1. Articles from #!/shiraschoenberg

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    1. Massachusetts awards $20 million for 'game-changing' energy storage grants

      Massachusetts awards $20 million for 'game-changing' energy storage grants

      Gov. Charlie Baker plans to announce the grants Thursday at UMass Memorial Hospital in Marlborough. The University of Massachusetts Amherst will receive one of the largest awards, $1.14 million, to install a lithium ion battery storage system in its energy supply system. The battery will provide more resiliency to the system, which currently involves a cogeneration plant and a solar array.

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    2. Gov. Charlie Baker signs bond bill authorizing $45 million for Western Massachusetts...

      Gov. Charlie Baker signs bond bill authorizing $45 million for Western Massachusetts...

      Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bond bill on Tuesday that will authorize the state to spend another $45 million on broadband projects in Western Massachusetts. "It's very hard to keep kids, attract kids, attract businesses, keep businesses, keep families, attract families in this day and age if you don't have high-speed internet," Baker said at a bill signing ceremony. "It's almost like a core piece of infrastructure for someone to succeed in this century."

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    3. Legislature sends broadband bill, including $45M for WMass, to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk

      Legislature sends broadband bill, including $45M for WMass, to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk

      The Legislature passed a $244 million bond bill on Wednesday, sending it to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk. The bill, H.4015, includes $45 million for the expansion of broadband internet in Western Massachusetts. It also includes $199 million for the design and construction of a new Chelsea Soldiers' Home. The bill had a strict deadline, since if it were not passed before the legislative session ended on Wednesday, millions of dollars of federal money for the Soldiers' Home would have been at stake. The broadband money is part of the "Last Mile" project, which uses state subsidies to make ...

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    4. How much did your community get? State transportation grants to rural Western...

      How much did your community get? State transportation grants to rural Western...

      The Baker administration on Tuesday announced that it was awarding $8.5 million in grants for infrastructure projects in 10 rural towns. The grants came through MassWorks, a grant program that funds local infrastructure. Each year, 10 percent of grants are reserved for transportation and roadway projects in small towns, those with fewer than 7,000 inhabitants. Many of these projects are in Western Massachusetts. Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack said in a statement, “These grants will renew critical local infrastructure which connects our residents and visitors in rural communities to the education resources, hospitals, and the good and vital ...

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    5. Study finds improving rail service is top transit priority for Western Mass. residents

      Study finds improving rail service is top transit priority for Western Mass. residents

      Ask a Massachusetts resident how to get across the state and the answer, in many cases, is "You can't get there from here." At least not easily, and not using public transportation. A group of Massachusetts senators asked residents what transportation improvements are most important to them. The answer in Western Massachusetts was similar to the answer around the state: residents want improved rail service, followed by better buses. "Whatever region people came from, people saw as a top mobility priority regional rail," said Jim Aloisi, a former state transportation secretary who worked on the Senate study.

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    6. Health Connector adds employee choice to new small business insurance exchange

      Health Connector adds employee choice to new small business insurance exchange

      Springfield and Worcester-based health insurers were among the first companies to adopt a new state platform for selling health insurance to small businesses. The Massachusetts Health Connector recently updated its exchange for companies with fewer than 50 employees. Insurers will be required to participate, but only three are involved in the first stage of the launch: Health New England of Springfield, Fallon Community Health Plan in Worcester and Boston Medical Center Health Plan in Boston.

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    7. Massachusetts affordable housing projects get $72 million: What's coming to your town?

      Massachusetts affordable housing projects get $72 million: What's coming to your town?

      Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced $72 million in direct funding and $28 million in state and federal tax credits for 25 affordable housing projects around the state including in Chicopee, Holyoke and Springfield. “It’s not just about the money, it’s not just about the construction,” Baker said during a press conference at Olmsted Green, a housing complex on the former Boston state hospital site in the Mattapan neighborhood of Boston. “It’s about the opportunity that’s attached to a lot of this and stability” for people who are seniors, formerly homeless or have disabilities.

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    8. House budget earmarks $1M for new Baystate medical school

      House budget earmarks $1M for new Baystate medical school

      The budget bill passed by the Massachusetts House on Tuesday includes $1 million for Baystate Health's new medical school campus in Springfield. That is less than the $3.4 million that Baystate had asked for. But state Rep. Michael Finn, D-West Springfield, who sponsored the amendment, said he was "ecstatic" that some money made it through the House budget process. "It's a big step for Springfield, and anything we can do to help get the medical school off the ground will do a lot toward improving the overall community," Finn said.

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    9. Rep. Seth Moulton: Boston rail project would benefit Springfield

      Rep. Seth Moulton: Boston rail project would benefit Springfield

      U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts, a major booster of a proposed rail link between Boston's two major train hubs, is arguing that the project will also be good for Springfield. Moulton, in an interview with The Republican after an unrelated event in Boston, tried to distinguish between the North-South rail link proposal to connect Boston's North Station and South Station and the Big Dig -- the massive Boston highway project plagued by cost overruns and design flaws.

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    10. Baystate Health seeks $3.4M from state for medical school

      Baystate Health seeks $3.4M from state for medical school

      Baystate Health and UMass Medical School are hoping to get $3.4 million in state money to build their new medical school in Springfield. "We think this would be a worthy investment in primary care for the region for the next several decades," said Ben Craft, a spokesman for Baystate Health. The new Baystate medical school is expected to open in August with 25 students. Baystate has touted the program as a way to attract more doctors to Western Massachusetts. The school's focus will be on training primary care physicians and teaching population health in both urban and rural ...

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    11. Western Mass. tourism councils offer treats at Statehouse event (photos)

      Western Mass. tourism councils offer treats at Statehouse event (photos)

      Massachusetts' 16 regional tourism councils visited the Statehouse on Thursday to showcase locally produced goods. The tourism industry in Massachusetts accounts for 135,000 jobs and 23.5 million visitors, according to industry numbers. In 2015, visitors spent $20.2 billion in the state, yielding $1.3 billion in local and state tax revenue. "Tourism is a very powerful economic driver in Massachusetts," said Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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    12. WMass communities awarded $1.4 million for clean energy projects

      WMass communities awarded $1.4 million for clean energy projects

      Massachusetts energy officials have awarded $1.4 million in grants to seven Western Massachusetts communities to fund clean energy projects. The grants will go to Chicopee, Agawam, Blandford, Granville, Ware, Warren and Westfield. The largest grant, $266,000, will go to Westfield, followed by $208,000 to Agawam. The grants were part of the "Green Communities" program, in which communities make certain commitments related to energy and the environment, such as reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years, and are then eligible for state grants and assistance.

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    13. Massachusetts Broadband Institute OKs proposal for internet service to six towns

      Massachusetts Broadband Institute OKs proposal for internet service to six towns

      Peter Larkin, board chairman of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, said there is no perfect solution, but the institute is committed to helping each town find the best possible project. "We're going to stumble, and we're going to be successful," Larkin said. "This administration is committed to this cause." Last year, Gov. Charlie Baker's administration revamped the state's "Last Mile" broadband program and brought Larkin on to oversee it. The goal of the program is to bring high-speed internet connectivity to 40 rural towns in Western Massachusetts that do not have it.

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    14. Sen. Eric Lesser meets with Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy to discuss high-speed rail

      Sen. Eric Lesser meets with Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy to discuss high-speed rail

      State Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, met with Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy on Thursday as part of Lesser's push to establish high-speed rail between Boston and Springfield. "I am glad we have allies in Connecticut who understand the power of regional transportation to transform our economies," Lesser said in a statement. "East-west rail will be a victory not only for Massachusetts but for our region, including Connecticut, and we have built broad regional support for this proposal." Connecticut has been working to develop commuter rail service between New Haven, Hartford and Springfield.

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    15. Energy costs factor into business development, expansion decisions

      Energy costs factor into business development, expansion decisions

      When the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center was seeking a location, it chose Holyoke for two reasons: the city's low electricity prices and its access to interstate highways and a fiber optic communications network. "We think about the cost of electricity every day," says the computing center's executive director, John Goodhue. For many businesses, whether they rely on powerful computers or manufacturing equipment, the price of electricity is a major part of the cost of doing business.

       

       

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    16. Western Massachusetts communities get $47,000 for regionalization efforts

      Western Massachusetts communities get $47,000 for regionalization efforts

      Western and central Massachusetts communities will receive $47,000 in state grants to help them with regionalization efforts. Gov. Charlie Baker's administration has awarded $35,310 to establish the Pioneer Valley Mosquito Control District in Deerfield, Greenfield, Montague and South Hadley. Another $12,500 will be used to establish shared highway services in Phillipston and Royalston. The money comes through a Community Compact program headed by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, which has an initiative dedicated to helping small towns regionalize services and become more efficient. The grants provide funding for one-time or transition costs associated with regionalization.

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      Mentions: Amherst Greenfield
    17. Training, networking among challenges facing WMass manufacturers

      Training, networking among challenges facing WMass manufacturers

      Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, said manufacturing is particularly important to Western Massachusetts, where a study a couple of years ago found there are an estimated 18,000 open manufacturing jobs in the corridor from Springfield to Hartford, Connecticut. A manufacturing job that pays a wage of around $75,000 could move someone into the middle class in Western Massachusetts.

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    18. Boston-area clean tech startup Greentown Labs to open Springfield office

      Boston-area clean tech startup Greentown Labs to open Springfield office

      Greentown Labs, a Somerville-based incubator for clean technology start-ups, plans to open an office in Springfield to connect businesses in eastern and Western Massachusetts. The Springfield office will help hardware businesses in the Boston area connect with manufacturers and startups in the western part of the state. The goal is to ensure that before a company looks for an out-of-state supplier, it will first look at companies in Massachusetts. The Greentown Labs satellite office will be located at Springfield Technology Park, a business complex across the road from Springfield Technical Community College. Greentown Labs CEO Emily Reichert said the new ...

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    19. Springfield, Holyoke receive preschool expansion grants

      Springfield, Holyoke receive preschool expansion grants

      Massachusetts has received a $15 million federal grant to provide a year of free preschool to low-income children in five cities, including Holyoke and Springfield. This is the third year the state has received the grant. "Over the past year, these Pre-School Expansion Programs have begun to show that they are model programs which can help us continue to build high-quality early education programs across the Commonwealth," said Secretary of Education Jim Peyser in a statement. "With this third round of funding, we will not only help more children have access to high-quality early education programs but it will advance ...

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    20. Report: Meeting state need for vocational education would cost $27M

      Report: Meeting state need for vocational education would cost $27M

      Massachusetts has around 5,400 students who are unable to get into vocational schools because of waiting lists or because of a lack of schools in their community, according to a report released Friday by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. Addressing that gap, the report found, would cost $27 million. "Successful implementation of this type of (career, vocational and technical education) expansion would require careful budget and building plans at the local level, along with the active participation of state partners," the report said.

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    21. Massachusetts seeks bids to extend broadband internet to 40 WMass towns

      Massachusetts seeks bids to extend broadband internet to 40 WMass towns

      State officials are soliciting bids from private companies to build out broadband internet connections in 40 Western Massachusetts towns. The bid request is part of an effort by Gov. Charlie Baker's administration over the last six months to revive and revitalize state government's efforts to provide broadband internet to all homes in Massachusetts. "About six to eight months ago, the dynamic started to change because the administration took a hands-on approach over at (the Massachusetts Broadband Institute)," said Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, whose district includes many of the underserved towns. "Communities in my district are seeing a ...

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    22. Baker administration awards $8.8 million for rural road and bridge projects in...

      Baker administration awards $8.8 million for rural road and bridge projects in...

      Gov. Charlie Baker's administration on Monday awarded $8.8 million in grants for infrastructure improvements in 10 rural communities — including several communities in Western Massachusetts. "Whether you're big or whether you're small, you matter to this administration," said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. The money comes from MassWorks, a grant program for public infrastructure projects that was funded with $500 million over five years in an economic development bill Baker signed into law in August.

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    23. Greenfield awarded $7.5 million state grant for new parking garage

      Greenfield awarded $7.5 million state grant for new parking garage

      Greenfield has received a $7.5 million state grant to build a new downtown parking garage, Gov. Charlie Baker's administration announced Thursday. "Greenfield has made substantial strides in revitalizing its historic downtown, by attracting new storefronts, commercial employers, and residents," Baker said in a statement. "This new public parking facility will give Greenfield the capacity it needs to unlock further business growth, and housing development."

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    24. Mass. gets $2.5 million to expand job placement for young adults with disabilities

      Massachusetts has received a $2.5 million federal grant to help young adults and teenagers with disabilities find employment. The money will be spent in Hampden County and in the Lowell area. The U.S. Department of Labor gave nearly $15 million to six states. The Massachusetts money will go toward expanding access to credential-based education and training for individuals with disabilities between ages 14 and 24. The state will create partnerships with employers and offer subsidized short-term work programs to help businesses hire young people with disabilities.

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    1-24 of 48 1 2 »
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