1. Articles from JimKinney413

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    1. Massachusetts up 61K jobs on the year, unemployment lowest in 15 years

      Massachusetts up 61K jobs on the year, unemployment lowest in 15 years

      Job gains occurred in the Professional, Scientific and Business Services, Manufacturing, and Other Services sectors, according to the state. Local jobless rates for October won't be available for a few weeks. But in September, the unemployment rate in the city of Springfield fell to 6.3 percent, the lowest level in nearly a decade, according to the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Springfield's unemployment rate was last this low in December of 2007, nearly nine years ago and prior to the Great Recession. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in October. Unemployment rates ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    2. Health care waiver means $28.05M for Baystate, stability for local hospitals

      Health care waiver means $28.05M for Baystate, stability for local hospitals

      A Medicaid waiver announced last week means increased funding to local hospitals, including $28.05 million over five years in long-sought "safety net" money for Baystate Medical Center. That's money the hospital administration felt was wrongly withheld in the past. The waiver, a $52.4 billion deal between the hospitals, the state and the federal government, has three distinct funding streams: the Health Safety Net, funding for new accountable care organizations meant to improve health and save money, and improved Medicaid reimbursement rates, according to hospital executives in the Pioneer Valley.

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    3. Massachusetts rail plan, passenger trains in Pioneer Valley, open to public comment

      Massachusetts rail plan, passenger trains in Pioneer Valley, open to public comment

      With the planned reopening of Springfield Union Station now just weeks away, officials want the public to learn about and comment on a new statewide rail plan. A plan update and public comment meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress St., Springfield. The state's goal is to have the rail plan, which addresses both passenger and freight service, completed sometime in the first three months of 2017, said  Timothy Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and a rail advocate.

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    4. Upscale Mocha Emporium coffee shop opens today in Downtown Springfield (photos)

      Upscale Mocha Emporium coffee shop opens today in Downtown Springfield (photos)

      This will be the first Mocha Emporium to open in a downtown location. Wahhas said Springfield is developing with Union Station, the casino and the Silverbrick Lofts complex. Moch Emporium will be the first new business to locate in the Silverbrick lofts complex since Silverbrick took over the former Morgan Square apartments. There are some businesses who held over from the old ownership. He also plans to offer snacks like biscotti, cake, cheesecake, chocolates, chocolate-covered espresso beans, small breakfast entrees and sandwiches. The sandwiches are not offered at the other Mocha Emporium locations, but Wahhas said he wants to appeal ...

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    5. Is Greater Springfield nearing full employment? Farmington Bank scorecard says yes

      Is Greater Springfield nearing full employment? Farmington Bank scorecard says yes

      With some good economic news recently, Western Massachusetts may be nearing a state of full employment, where the jobless rate sits around 3 percent or so.As a region, Greater Springfield had an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, down from 5.7 percent a year ago in the September of 2015, according to state data. The statewide unemployment rate is lower at 3.3 percent, much closer to the 3 to 4 percent unemployment most economists think of as full employment. Seven of eight indicators Klepper-Smith uses to gauge the area economy are positive this quarter. Unemployment is down ...

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    6. Baystate Medical Center begins work on $27M power plant in Springfield's North End

      Baystate Medical Center begins work on $27M power plant in Springfield's North End

      Baystate Medical Center will be able to operate for 30-days off the electrical grid once its new, $27-million combined heat and power plant is completed by December 2017. "We will be able to operate as an island," said Sean Gouvin, director of facilities planning and engineering for Baystate Health. Baystate's existing power plant dates back to the 1930s.

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    7. MassMutual lays off 150 around country as a result of MetLife deal

      MassMutual lays off 150 around country as a result of MetLife deal

      MassMutual Financial Group laid off 150 employees Tuesday as a result of its $165 million takeover earlier this year of MetLife's life insurance sales operation. The layoffs were spread out over 10 offices, including the insurance giant's headquarters on State Street in Springfield. "We have been working to integrate the organizations," said MassMutual spokesman James Lacey. "When you do so, you have overlaps and redundancies. These were difficult decisions that were not made lightly and we are committed to providing support and respecting the privacy of those affected by the decisions."

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    8. Chinese group's visit to Greater Springfield prompts talk of educational exchange program

      Chinese group's visit to Greater Springfield prompts talk of educational exchange program

      Chinese engineers and technicians wrapped up a week-long tour of Western Massachusetts on Friday with a visit to the engineering laboratories and classrooms at Western New England University. The 20 visitors represent the largest state-owned enterprises in China and were here on a trip organised by the Global Corporate College and the Massachusetts Community Colleges.

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    9. Springfield Chamber to honor 'Super 60' fast-growing companies in Western Mass.

      Springfield Chamber to honor 'Super 60' fast-growing companies in Western Mass.

      The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced the businesses and nonprofits it will honor this week at its annual "Super 60." awards ceremony. Dean Rohan, a co-founder of Tree House Brewing, will give the keynote speech at the "Super 60" lunch,  11:30 a.m., Friday October 28 at Chez Josef in Agawam.

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    10. CilantroMex opens 1st Massachusetts location at Holyoke Mall

      CilantroMex opens 1st Massachusetts location at Holyoke Mall

      CilantroMex has opened its location in the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside on the upper level near JC Penney, according to a news release from the Mall. It will be the first CilantroMex location in Massachusetts. The 10-location chain has seven restaurants in Rhode Island and two in New York. One location is near Albany, New York, in Crossgates Mall and in Syracuse, New York, at Destiny USA. Both those malls are also owned by Pyramid Cos. which owns Holyoke Mall.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    11. Massachusetts unemployment falls to lowest point in 15 years

      Massachusetts unemployment falls to lowest point in 15 years

      The Massachusetts unemployment rate fell in September to 3.6 percent, its lowest point since June of 2001, according to numbers released Thursday by the federal Bureau of Labor Information and the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The state gained 5,100 jobs over the month. The August unemployment rate was 3.9 percent. Local September numbers will not be available for another week, but unemployment in the city of Springfield fell in August to 7.4 percent from 8 percent a month earlier and 9.5 percent a year earlier in August 2015.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    12. F.L. Roberts sells gas stations, stores and Jiffy Lube locations

      F.L. Roberts sells gas stations, stores and Jiffy Lube locations

      Longtime local business F.L. Roberts & Co. has sold both its retail gas station and car wash business and its Jiffy Lube franchises to separate owners while retaining its wholesale business as Roberts Energy. As reported earlier, Roberts is selling its nine Jiffy Lubes to Atlantic Coast Enterprises, a Jiffy Lube franchisee with headquarters in Connecticut and locations in the southeastern U.S. Roberts is selling its retail and car wash business to Nouria Energy Corp.

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    13. Columbia Gas cuts ribbon on Springfield operations center

      Columbia Gas cuts ribbon on Springfield operations center

      Corporate officials from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and NiSource, its corporate parent, invited lawmakers, city and state officials as well as police and firefighters to tour its new Springfield operations center Thursday. The 27,000-square-foot facility at 2025 Roosevelt Ave. in the East Springfield neighborhood replaces the gas utility's former headquarters next door. That building, which went up in 1964 and was considered antiquated, will be torn down, said Stephen H. Bryant, president of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.

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    14. Lenox American Saw sees East Longmeadow workforce as an asset

      Lenox American Saw sees East Longmeadow workforce as an asset

      Management at the sprawling Lenox American Saw plant in East Longmeadow considered the skilled workforce there an asset, and over the past year openly considered shifting more production there, said Richard K. Sullivan Jr., president and CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. Sullivan spoke Wednesday after news broke that Stanley Black & Decker of New Britain, Connecticut, purchased the Newell Brands tool division for $1.95 billion in cash. The division includes Lenox American Saw, which has about 640 employees in East Longmeadow, out of the 900 people who manufacture and market Lenox saw blades and tools in ...

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      Mentions: Rick Sullivan
    15. AIM honors Smith & Wesson, Valley Venture Mentors, PeoplesBank, Cowls

      AIM honors Smith & Wesson, Valley Venture Mentors, PeoplesBank, Cowls

      AIM announced in a recent news release that the 2016 Next Century Awards will go to Smith & Wesson and Valley Venture Mentors, both of Springfield. The inaugural AIM Sustainability Award recognizing excellence in environmental stewardship will go to both PeoplesBank of Holyoke and W.D. Cowls Inc. of North Amherst. AIM President and CEO Richard C. Lord will present the four awards at a regional celebration of Western Massachusetts business from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Wood Museum of Springfield History at the Quadrangle.

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    16. Western Mass. 'overlooked and underappreciated,' economist says at Knowledge Corridor event

      Western Mass. 'overlooked and underappreciated,' economist says at Knowledge Corridor event

      Klepper-Smith, the economic adviser to Farmington Bank, spoke at the New England Knowledge Corridor Partnership's Mayor's Fall Economic forum hosted by Central Connecticut State University. Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chicopee Mayor Richard J. Kos both spoke, as did mayors from Hartford, New Britain and New Haven, Connecticut. The purpose of the meeting was to get the mayors together to learn and to share solutions and best practices for situations they all deal with, said Timothy Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and one of the organizers of Wednesday's event.

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    17. Business confidence gains in September, says AIM survey

      Business confidence gains in September, says AIM survey

      Massachusetts employers gained confidence in the economy in September after three straight months of decline, according to survey results released this week by Associated Industries of Massachusetts. The group's Business Confidence Index rose 1.8 points to 55.9 last month, the same level recorded 12 months earlier. Associated Industries, a statewide business lobby group, plots business confidence on a 100-point scale where 50 is neutral, zero is bad and 100 is good. It's based on a survey of AIM members from across the state.

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    18. Tree House Brewing co-founder Dean Rohan headlines Springfield Chamber's Super 60

      Tree House Brewing co-founder Dean Rohan headlines Springfield Chamber's Super 60

      Dean Rohan, co-founder of Tree House Brewing Co., will be the keynote speaker Oct. 28 at the Springfield Regional Chamber's Super 60 lunch. The event, now in its 27th year, is presented by Health New England and sponsored by Farmington Bank in partnership with the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce. The event is also sponsored by gold sponsor Berkshire Bank, with the reception sponsored by The Republican and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County.

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    19. 'Everyone deserves to be treated with respect': $300K federal grant helps domestic violence housing at YWCA of Western Mass.

      'Everyone deserves to be treated with respect': $300K federal grant helps domestic violence housing at YWCA of Western Mass.

      The YWCA is the largest provider of services to battered women in the state. The YWCA of Western Massachusetts provides emergency shelter to more than 300 women and children each year, provides nonresidential counseling and treatment to 2,000 women and children a year and receives 10,000 calls to its crisis hotline each year.

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    20. AIC buys State Street building plus adjacent land

      AIC buys State Street building plus adjacent land

      American International College has purchased a now-vacant strip mall and car wash and nearly a half-acre of land adjacent to its campus for $375,000. The transaction was recorded at the Hampden County Registry Of Deeds on Sept. 19. The building at 1081-1095 State St., the corner of State and Reed streets, recently was home to Dad's Variety and other businesses. Dad's Variety closed in August, according to Facebook posts.

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    21. MGM Springfield site to become classroom for Putnam Vocational construction students

      MGM Springfield site to become classroom for Putnam Vocational construction students

      Construction students at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy will get some real-world training and experience at the site of the $950 million MGM Springfield casino under an agreement signed Friday. "We are going to extend the classroom into the construction site and make it a laboratory for our students," said David M. Cruise, president and CEO of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. "This is a great way to prepare our students for jobs, jobs that are in demand right now."

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    22. UMass recruits in Springfield for MassMutual-inspired cyber security program

      UMass recruits in Springfield for MassMutual-inspired cyber security program

      When the University of Massachusetts was developing its cyber security program at the UMass Center at Springfield, it surveyed area employers about the need for trained computer security professionals. Yes, please, they said. We want more ... and fast. "This program is for Springfield," said Tracy Mitrano, who is the academic dean and an instructor for UMass Amherst cyber security programs. "We are in a global information economy. You cannot navigate a global information economy if all your information is just getting sucked out."

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    23. Aer Lingus launches Bradley International Airport to Dublin, Ireland, daily service

      Aer Lingus launches Bradley International Airport to Dublin, Ireland, daily service

      Crowds gathered in the terminal of Bradley International Airport cheered Wednesday at the arrival of the first round-trip Aer Lingus flight from Dublin, Ireland, to the Hartford-Springfield region. The plane not only brought a full load of 180 passengers from Ireland to the Connecticut River Valley, but it also heralded the return of long sought-after transatlantic service to Bradley and what economic development officials in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Ireland see as a growing market for business and recreational travel. Jack Foley, Aer Lingus executive vice president for North America, told the crowd Wednesday that he expects to be back here ...

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    24. Pioneer Valley Railroad, DCP Midstream Terminal, get state grant to expand gas capacity

      Pioneer Valley Railroad, DCP Midstream Terminal, get state grant to expand gas capacity

      The Pioneer Valley Railroad and DCP Midstream Terminal, a natural gas distributor in Westfield, have received a $150,000 Massachusetts Department of Transportation freight rail infrastructure grant to increase capacity in Westfield. The money will be used to rehab a rail spur serving DCP Midstream Terminal's facility on Medeiros Way and allow the company to bring in more rail cars. DCP rail shipments have already increased by 1,300 cars over the past five years, according to a news release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

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