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    1. Drone Pilot Certification Course at HCC Begins May 4

      Drone Pilot Certification Course at HCC Begins May 4

      Holyoke Community College (HCC) will once again offer a hands-on program for individuals who want to become FAA-licensed drone pilots. “Flying Drones for Profit, Public Safety and Commercial Applications” will meet on four Saturdays beginning May 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the main campus of HCC, 303 Homestead Ave. The last class is June 1. The course will prepare individuals to take the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Remote Pilot in Charge exam, which they must pass to become licensed drone operators. All classes will be taught by Larry Harmon, co-director of the GeoGraphics Laboratory at ...

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    2. First PawSox, now Massachusetts would like to lure Hasbro HQ from Pawtucket - masslive.com

      First PawSox, now Massachusetts would like to lure Hasbro HQ from Pawtucket - masslive.com

      The Massachusetts Office of Business Development said in a statement that it is “working to establish a dialogue with the company, as it regularly does with businesses both in and outside the commonwealth that may benefit from learning more about the many opportunities to grow in Massachusetts.”

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    3. Pier 1 Imports could close as many as 145 stores this year - masslive.com

      Pier 1 Imports could close as many as 145 stores this year - masslive.com

      Pier 1 Imports could close up to 145 stores this year as the home goods retailer continues to struggle with sluggish sales.  The company said in a statement this week that its net sales decreased by 19.5 percent in the fourth quarter compared to last year, with a net loss of $68.8 million. As part of its 2020 fiscal action plan, Pier 1 plans to close 45 stores with the possibility of shuttering 100 more.

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    4. JA Celebrates 100 Years of Providing Life Lessons - BusinessWest

      JA Celebrates 100 Years of Providing Life Lessons - BusinessWest

      The 100th Anniversary Gala for Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts will have a decidedly ’20s flair — as in the 1920s. In fact, the theme is “The Roaring ’20s are Back.”  Attendees are encouraged, but not required, to come in period dress, a challenge that Jennifer Connelly, executive director of the local JA chapter, met (with considerable help from her daughter) by doing a hard search online that yielded the appropriate dress as well as a headband with a feather.

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    5. Tina D’Agostino Joins Mercy Medical Center in ‘Major Gifts’ Role

      Tina D’Agostino Joins Mercy Medical Center in ‘Major Gifts’ Role

      Tina D’Agostino has joined Mercy Medical Center as a major gifts officer in the Fund Development Department. In this role, D’Agostino’s responsibilities include expanding the Major Gifts Program by cultivating donors and donor prospects, coordinating major gifts as they relate to capital fundraising campaigns, and overseeing volunteers who support the department. D’Agostino joins Mercy Medical Center after 17 years in the arts and entertainment industry.

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    6. Legislative Update - Paid Family and Medical Leave

      I wanted to notify you that the Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave has developed templates to assist you with the required notice to your workforce informing them of the PMFL program, contribution rates, benefits, etc.. The notice must be delivered to your current employees or self-employed individuals you are currently contracting with no later than May 31, 2019. The notice must be delivered to new employees within 30 days of date of hire or at the time of contract with respect to self-employed individuals.The notice may be provided electronically, but, if you choose to do so, it ...

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      Mentions: Westfield
    7. Gov. Charlie Baker is this year’s UMass Amherst commencement speaker

      Gov. Charlie Baker is this year’s UMass Amherst commencement speaker

      Gov. Charlie Baker will be the featured commencement speaker at the University of Massachusetts Amherst next month, UMass announced Wednesday. Baker is expected to address a crowd of about 20,000 at 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 10 at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The university said about 5,500 undergraduates will receive their bachelor’s degrees at the at the ceremony.

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    8. Sports & Leisure Archives - BusinessWest

      Sports & Leisure Archives - BusinessWest

      The golf business has never been entirely about golf. There has always been a need a diversity in the form of food and beverage, weddings and other events, and even cross-country skiing in the winter. But at a time when clubs are being challenged by declining play and rising expenses, the need to create revenue streams and put all their facilities to use has never been greater.

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    9. Hampshire Council of Governments plans to cease operations; hopes to sell historic Northampton courthouse - masslive.com

      Hampshire Council of Governments plans to cease operations; hopes to sell historic Northampton courthouse - masslive.com

      With officials expecting to run out of money as early as July, the Hampshire Council of Governments is working to cease operations and is trying to sell its largest asset — Northampton’s historic 1886 courthouse — to the state.  Russell Peotter, chairman of the council, said the hope is to make about $5 million by selling the courthouse and liquidating the council’s electricity business.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    10. For 150 Years, the YWCA of Western Mass. Has Been Helping Survivors Heal - BusinessWest

      For 150 Years, the YWCA of Western Mass. Has Been Helping Survivors Heal - BusinessWest

      Helping survivors heal. That’s been the mission of the YWCA of Western Mass. for 150 years. Today, the agency does this in a number of ways, some well-known, such as its 58-bed domestic-violence shelter, and others far-less-heralded but still important, such as helping area young people attain their high-school equivalency. In each case, the key is providing these survivors with the tools they need to achieve a higher quality of life.

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    11. Springfield Regional Chamber Releases Legislative Agenda

      Springfield Regional Chamber Releases Legislative Agenda

      The Springfield Regional Chamber (SRC) 2019 Outlook has released its legislative agenda outlining the priorities of its more than 500 members for the legislative session and the major issues it will focus on to strengthen business competitiveness, lower business costs and stimulate growth in the greater Springfield region. “Every other year, we survey our more than 500 members to gather feedback about the issues that are impacting their business, their success, their growth strategies,” said SRC President Nancy F. Creed. “We then determine our legislative priorities based on what matters most to them and this forms our advocacy roadmap for ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    12. Charter school pays $2.35M for church complex in West Springfield

      Charter school pays $2.35M for church complex in West Springfield

      Hampden Charter School of Science West, which opened last fall at the former Immaculate Conception-St. Francis Xavier Cabrini complex, has bought the property from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield for $2.35 million. The purchase, recorded in late March at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds, includes 3.3 acres of land between Main Street and Route 5, a parking lot and buildings including the former church, school, convent, rectory and a two-car garage.

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    13. Wyckoff’s New Owners Have Ambitious Plans for Facility

      Wyckoff’s New Owners Have Ambitious Plans for Facility

      None of the members of the new ownership team at Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke had spent any time on the golf course — or in the golf business — prior to their acquisition earlier this year. But they did know a few things about what they were getting into. Actually, more than a few. They knew how to run a business — Bob VanZandt Sr. has operated American Tire Sales & Service in Springfield for nearly 40 years, and Charlie Arment has been at the helm of Charlie Arment Trucking in Springfield, a 65-year-old family business, since 1978. Beyond that, well, they knew ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    14. United Personnel Aims to Make Life Easier for Clients

      United Personnel Aims to Make Life Easier for Clients

      At its core, the mission of a staffing agency is to connect employers with job seekers — a task United Personnel has tackled with success for 35 years. But creating those matches doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Rather, building a healthy workforce is a region-wide effort that makes demands of employers, colleges, training programs, K-to-12 schools, and lawmakers. United Personnel President Tricia Canavan recognizes this big picture — and her firm’s role in closing the gaps.

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    15. Palmer Seeks to Boost Its Destination Status

      Palmer Seeks to Boost Its Destination Status

      Palmer’s leaders see the town as a destination — and hope the myriad players investigating east-west passenger rail service in Massachusetts view it the same way. That’s why the Palmer Town Council recently established a citizens’ advisory committee and contracted with the UMass Center for Economic Development to study — and prepare a report on — the merits of an east-west passenger rail stop in Palmer, to be submitted to the state advisory committee currently looking into the feasibility of expanded east-west passenger service. Those efforts included a recent meeting with community members to brainstorm about the pros and cons of ...

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    16. HCC Hires Patrick Carpenter as Director of Institutional Advancement

      HCC Hires Patrick Carpenter as Director of Institutional Advancement

      Holyoke Community College recently welcomed Patrick Carpenter as its director of Institutional Advancement. In his new role, Carpenter will serve as the principal gifts officer for the HCC Foundation, facilitate donor cultivation and engagement, and supervise the office of Alumni Relations.  Before his hiring at HCC, he held advancement positions at Westfield State University as major gifts officer, Boston College School of Law as associate director of University Advancement, and Elms College, his alma mater, as director of Annual Giving.

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    17. Springfield Partners for Community Action to Host ‘Protecting Your Assets’ Seminar

      Springfield Partners for Community Action to Host ‘Protecting Your Assets’ Seminar

      Springfield Partners for Community Action Inc. will host its fourth annual “Protecting Your Assets” event on Thursday, April 25 starting at 5:30 p.m. at Springfield Partners, 721 State St. The event is in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month, celebrated every April. Light refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public. Call (413) 263-6500 or e-mail anthinyt@springfieldpartnersinc.com to reserve a seat.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    18. Diversity emphasized at opening of $62M UMass Business Innovation Hub

      Diversity emphasized at opening of $62M UMass Business Innovation Hub

      Diversity and inclusiveness was a recurring theme during the ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday at the newest addition to the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management. The $62 million, 70,000-square-foot Business Innovation Hub opened for use in January. UMass said it nearly doubles the size of the Isenberg School, which enrolls 5,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

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    19. Springfield schools open $21M culinary and food center described as national model - masslive.com

      Springfield schools open $21M culinary and food center described as national model - masslive.com

      A decade-long dream turned to reality on Friday when Springfield schools and local officials celebrated the opening of a $21 million, state-of-the-art Culinary and Nutrition Center that will serve 30,000 students daily.  City and school officials, students, and representatives of Sodexo food service company were part of a large crowd gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new center, at 75 Cadwell Drive, in East Springfield.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    20. UMass Amherst Names Sanjay Raman Dean of the College of Engineering

      UMass Amherst Names Sanjay Raman Dean of the College of Engineering

      Sanjay Raman, associate vice president for the Virginia Tech National Capital Region and president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, has been named the new dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The announcement was made by John J. McCarthy, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. Raman begins his new duties at UMass Amherst in August.

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    21. Former Springfield church demolished to make way for medical offices

      Former Springfield church demolished to make way for medical offices

      Developer Fran Cataldo has demolished the former Gardner Memorial AME Zion Church at 90 Carew St. just less than a year after acquiring the property from DevelopSpringfield. Cataldo plans to build a 13,000-square-foot medical office building at the site, he said. Construction on the $3 million project will begin in mid May. “I think its exciting for the neighborhood,” Cataldo said.

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