega said among items he will discuss is the version of an economic development bill that the House of Representatives passed. It includes money to give tax incentives to companies that add jobs in Massachusetts' so-called "gateway cities." Such cities, of which Holyoke is one, are mid-size urban areas ...

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    3. Springfield committee favors spending $2.8 million to buy former Early Childhood Centers for public school use

      Springfield committee favors spending $2.8 million to buy former Early Childhood Centers for public school use

      The Early Childhoods Centers property closed in January, and its board of directors recently voted to accept the city’s bid of $2,856,000, as recommended by Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, subject to council approval. The owner of the property is Early Childhoods Centers of Greater Springfield Inc. City and school officials, meeting with the Finance Committee on Monday, said the city will be able to use the building to replace portable classrooms at the Mary Lynch and Brunton schools, that were in need of expensive repairs or replacement.

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    4. Springfield native William Dávila more than excited to take on UMass-Springfield job

      Springfield native William Dávila more than excited to take on UMass-Springfield job

      William A. Dávila has been on the job one week but it already has been packed with meetings with faculty and University of Massachusetts officials. The city native and UMass graduate was named director of operations for the new UMass Center at Tower Square last week and laughed when he said he had "hit the ground running." Dávila, 40, said the job is "good combination for me (personally and professionally.)

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    5. Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. expands efficiency programs in Chicopee, Holyoke, Westfield, other places | masslive

      Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. expands efficiency programs in Chicopee, Holyoke, Westfield, other places | masslive

      Eleven municipal utilities, including those in Chicopee, Holyoke, South Hadley and Westfield, a long with the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. will expand energy efficiency programs thanks to a $1.8 million state grant.  Announced Friday, July 11, the grants will be used to help fund customer rebate programs offsetting the cost of energy efficiency improvements and for conversions to high-efficiency LED streetlights in many communities, according to a news release from MMWEC. The money from from the state Department of Energy Resources.

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    6. Microtest Labs in Agawam sold to private equity firm | masslive

      Microtest Labs in Agawam sold to private equity firm | masslive

      Microtest Labs in Agawam has been sold to ATS Labs Inc., a Minnesota company itself owned by private equity firm Ampersand Capital Partners.  The sales price was not disclosed. Microtest Labs founder and scientific director Steven Richter will stay on with the combined company, said ATS spokesman George Kerrick.  Microtest has 89 employees, Kerrick said. He said most employees will stay in their current jobs, but some administrative functions like billing will shift to Minnesota.  The combined companies will be known as Accuratus Lab Services.

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      Mentions: Microtest
    7. Boston Scholar Athletes program set to expand to Springfield's Putnam Vocational Technical Academy

      Boston Scholar Athletes program set to expand to Springfield's Putnam Vocational Technical Academy

      The Boston Scholar Athletes program, which is designed to help student athletes improve their academic achievement, will be expanded to the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy this year. Mayor Domenic J. Sarno confirmed the plans for the program on Friday after meeting in Springfield with two key promoters of the Boston program: former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino; and Suffolk Construction Chief Executive Officer John Fish, who founded the program.

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    8. State grant promotes Westfield Gas and Electric Department energy conservation programs

      State grant promotes Westfield Gas and Electric Department energy conservation programs

      A $235,000 state Department of Energy Resources grant will be used to further efforts of the Westfield Gas and Electric Department in energy conservation for both residential and commercial customers. Utility manager Daniel Howard said Friday the grant, the second the utility has received in as many years, allows the department to continue its work with the city on energy efficiency projects and programs. It will allow the utility to upgrade pumps and other equipment at the city's Waste Water Treatment Plant, retrofit lighting at the Woodward Gymnasium at Westfield State University, continue modernization efforts within the gas ...

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    9. Gov. Deval Patrick to make job training announcement at Smith & Wesson Technology Applications Center at Springfield Technical Community College

      Gov. Deval Patrick to make job training announcement at Smith & Wesson Technology Applications Center at Springfield Technical Community College

      Gov. Deval Patrick will stop by the Smith & Wesson Technology Applications Center at Springfield Technical Community College on Friday for an afternoon announcement about job training for students in the Pioneer Valley. Details of the announcement weren't immediately available, but the governor is scheduled to visit the center at 1 Armory St. at 1:30 p.m. The Technology Applications Center is home to STCC's manufacturing and engineering technology programs, which prepare students for jobs in modern, computerized precision-machine shops.

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    10. Mason Square developer in Springfield submits high bid for tax-foreclosed property on State Street

      Mason Square developer in Springfield submits high bid for tax-foreclosed property on State Street

      First Resource is planning to convert the former Mason Square fire station and the vacant Indian Motocycle B building on State Street into a total of 75 “loft-style” apartments. The general plans were initially revealed nearly two years ago, in partnership with American International College. The tax-foreclosed properties at 864 State St. are across the street from the Indian building. In addition to the 864 State St. buildings, there is an adjacent strip of land included in the sale, listed as the rear of 858 State St. Gordon Pulsifer, president of First Resource, said the plans for 864 State St ...

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    11. Profesional Women's Chamber to host Dress ofr Succes event July 15

      Profesional Women's Chamber to host Dress ofr Succes event July 15

      The Professional Women's Chamber of Western Massachusetts is focusing its attention on supporting the under-served women in the community. The first example of this effort is an event from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 15 at Lattitude, 1338 Memorial Ave., West Springfield, where members are asked to donate clothing and jewelry to Dress for Success.

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    12. More Investments in the Future | BusinessWest

      More Investments in the Future | BusinessWest

      he East Columbus Avenue project is the latest — and probably the last, “at least for now” — for the company in Western Mass., said Balise, noting that every dealership in the regional portfolio has been replaced or substantially renovated over the past eight years, with investments totaling more than $30 million.  The project list includes new facilities for Balise Toyota, Balise Lexus, and Balise Honda, all on Riverdale Street in West Springfield; Balise Chevy Buick GMC on West Columbus Avenue in Springfield; and Balise Ford on Boston Road in Wilbraham. Meanwhile, the Balise Mazda facility, also on Riverdale Street, has been ...

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    13. Collins Pipe & Supply Co. recognized by Eastman Chemical in Indian Orchard | masslive

      Collins Pipe & Supply Co. recognized by Eastman Chemical in Indian Orchard | masslive

      David Lahr, plant manager for Eastman’s Indian Orchard facility, added, “We rely on quality supply chain partners such as Collins to maintain and continually improve our process going forward.”  'Our 25 plus year association with Eastman has challenged us each and every day to become a better company and is an integral part of our success,' said Brian Tuohey, Collins’ president. “Eastman is truly one of the MVPs of our customer base, and we look forward to the improvements that we will make together, to the respective benefit of each of our companies in the years to come.”

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      Mentions: David W. Lahr
    14. UMass names Springfield native William A. Dávila to lead new UMass Springfield center

      UMass names Springfield native William A. Dávila to lead new UMass Springfield center

      City native William A. Dávila and University of Massachusetts graduate has been named director of operations for the new UMass Center at Tower Square. Dávila was most recently division director of the outpatient services division of the Gandara Center and had been the deputy executive director of the Children’s Study Home, according to a press release.Last November, Gov. Deval L. Patrick, along with University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret and others, announced the creation of the satellite center in 26,000 square feet of space at Tower Square. It opened its ground floor “Welcome Center ...

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    15. Berkshire Bank Provides Grant to MSBDC

      Berkshire Bank Provides Grant to MSBDC

      Berkshire Bank has announced that its foundation has provided a $1,500 grant to support the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC). The grant funds will go directly to support the MSBDC’s business-advisory services and other programs throughout Western Mass. “Berkshire Bank and its foundation have been long-time supporters of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center,” said Jason Rivera, vice president, Business Banking at Berkshire Bank. “We recognize the vital role the MSBDC plays in assisting small businesses throughout the Commonwealth.”

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    16. Holyoke City Council approves sale of former Lynch School to Florida developer for $750,000

      Holyoke City Council approves sale of former Lynch School to Florida developer for $750,000

      The Holyoke City Council voted 9-6 Tuesday to let Mayor Alex Morse sell the former John J. Lynch Middle School to a Florida developer for $750,000. Frontier Development's proposal, “Holyoke Commons," is for a 25,000 square foot retail complex with three or more tenants at 1575 Northampton St., a site directly off Interstate 91's exit 17. The current school building would be torn down.

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    17. UMass President Robert Caret announces arts grants including one for theater project involving Springfield

      UMass President Robert Caret announces arts grants including one for theater project involving Springfield

      President Robert L. Caret has awarded more than $60,000 to two Western Massachusetts projects among the $270,000 in grants from the President's Creative Economy Initiatives Fund. The fund supports eight projects overall by UMass faculty members  in the arts, humanities and social sciences at all five campuses aimed to bring new creative resources to Massachusetts communities, according to a press release.

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    18. Editorial: Baystate Innovation Center provides key intersection for entrepreneurs, hospital | masslive

      Editorial: Baystate Innovation Center provides key intersection for entrepreneurs, hospital | masslive

      Still under construction but already operating, the Baystate Innovation Center provides a critical intersection for entrepreneurs who hope to bring their ideas to market in the health care sector.  The center, located at 1350 Main St., Springfield, is a stopping point for small businesses that already have done their initial fund-raising and are at the critical testing and tweaking stage just before launch.

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    19. Editorial: Springfield Tech Foundry to help high school students become innovators

      Editorial: Springfield Tech Foundry to help high school students become innovators

      The brainchild of Delcie Bean, the Springfield Tech Foundry opened its doors to its first class of high school students Monday with a visit from Gov. Deval Patrick timed to the unpacking of their brand new laptops. Operating from ninth floor space at 1391 Main St., the program will train high school students in the soft and technical skills they need to land entry-level jobs in high technology immediately following their year’s worth of training.

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    20. Westfield dissolves Business Improvement District

      Westfield dissolves Business Improvement District

      The Westfield Business Improvement District will be dissolved as a result of a City Council vote Monday night. The council voted 9-2 to accept the government relations committee's recommendation to dissolve the district, with Councilor James Adams abstaining and Councilor Dave Flaherty absent. The vote stems from a petition which received signatures from 57 percent of property owners within the district. Councilor Ralph Figy said his vote to keep the district was the hardest he has made in his time on the council. He said he could see both sides of the argument, but overall the district did a ...

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    21. Valley Venture Mentors accelerator to receive $100000 from MassTech

      Valley Venture Mentors accelerator to receive $100000 from MassTech

      Valley Venture Mentors received a $100,000  grant Monday from Massachusetts Technology Collaborative toward VVM's planned accelerator, a collaborative work space for young high-tech startup companies in Downtown's Tower Square. Gov. Deval Patrick announced the grant Monday during a visit to what backers are calling the Springfield Innovation District. Other stops included Tech Foundry, a computer science program for high school students, located nearby at 1391 Main St., and a third stop to Baystate Innovation Center, a business incubator program of Baystate Health located in 1350 Main St.

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