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    1. Hazen Paper Recognized at Manufacturing Award Ceremony

      Hazen Paper Recognized at Manufacturing Award Ceremony

      The state’s third annual Manufacturing Award Ceremony, sponsored by the Legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus, was recently held at the State House in Boston. Hazen Paper was one of 58 manufacturers recognized for their success. Hazen is known worldwide for its holographic paper and manufacturing in Holyoke. Well-known examples its work include the Stadium Edition Super Bowl Program and the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Yearbook. “In 2009, when the world was embroiled in the Great Recession, Hazen launched a new holographic and metallizing factory in the industrial sector on Main Street in Holyoke,” said John Hazen, president of Hazen ...

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    2. Boston-based developer expects to announce new retail tenant near MGM Springfield by end of year

      Boston-based developer expects to announce new retail tenant near MGM Springfield by end of year

       Developers Davenport Companies is in discussions with a retail tenant who might take up most of the Main Street-fronting space in its long-planned Davenport Square project near MGM Springfield. Charles Irving, principal with Boston-based Davenport, said recently that he expects to make a public announcement of the deal sometime before January. Davenport has long proposed an 11,000-square-foot multi-tenant building with parking to the rear on the site. The Head Start daycare facility is currently the only business on the property, occupying a section to the rear away from Main Street.

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      Mentions: Springfield MGM
    3. New Valley Bank & Trust has state and federal OK, plans 2 office locations

      New Valley Bank & Trust has state and federal OK, plans 2 office locations

      New Valley Bank & Trust Co., the first new bank to open in Springfield in 11 years, has preliminary OKs from state and federal regulators and plans to open offices in early 2019. Before opening, New Valley Bank & Trust must raise $25 million to $30 million in capital, money it will use to make loans as it begins business, said Jeff Sullivan, New Valley's proposed president and CEO. New Valley has contacted about 500 potential investors.

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    4. Former Kocot aide Diana Szynal to lead Franklin County Chamber of Commerce

      Former Kocot aide Diana Szynal to lead Franklin County Chamber of Commerce

      Diana Szynal has been hired to lead the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, the organization announced. She will replace executive director Natalie Blais, who is headed for Beacon Hill. Szynal, a former member of the Hatfield Board of Selectmen, was longtime district director for the late Rep. Peter Kocot of Northampton. She recently ran to fill Kocot's vacant seat in the 1st Hampshire House District, but lost in the Sept. 4 Democratic primary to Lindsey Sabadosa of Northampton.

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    5. Michael Daly Steps Down as President, CEO of Berkshire Hills Bancorp

      Michael Daly stepped down Monday as president, CEO, and director of Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Berkshire Bank’s holding company. Berkshire Bank President Richard Marotta has been named CEO and president of the company and CEO of the bank. Sean Gray, chief operating officer of Berkshire Bank, will replace Marotta as bank president. The move comes a year after the financial institution moved its headquarters from Pittsfield to Boston, and the purchase of Worcester-based Commerce Bank helped grow Berkshire to its current $12 billion in assets, making it the largest independent Massachusetts-based bank.

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      Mentions: Berkshire Bank
    6. TommyCar Auto Group Supports Unify Against Bullying

      TommyCar Auto Group was the official partner for Unify Against Bullying for October in support of National Bullying Prevention Month. During the entire month of October, each dealership in the group — including Country Nissan, Country Hyundai, Northampton Volkswagen, and the new Volvo Cars Pioneer Valley — donated $20 for every car sold. Thanks to customer involvement, TommyCar Auto Group was able to donate $4,200.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    7. Springfield City Council approves special permit for lumber recycling business at Diamond Match property

      Springfield City Council approves special permit for lumber recycling business at Diamond Match property

      The City Council granted a special permit Monday for a wood recycling business on Paridon Street at the former Diamond Match property in East Forest Park, after the owner made improvements to the site and gained support from the neighborhood association. The council vote was 11-1 in favor of the special permit following a hearing at City Hall, with the lone no vote cast by Councilor Adam Gomez.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    8. People in Business: Seven leaders in Business and Industry appointed to Bay Path University Board of Trustees

      People in Business: Seven leaders in Business and Industry appointed to Bay Path University Board of Trustees

      Seven new members have been elected to the Bay Path University Board of Trustees: Kirk Arnold, technology executive; Lamont Clemons, Senior Vice President, Proton Energy and Executive Vice President, S-Cel-O Painting; Laura Grondin, President and CEO of Virginia Industries, Inc.; Andrea Hill-Cataldo, founder and president of Johnson & Hill Staffing; Stefano Martini, Chief Information Officer for MassMutual Financial group; Wayne Webster, Vice President of Commercial Lending for Westfield Bank; and Michelle Wirth, owner, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, will each serve a three-year term.

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    9. Ambitious Project will Address Workforce Needs, Security Issues in the Supply Chain

      Ambitious Project will Address Workforce Needs, Security Issues in the Supply Chain

      A group of regional partners, led by Bay Path University, has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Mass. Technology Collaborative for a pilot program that will address a host of identified issues — from a critical shortage of workers in the cybersecurity field to the need for smaller manufacturers to become more cyber secure if they are going to keep doing business with their customers in the defense, aerospace, and other sectors.

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    10. Holyoke Community College Opens New Center for Life Sciences

      Holyoke Community College Opens New Center for Life Sciences

      As she walked BusinessWest through one of the brand-new labs in Holyoke Community College’s Center for Life Sciences, Professor Emily Rabinsky said there’s plenty for students to appreciate. “Our old lab space was very outdated and not very conducive to learning,” said Rabinsky, who coordinates the Biotechnology program at HCC. “There were two long bays with a tall shelf in between that made it very difficult for the students to see what the lecturer was referring to, and the equipment was very outdated.” Not so today. “At our recent open house, some students happened to walk by, peeked ...

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    11. Educare Draws Connections Between Home, School, and Economic Opportunities

      Educare Draws Connections Between Home, School, and Economic Opportunities

      The new $14 million Educare Center now under construction in Springfield is focused on education, obviously, but parental involvement and workforce development are key focal points within its broad mission. Mary Walachy calls it “Head Start on steroids.” It’s a term she has called upon often, actually, when speaking to individuals and groups about Educare, an innovative model for high-quality early education that’s coming to Springfield next year — only the 24th such center in the country, in fact.

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    12. CISA Celebrates 25 Years of Sustaining Local Agriculture

      CISA Celebrates 25 Years of Sustaining Local Agriculture

      Margaret Christie is quick to point out that the many challenges area farmers faced a quarter century ago are still as much a part of the landscape as asparagus fields in Hadley. These include everything from the cost of land (among the highest levels in the country), to the many pressures on that land, meaning attractive development options ranging from housing subdivisions to industrial parks, to immense competition from across the country and around the world.

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    13. Springfield seeks developer for tax-title business lots

      Springfield seeks developer for tax-title business lots

      The city has advertised for bids for the purchase and development of three tax-foreclosed business lots at the corner of Walnut and Union streets in the Old Hill neighborhood. The combined lots, totaling 25,603 square feet, are across the street from the Mason Wright Retirement Community. The combined lots have an assessed value of $55,100. "We are open to anything that conforms with the zoning, and is compatible with the neighborhood," said Brian Connors, the city's deputy director of economic development. "Over the years, there has been some amount of interest in that property."

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    14. ‘Job Readiness’ Is focus of HCC-led Grant Project

      ‘Job Readiness’ Is focus of HCC-led Grant Project

      Holyoke Community College has been awarded a $247,000 grant to help unemployed and underemployed individuals acquire the job-readiness skills they need to secure — and retain — stable employment.  Through this grant from the Mass. Dept. of Higher Education’s Training Resources and Internship Networks initiative — TRAIN — HCC will work with a long list of regional partners to develop a three-stage program that includes pre-training in job readiness, industry-specific training in culinary arts or manufacturing, followed by some kind of work experience with a local employer. Up to 120 individuals from Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties are expected to participate in ...

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    15. Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield lit for 2018 season (photos, video)

      Bright Nights at Forest Park in Springfield lit for 2018 season (photos, video)

      It wasn't your usual 3 ... 2 ... 1 countdown. It was a jolly "Ho! Ho! Ho! "that kicked off the 24th edition of Bright Nights at Forest Park as Santa asked the crowd to yell "Ho! ... Ho! ... Ho!" as he lit the 3-mile-long display. There is an addition to the light show this year -- a display sponsored by the Springfield Thunderbirds American Hockey League team that features two players passing the puck and the team's logo. The display is lit with 3,708 LED bulbs.

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    16. As state begins $1M east-west passenger rail study, Palmer seeks a piece of the action

      As state begins $1M east-west passenger rail study, Palmer seeks a piece of the action

      A projected 18-month, $1 million "East-West Passenger Rail Study," subtitled "A study assessing rail service alternatives along the Boston-Worcester-Springfield-Pittsfield corridor" has begun, Department of Transportation officials said this week. Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack on Monday announced the private consultants MassDOT chose to do the work. "We have now selected the team for that study. It's led by WSP USA; includes AECOM, Regina Villa Associates, and Keville Enterprises," Pollack said during the four-hour MasDOT board meeting in Boston.

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    17. 'It's been a long ride': Union Station busy with rushed, stressed and fast-moving Thanksgiving travelers

      'It's been a long ride': Union Station busy with rushed, stressed and fast-moving Thanksgiving travelers

      You really had to watch your step at the foot of the stairs leading down from the train platforms at Union Station on Wednesday afternoon. The CTrail train north from New Haven and Hartford was late, and folks needed to make their bus connections at the other end of the building. They were rushed, stressed and moving quickly to get where they needed to go.

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    18. 15 Massachusetts businesses, including MGM Springfield, CRRC, Table Talk Pies, Wayfair, win economic impact awards

      15 Massachusetts businesses, including MGM Springfield, CRRC, Table Talk Pies, Wayfair, win economic impact awards

      MassEcon, the state's private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, honored the businesses with the Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards for contributions of investment, job growth, facility expansion and community development, MassEcon stated in a news release. MGM Springfield won the gold award for the West region, and CRRC won the silver award for the region. Decker Machine Works of Greenfield won the bronze.

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    19. Mercedes-Benz of Springfield Partners with MGM Springfield

      Mercedes-Benz of Springfield is partnering with MGM Springfield during the holiday season on a number of programs and events. Starting Nov 1, MGM began the “Choose Your Ride” promotion offering one lucky patron a chance to win a new Mercedes-Benz. The drawing will be held Dec. 1 at the casino. Three Mercedes-Benz have been on display in the plaza since Nov 1. Also, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield is proud to have the naming rights for another Springfield first from Nov. 23 to March 3. The plaza will transform into The Ice Rink at MGM Presented by Mercedes-Benz of Springfield where guests ...

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    20. Comcast Unveils New Xfinity Store at Holyoke Mall

      On Tuesday, Comcast staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of its newest Xfinity Store, which is located on the upper level of the Holyoke Mall. The 4,691-square-foot space is the first Xfinity Store in the region to open in a mall setting and is focused entirely around the needs of customers. Consumers will have the opportunity to explore, learn about, and interact directly with the latest Xfinity products and services, including Xfinity Mobile. In addition, the store offers a dedicated space where Comcast Business customers and prospects can discover cutting-edge business solutions and get connected with ...

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    21. MassMutual and the Hampden County Bar Association Legal Clinic expand Pro Bono Partnership

      MassMutual and the Hampden County Bar Association Legal Clinic expand Pro Bono Partnership

      Springfield - Expanding its relationship with the Hampden Country Bar Association (HCBA) Legal Clinic, the MassMutual Foundation, Inc. - a dedicated corporate foundation established by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) - announced that it is providing the Hampden County Bar Association more than $300,000 to help underserved residents in the Springfield community access resources and education that will empower them to effectively navigate debt-related legal issues.

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    22. Springfield City Council OKs $1.1 million for community preservation: Here's who received...

      Springfield City Council OKs $1.1 million for community preservation: Here's who received...

      The City Council on Monday night approved special tax funds totaling $1.1 million for 11 community preservation projects including studies aimed at restoring the long-deteriorated Campanile tower and advancing bike-walkway projects along an abandoned rail line. The funds were approved by unanimous votes and are dedicated to historic preservation, open space and recreation and affordable housing initiatives under the Community Preservation Act property tax surcharge program. The new surtax was approved by Springfield voters two years ago.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    23. With Stop & Shop plans dead, Tasty Top site on market for $3 million in Easthampton

      With Stop & Shop plans dead, Tasty Top site on market for $3 million in Easthampton

      Stop & Shop corporation is no longer interested in building a retail plaza at 93-99 Northampton Road, and the 34-acre site -- home of Tasty Top ice cream and Easthampton Golf -- is on the market for $3 million. Property owner Dennis Courtney told The Republican on Tuesday that "Stop & Shop is totally gone," and that the corporation told him in August that "they had decided not to do the project." Courtney, of Florence, is manager of a family trust that owns the land. The family has owned the property "forever," said Courtney. A large "for sale" sign, directing interested parties to the ...

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