1. Articles from dglaun

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    1. Afghan girls education advocate Shabana Basij-Rasikh to speak at Springfield Public Forum April 25 | masslive.com

      Afghan girls education advocate Shabana Basij-Rasikh to speak at Springfield Public Forum April 25 | masslive.com

      Afghan women's rights advocate Shabana Basij-Rasikh will speak before at the Springfield Public Forum on Wednesday, delivering a talk on her efforts to educate girls in her home country.  Basij-Rasikh was born in Kabul and lived there under the Taliban, which had banned girls from attending school. To receive an education, she dressed as a boy to go to classes, the Springfield Public Forum said in a press release.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    2. East-West rail study's inclusion in MassDOT plan a 'major breakthrough,' Sen. Eric Lesser...

      East-West rail study's inclusion in MassDOT plan a 'major breakthrough,' Sen. Eric Lesser...

      On Friday, MassDOT released a draft of its 2018 rail plan, which among other priorities includes a feasibility study of expanded rail service between Springfield and Boston -- a priority for Lesser which has faced roadblocks each time he has introduced it on Beacon Hill. "Given the lack of consensus on the appropriate type of service to pursue between Western Massachusetts and Boston, as well as a lack of full understanding of the costs and impacts of a higher speed service, further study is necessary," the rail plan says. "This study, at the direction of MassDOT, will address more than ridership ...

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    3. New MassDOT plan includes East-West rail study, after years of legislative struggle

      New MassDOT plan includes East-West rail study, after years of legislative struggle

      A newly-released draft of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's 2018 rail plan includes a proposal to study ways to connect Boston and Springfield with passenger rail, following a years-long struggle by Longmeadow Sen. Eric Lesser and other Western Mass. legislators to pass such a study through the State House. In the plan, MassDOT has designated East-West rail as a Tier 2 project -- one meriting further study. The rail plan says that MassDOT will examine both conventional rail service proposed by a multi-state study in 2016 and higher-speed options.

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    4. Having placed more than 1,300 people with jobs, Snapchef expands to offer free culinary job training in Worcester

      Having placed more than 1,300 people with jobs, Snapchef expands to offer free culinary job training in Worcester

      The culinary industry staffing company Snapchef is expanding its operations in Worcester, with plans to open a full-scale commercial kitchen to support its training operations. The new space, adjacent to Snapchef's current offices on Southbridge Street, will give local residents access to a free 10-week training program with potential job placements across the region, Snapchef CEO Todd Snopkowski said.

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    5. Starbucks to open downtown Springfield store at Monarch Place

      Starbucks to open downtown Springfield store at Monarch Place

      Starbucks is opening a storefront in Monarch Place, the 25-story commercial building on Main Street connected to the 325-room Sheraton hotel. The Springfield Business Improvement District confirmed Monday that Starbucks would be Monarch Place's newest tenant, after teasing the coffee chain's arrival in a Facebook post on Friday.

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    6. Tech Foundry nonprofit seeking students from Springfield neighborhoods hit by natural disasters

      Tech Foundry nonprofit seeking students from Springfield neighborhoods hit by natural disasters

      Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit is recruiting potential students from city neighborhoods that have faced both natural disasters and economic disadvantage. "We are currently recruiting in these neighborhoods asking residents if they have the ambition, aspiration and commitment to take advantage of this 'no-cost' program and start a career in Information Technology," Tech Foundry Director of Strategic Partnerships Jonathan Edwards said in a statement. "Students who apply for and are accepted into the Tech Foundry program will ultimately begin a career that can help them attain a job where entry-level salaries will pay between $30,000 and $40 ...

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    7. Study of high speed rail between Springfield and Boston clears Massachusetts Senate

      Study of high speed rail between Springfield and Boston clears Massachusetts Senate

      Massachusetts state Sen. Eric Lesser's years-long bid to study high speed train service from Springfield to Boston appears to be back on the rails. Lesser's proposal for the state Department of Transportation to study the expansion of East-West rail service unanimously passed the state Senate Thursday afternoon as an amendment to the Senate's version of the state budget. The measure also made it into the final budget last year, but was axed by the veto of Gov. Charlier Baker.

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    8. Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit wins workforce development award

      Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit wins workforce development award

      The Springfield job training nonprofit Tech Foundry has received a workforce development award from Associated Industries of Massachusetts, winning statewide recognition for its efforts to boost Western Massachusetts' IT workforce. Tech Foundry was given the 2017 John Gould Education and Workforce Development Award in a ceremony Friday with a keynote address by Gov. Charlie Baker.

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    9. Q&A with Snapchef CEO Todd Snopkowski on expansion to Springfield

      Q&A with Snapchef CEO Todd Snopkowski on expansion to Springfield

      MassLive spoke Wednesday with Snapchef CEO Todd Snopkowski, whose culinary staffing agency has opened its first Western Massachusetts office at 174 Worthington St. in Springfield. The Dorchester-based company, which placed 13,000 people with jobs last year, bills itself as the largest firm of its time in New England and has worked with Foxwoods, Hyatt and Boston Children's Hospital. Snapchef works with large-scale employers like hospitals and universities. In the interview, Snopkowski spoke about his company's background and the decision to open a facility in Springfield.

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    10. Want a culinary job? Snapchef staffing agency expands to Springfield

      Want a culinary job? Snapchef staffing agency expands to Springfield

      "Downtown Springfield provides Snapchef with a centralized location that will help our company increase its ability to attract talent and serve clientele," Snapchef CEO, Todd Snopkowski said in a statement. "Our close work with the City of Springfield, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and legislative leaders made the expansion into Springfield an easy decision. We appreciate the support that Snapchef has received during this expansion from the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, and Develop Springfield."

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    11. Sen. Eric Lesser, MIT representatives tour Springfield Tech's laser lab

      Sen. Eric Lesser, MIT representatives tour Springfield Tech's laser lab

      Professor Lionel Kimmerling, representing the AIM Photonics Institute and the MIT Microphotonics Center, said MIT was working with community colleges, industry and state government to help create a skilled workforce for Massachusetts manufacturers. "We're here because Springfield community college is a traditional source of optics technology for the technician-level worker," Kimmerling said. "In order for manufacturing to be supreme in Massachusetts, we need about 50,000 more technical level employees in this industry." Lesser, a proponent of advanced manufacturing projects in Western Mass., praised STCC's program as a boon to job growth and economic development.

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    12. MGM Springfield to take over sole management of MassMutual Center

      MGM Springfield to take over sole management of MassMutual Center

      MGM Springfield has finalized a deal to take over exclusive management of the MassMutual Center, 10 months after winning a joint management bid with the Comcast-owned company Spectra. The arena had been operated by Spectra, formerly Global Spectrum, since 2005. Last year MGM and Spectra began joint management of the venue, and the casino company has now cemented plans to take over day-to-day operations. "We are thrilled to enter into this agreement that leverages the best of what our company has to offer, in order to make best use of the MMC and drive downtown economic development," MGM Springfield President ...

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    13. Artists invited to display work in 'unconventional' downtown Springfield pop-up galleries

      Artists invited to display work in 'unconventional' downtown Springfield pop-up galleries

      The Springfield Central Cultural District is looking for artists to host solo shows in pop-up galleries at New England Public Radio, the SilverBrick Lofts and 1550 Main Street. Artists will display their work from March to June, receive all proceeds from any sales and be paid a $200 stipend. "The idea is to create unconventional gallery spaces sprung out of being asked by the host locations how to activate their community rooms, and we're always looking for ways to increase walkability downtown," Springfield Central Cultural District Director Morgan Drewniany said in a statement.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    14. Seeking generous tech experts: Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit looks for volunteer instructors

      Seeking generous tech experts: Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit looks for volunteer instructors

      Tech Foundry, a nonprofit technology job training program based in Springfield, is seeking IT professionals willing to serve as volunteer instructors as demand for its services grows. "It's simple, our success increases our need for instructors," Tech Foundry Director of Curriculum and Programs Alex Schwartz said in a statement. "Student demand and employer demand are both increasing and we need to continue to build our infrastructure to meet that demand."

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    15. Tech Foundry job training nonprofit celebrates third anniversary in Springfield

      Tech Foundry job training nonprofit celebrates third anniversary in Springfield

      Springfield's Tech Foundry job training nonprofit celebrated its third anniversary Tuesday evening, as the program's backers touted its progress to a crowd of community stakeholders, former students and business leaders. Tech Foundry Director of Strategic Partnerships Jonathan Edwards and founder Delcie Bean described the nonprofit's successes, which include a 65 percent job placement rate for students seeking IT work, Tech Foundry said in a press release. Mike Knapik, the head of Governor Charlie Baker's Springfield office, former Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki and Baystate Health Services IT Director Patrick Streck also spoke at ...

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    16. New 'video map' showcases Springfield's cultural attractions

      New 'video map' showcases Springfield's cultural attractions

      The Springfield Central Cultural District, a membership group that includes dozens of institutions in downtown Springfield, has embarked on a series of projects to revitalize the city center and attract visitors. A recent public art project commissioned artists to paint murals on utility boxes across downtown. The videos feature the Basketball Hall of Fame, CityStage, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, UMass Springfield, New England Public Radio, WGBY, Sterns Square, the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and Museum, the Springfield Museums, Springfield Central Library, the Community Music School, MassMutual Center and Court Square.

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    17. MassDOT explains how all-electronic tolling will affect Western Mass drivers at...

      MassDOT explains how all-electronic tolling will affect Western Mass drivers at...

      MassDOT Director of Statewide Tolling Steven Collins addressed a crowd of about 25 people at Springfield City Hall Wednesday evening, as he sought to explain proposed toll rates and assuage concerns over the state's switch to all-electronic tolling. Collins said the new rate structure was designed to be "revenue neutral," in that the state will take in the same amount it currently does through its toll plazas. But how those costs are distributed will change. "Even though the toll rate from New York to Boston will be less expensive than what it is today, individual trips from Point A ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    18. Rebranding the Pioneer Valley; Online survey asks you to help forge new image

      Rebranding the Pioneer Valley; Online survey asks you to help forge new image

      The Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council are rethinking the image of the Pioneer Valley -- and they want the public's help. Since March, the EDC and the Visitors Bureau have been planning a rebranding initiative targeted at drawing tourists, companies and workers to Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin Counties. They have hired a consultant, Cubic Creative, held seven focus groups and reviewed a decade of research about the region's image and economy, Visitors Bureau President Mary Kay said.

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    19. Convenience store out, print shop in as MGM Springfield begins to influence Main Street business landscape

      Convenience store out, print shop in as MGM Springfield begins to influence Main Street business landscape

      A print shop is replacing a convenience store in downtown Springfield, as the upcoming opening of the MGM Springfield casino begins to reshape Main Street's business landscape. Civic Center Convenience at 1365 Main Street closed Tuesday after the building's owner did not renew its lease. In its place, Enfield-based printing company Minuteman Press plans to open a second location on August 1. The expansion is designed to capitalize on the fall 2018 opening of the downtown casino, which co-owner Michael Weber thinks will boost Minuteman Press' corporate-driven business.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    20. Valley Venture Mentors event aimed at funding startups flops, but leads to opportunity

      Valley Venture Mentors event aimed at funding startups flops, but leads to opportunity

      Paul Silva's latest innovation did not go quite as planned. Silva, the energetic, quick-talking investor whose Valley Venture Mentors program helps local startups become polished businesses, gathered a group of small businesses and investors in VVM's Tower Square headquarters last week. Their mission was ambitious and unconventional: To help level the business playing field by having investors make same-day, small-dollar investments to local companies. It was an unusual strategy designed to help cash-strapped business founders, many of whom have day jobs and for whom the long process of soliciting six-figure seed funding can be a major financial burden.

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    21. Valley Venture Mentors tries to level startup playing field with early-stage investments

      Valley Venture Mentors tries to level startup playing field with early-stage investments

      On Wednesday afternoon, inside Valley Venture Mentors' meeting space on the street level of Tower Square, Paul Silva was conducting an experiment. A group of local startup founders were about to pitch their businesses to about 15 waiting investors. But rather than months of negotiations and hundreds of thousands of dollars, the investors were expected to commit small dollars quickly – by the end of the night, with a few days to opt out afterwards. Silva, the executive director of Valley Venture Mentors, said the approach was designed to give new startups, who had never secured major investments small amounts of ...

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    22. Springfield releases $20,000 marketing video to show positive developments in city

      Springfield releases $20,000 marketing video to show positive developments in city

      The camera pans across a shot of downtown, as a narrator declares Springfield the "city of firsts;" pedestrians cross the intersection in front of Monarch Place in time-lapse, and the city's newest development projects appear on screen, officials in hard hats holding ceremonial shovels. They are scenes from the City of Springfield's new marketing video, released at CityStage on Wednesday, right before MGM Springfield officials took the podium to address concerns over changes to their casino project. The video is designed to highlight the positive changes within the city, said Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy -- to sum up ...

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    23. Westfield State receives historic $1 million gift from former professor Catherine Dower | masslive.com

      Westfield State receives historic $1 million gift from former professor Catherine Dower | masslive.com

      Catherine Dower, 91, taught at Westfield State for 35 years, from 1956 to 1990, receiving local, state and national recognition for her work and community service. Now, the Catherine A. Dower Center for the Performing & Fine Arts will bear her name, once it is completed next year on the site of the former Juniper Park Elementary School.  'Catherine Dower is an inspiration – she has been a pioneer and leader her whole career as an educator and as a musician. She has also been a lifelong champion for racial and gender equality and fierce advocate for public higher education,' Westfield State ...

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    24. Westfield State trustees expected to recommend presidential candidate on Wednesday

      Westfield State trustees expected to recommend presidential candidate on Wednesday

      Westfield State University's Board of Trustees is expected to recommend a presidential candidate for appointment on Wednesday, capping a months-long search that saw 400 applicants narrowed down to three finalists in recent weeks. California State University Dominguez Hills sociology professor Ramon Torrecilha, Framingham State university Vice President of Academic Affairs Linda Vaden-Goad and head of the New York's Ethical Culture Fieldston School Damian Fernandez were selected by the university's presidential search committee as finalists and held open campus forums in recent weeks. The board is expected to choose one of them for recommendation to the state's ...

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