1. Articles from JimKinney413

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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. 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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    4. 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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    5. New Tower Square owners want more retail for downtown Springfield; seek brand outlets like Gap, Old Navy

      New Tower Square owners want more retail for downtown Springfield; seek brand outlets like Gap, Old Navy

      The new owners of Tower Square want to talk with outlet retailers about bringing brands like Gap and Old Navy to the mall portion of the downtown property they just bought. "MGM is filled with retail already. I think they are going to bring people and drive interest," said Dinesh Patel of East Longmeadow moments before announcing the purchase at a news conference. "I want to thank MGM for their investment. They made it the right time to buy."

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    6. 'We are standing in a 21st Century classroom,' HCC president says at opening of MGM Culinary Arts Institute

      'We are standing in a 21st Century classroom,' HCC president says at opening of MGM Culinary Arts Institute

      As Chef Syron Wheeler scooped spoonfuls of duck fat into a saute pan of mushrooms, a camera broadcast the scene on a large screen over his head. "We are working with foods most people don't see every day," said Wheeler, who plans to work as a sous chef at MGM Springfield's South End Market when the $960-million casino opens in September. "We are doing a duck confit in pasta. Other chefs here are doing steak tartar, lobster bisque."

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    7. Inaugural 'Markets at Eastfield' vendor fair in Springfield mall deemed a success

      Inaugural 'Markets at Eastfield' vendor fair in Springfield mall deemed a success

      The Markets at Eastfield, a vendor fair in the old Macy's at Eastfield Mall, drew thousands of visitors last weekend for its grand opening, according to the promoter who is organizing it as an ongoing event. Bill Bullock, owner of Bulldog Enterprises, said he expects even more people this weekend when he combines the market with one of his company's regular sports card and collectibles shows. The sports card show features former New York Mets pitching ace Dwight Gooden Saturday from 1:30-3 p.m., wrestler X-Pac Saturday from 4-6 p.m. and Rob Ninkovich, a retired Patriots ...

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    8. First Orange Line T car shells arrive at CRRC factory in Springfield

      First Orange Line T car shells arrive at CRRC factory in Springfield

      The first four uncompleted shells for MBTA Orange Line subway cars arrived at the CRRC MA plant in East Springfield this week. Workers there are unpacking them and getting ready to begin assembly work, said spokeswoman Lydia Rivera. She expects work on completing the cars to begin in earnest sometime in the next month or so.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    9. In face of $3.1 million budget gap, PVTA approves delayed service cuts, plan to hike bus fares 20 percent

      In face of $3.1 million budget gap, PVTA approves delayed service cuts, plan to hike bus fares 20 percent

      Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus riders will pay 20 percent more at the fare box and for passes and paratransit trips starting July 1 following a vote Monday of the the PVTA Advisory Board. The board also voted Monday to take a once-every-three-years review of its fares, which before Monday hadn't gone up in a decade. But any fare hikes resulting from those reviews would need a new set of public hearings and a vote at that time. Level funding from the state for the PVTA means the agency gets $23.6 million in the coming budget year. Rising ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    10. Applications available today for Hampden County Regional Employment Board summer jobs program

      Applications available today for Hampden County Regional Employment Board summer jobs program

      With the unemployment rate for those ages 16-19 stuck at nearly 26 percent, the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County is once again calling for people to hire young workers, donate to its summer youth employment programs and provide work sites. Officials fear too many area young people will be out of school this summer with too much time on their hands and no way to pick up the work ethic, job skills and the money a summer job can provide. Not to mention the other ways teens might fill their time if they aren't on the job, said ...

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    11. No English, no luck? Why MGM Springfield is looking for strong English skills and what's being done to prep candidates

      No English, no luck? Why MGM Springfield is looking for strong English skills and what's being done to prep candidates

      MGM Springfield made a big splash this week when it posted 1,000 available jobs in its website. It was a huge step forward for a $960 million project whose main selling point to skeptical voters, who ultimately approved casino gambling here, was jobs. For many of those jobs -- even unskilled ones like bus person and kitchen runner -- "English language proficiency" is the first relevant skill listed. The job description defines English language proficiency this way: "The ability to speak and understand English when giving and receiving instructions, and talking with management, coworkers, and guests. This includes using correct grammar ...

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    12. Tower Square hotel in hands of new owners; local group plans renovations and rebranding

      Tower Square hotel in hands of new owners; local group plans renovations and rebranding

      Businessman Dinesh Patel of East Longmeadow and his partners closed Thursday on their $10.5 million purchase of the Tower Square Hotel, formerly the Marriott, in the heart of downtown. The partners plan to buy the rest of Tower Square -- including the parking garage -- within a few weeks, for a sum they do not yet wish to disclose. The parking garage is considered part of the mall and office tower property. The hotel's sale price became public when papers were filed at the Hampden County Registry of Deeds.

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    13. New owner of Springfield's Tower Square Hotel revealed as sale is set to close

      New owner of Springfield's Tower Square Hotel revealed as sale is set to close

      Western Massachusetts businessman Dinesh Patel and his partners plan to close on their purchase of Tower Square Hotel on Thursday. Patel's attorney, Paul M. Maleck, confirmed Wednesday that the transaction is expected and said Patel and his partners' planned purchase of the adjacent Tower Square mall and office tower will follow in a few weeks.

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    14. Still recovering from flood, Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts offers scholarships, plans dinner

      Still recovering from flood, Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts offers scholarships, plans dinner

      While the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts recovers from a devastating flood that rendered its building unusable, the 400-member club is still hosting dinners and running its scholarship program. Board member Lucille Brindisi said the Italian Cultural Center, based at 56 Margaret St., is offering scholarships to high school seniors who are pursuing higher education.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    15. Springfield unemployment rate steady; jobs, labor force up

      Springfield unemployment rate steady; jobs, labor force up

      The city's unemployment rate crept downward in February by a tenth of a percentage point, to 6.6 percent, from 6.7 percent in January. The city's jobless rate was higher a year ago at this time: 7.3 percent. Local unemployment rates are not adjusted for seasonal changes in the economy. So a year-over-year number is a more accurate snapshot of the local jobs market. The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development released updated figures Wednesday.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    16. 'The New Springfield': Investment in city now $3.76 billion since tornado

      'The New Springfield': Investment in city now $3.76 billion since tornado

      Public and private investment in the city since the tornado of June 2011 now totals more than $3.76 billion, Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy said Tuesday during a presentation at CityStage. Kennedy gave an economic development update to the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce at his "The New Springfield: Now Arriving" program. The $3.76 billion number is up $453 million since Kennedy's most recent CityStage update in November 2016.

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    17. Former Southworth building in Agawam sold; new owners plan to subdivide it for industrial use

      Former Southworth building in Agawam sold; new owners plan to subdivide it for industrial use

      Investors have finalized their purchase of the former Southworth Paper factory and headquarters for $1.9 million. Southworth is liquidating its assets and will likely sell its former mill in the Turners Falls section of Montague at auction. That transaction is pending in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Springfield. In Agawam, the new owners of the 146,000-square-foot plant at 265 Main St., PCT Realty Venture, plan to allow a tenant to keep operating there and to rent out the rest of the building for manufacturing or warehouse uses.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    18. 'The New Springfield is Arriving' progress report features Sec. Jay Ash

      'The New Springfield is Arriving' progress report features Sec. Jay Ash

      Encouraged by recent good news from MassMutual, Big Y and others, city Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy is giving another of his regular updates. The event, called "The New Springfield Is Arriving," takes its name from Springfield's Union Station and the new CTRail commuter rail service. The presentation runs from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday at CityStage, One Columbus Center, Springfield. The event is free. Parking is free in the adjacent garage. State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash is will also speak. Ash helped secure a deal earlier this year that will bring 1,500 MassMutual jobs ...

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    19. Westfield Bank relocating within Springfield's Tower Square

      Westfield Bank relocating within Springfield's Tower Square

      Westfield Bank is preparing to move from one space on the first floor of Tower Square to another. The current Westfield Bank office will go back on the market as available space for a new tenant, said Annette Scheidecker, director of marketing for Tower Square. Westfield Bank's current office space is just inside one of the Tower Square Main Street entrances. The new location is deeper inside the complex

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    20. Massachusetts adds 13K jobs in February, unemployment steady at 3.5 percent

      Massachusetts adds 13K jobs in February, unemployment steady at 3.5 percent

      Massachusetts added 13,700 jobs last month, including 13,100 private-sector jobs, according to statistics released Friday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Payrolls were up  in 11 states -- including Massachusetts --  and was essentially unchanged in 39 states and the District, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Massachusetts, the state's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5 percent on the month. That's six-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. AIC hosts more than 100 employers for all-college career fair March 28

      AIC hosts more than 100 employers for all-college career fair March 28

      American International College expects more than 100 employers on campus at the the annual College Career Centers of Western Mass (CCCWM) Career Fair March 28 in the Henry A. Butova Gymnasium, 125 Cortland St. MGM Springfield will present a casino employment information session from 10-11:30 a.m. The job fair runs from from noon until 3 p.m. Employers are offering both jobs and internships.

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    22. West Springfield shoe and clothing store Skechers opens

      West Springfield shoe and clothing store Skechers opens

      The Skechers outlet store in the Century Center on Memorial Drive in West Springfield opened last weekend, according to an email Thursday from landlords Century Investment Co. The 219 Memorial Ave. location is the brand's first store in Greater Springfield. It is planning a grand opening April 27. Plaza owner Andrew Cohen said the store has about 35 employees. The Skecher's location previously was a Party City and had recently hosted a seasonal Spirit Halloween store.  There is another Skechers at the Lee Premium Outlets in Berkshire County.

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    23. John Hesslein promoted at Western Mass News

      John Hesslein promoted at Western Mass News

      Meredith Corp. promoted John Hesslein to vice president and general manager at Western Mass News, Meredith's CBS, ABC and Fox affiliates based in Springfield. The new job is effective immediately, and Hesslein will report to Patrick McCreery, Meredith Local Media Group executive vice president, according to a press release.  Hesslein has served as the station manager and general sales manager since 2014. He's worked for WSHM-TV CBS-3 and Meredith for more than 13 years.  "John has overseen many exciting enhancements at our Springfield stations, including the launch and growth of our Western Mass News team," McCreery said. "I ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    24. Security with a smile: 1st class graduates from Cambridge College program sponsored by MGM Springfield

      Security with a smile: 1st class graduates from Cambridge College program sponsored by MGM Springfield

      Henry Agudelo, of Feeding Hills, thought he knew security from his years as a correctional officer in Connecticut, as an undercover officer for the USDA investigating food stamp fraud and his time as a soldier. What he learned over the last three weeks, however, was working security with a smile. "There are a lot more similes," Agudelo, 45, said Wednesday after graduating with the first class of Cambridge College's Hospitality Pre-Apprentice Program.

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