1. Articles from BusinessWest Staff

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    1. Square One Responds to Growing Need for Child Care and Remote Learning Support

      Square One Responds to Growing Need for Child Care and Remote Learning Support

      As working parents continue to navigate the unchartered territory surrounding remote education, Square One is answering the call for help. The agency is now providing full-day remote-learning support for children in kindergarten through grade 5, in addition to expanded offerings for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Enrollment is available at three Square One early-learning centers in Springfield, as well as the agency’s network of home-based child-care providers who operate throughout the region.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    2. Bright Nights Announces 2020 Season with COVID-19 Protocols

      Bright Nights Announces 2020 Season with COVID-19 Protocols

      Bright Nights at Forest Park will take place this year, according to its organizer, Spirit of Springfield.“Bright Nights is needed more than ever now, especially in these challenging and surreal times we are currently living in,” Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said. “I’m very pleased that my city team and the Spirit of Springfield have worked together to come up with a safe and acceptable public-health model that allows our beloved Bright Nights to continue to bring holiday cheer to all our families from near and far. Also, I am very appreciative of our generous business and philanthropic community ...

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    3. Asnuntuck Graduate Opens 413 Café in Downtown Springfield

      Asnuntuck Graduate Opens 413 Café in Downtown Springfield

      Beginning a business at any time is taking a leap of faith, but for Christina Raschi, starting a business during a pandemic could be considered something much bigger. Her journey toward owning her own bakery — a new business in downtown Springfield called 413 Café — began when she attended Longmeadow High School and the Lower Pioneer Valley Career and Technical Education Center in West Springfield and studied culinary arts. She graduated in June 2010 and decided to take a gap year following graduation.

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    4. MassDevelopment Awards $86,415 to Assist Local Economic Recovery Efforts

      MassDevelopment Awards $86,415 to Assist Local Economic Recovery Efforts

      MassDevelopment awarded $86,415 for 10 projects, three of them in Western Mass., through the Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places, a program made available specifically to assist local economic recovery efforts as community partners prepare public spaces and commercial districts to serve residents and visitors. Projects receiving awards include the creation of outdoor dining spaces, sidewalk retail venues, and partitions to support social distancing.

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    5. Berkshire Bank Foundation Contributes More Than $1 Million in COVID-19 Relief

      Berkshire Bank Foundation Contributes More Than $1 Million in COVID-19 Relief

      The Berkshire Bank Foundation announced that, due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has contributed more than $1 million to collaborative efforts supporting nonprofit organizations responding to community-based needs. Guided by the foundation’s mission of investing in those living and working in its local communities, the total relief provided represents an additional $1 million over the foundation’s $3 million total annual grant budget. The organizations supported in the Pioneer Valley through Berkshire Bank Foundation’s contributions include the Mental Health Assoc. Inc., YMCA of Greater Springfield, the SCORE Foundation – Western Massachusetts SCORE, and the Community ...

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    6. Bradley to Launch Expanded Service on JetBlue with Four New Non-stop Routes

      Bradley to Launch Expanded Service on JetBlue with Four New Non-stop Routes

      The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced non-stop service to four new destinations from Bradley International Airport on JetBlue. These new destinations include Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Cancún, Mexico. “One of Connecticut’s best competitive assets is its international airport in such close proximity to so many of our communities and employers,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said. “This strengthening of the partnership with JetBlue shows once again how important Bradley International Airport is to our present and our future. More routes and a strong international airport are key to Connecticut’s success.”

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    7. Beveridge Family Foundation Boosts Nonprofits, Partners with Innovation Accelerator

      Beveridge Family Foundation Boosts Nonprofits, Partners with Innovation Accelerator

      The Beveridge Family Foundation provides support to nonprofits within Hampden and Hampshire counties. While continuing that critical work, it has started investing directly into social-impact projects and ventures. By leveraging its endowment, the Beveridge Foundation is significantly increasing the amount of funding it can deploy. Local organizations with proposals for economically sustainable programs can now apply for investments of up to $250,000. These proposals must be at the pilot stage or later and already have significant evidence of demand and viability.

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    8. Education Equity Focus of Grant to Holyoke Community College

      Education Equity Focus of Grant to Holyoke Community College

      When Holyoke Community College (HCC) unveiled its four-year strategic plan in 2018, one of its top priorities was increasing success rates of students of color. That aligned with goals established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE), which in the same year made equity the top policy and performance objective for the entire state public higher-education system.

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    9. State, MassDevelopment Announce Funding for Fifth Round of Site-readiness Program

      State, MassDevelopment Announce Funding for Fifth Round of Site-readiness Program

      The Baker-Polito administration and MassDevelopment announced the availability of $3 million in funding through the fifth round of the Site Readiness Program, which provides resources to cities, towns, and other entities to help overcome obstacles to developing otherwise prime sites. Municipalities, nonprofit economic-development entities, and private-sector businesses can apply for grants to finance land acquisition, feasibility studies, master planning, environmental permitting, site improvements, and other related work.

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    10. HCC Awarded Grants to Support Childcare Professionals

      HCC Awarded Grants to Support Childcare Professionals

      Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been awarded two grants worth more than $1 million to continue educating and training early-childhood educators and supporting the programs they work for in Western Mass. Both the Career Pathways Grant, for $680,000, and the Strong Start Training and Technical Assistance Grant, for $360,000, come from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC), which licenses public and private childcare programs in the state.

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    11. Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series Continues on Sept. 30

      Tanisha Arena, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Arise for Social Justice, and Pam Victor, owner of Happier Valley Comedy, will be the featured presenters on Wednesday, Sept. 30, during the third session of the 2020 Virtual Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series. Arena and Victor will present “Comfortable in Your Own Skin, Finding Your Voice” from noon to 1 p.m. over Zoom. The series, postponed from spring because of COVID-19, is sponsored by Holyoke Community College and Training and Workforce Options, a collaboration between HCC and Springfield Technical Community College. Each of four lunchtime events features two presenters ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    12. AIC to Offer Virtual Graduate, Undergraduate Information Sessions

      AIC to Offer Virtual Graduate, Undergraduate Information Sessions

      The American International College (AIC) Admissions office is offering virtual information sessions for prospective undergraduate and graduate degree program applicants. Information sessions are available Monday through Friday and provide an opportunity for attendees to speak with admissions counselors virtually to learn more about the admissions process, available programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, financial aid, and more.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. BusinessTalk with Carla Cosenzi

      BusinessTalk with Carla Cosenzi

      George interviews Carla Cosenzi, President of TommyCar Auto Group. This desire to serve the community, and to do things right all the time, is an operating mindset that has earned Cosenzi not only her 40 Under Forty plaque (class of 2012), but another BusinessWest honor as well, the Difference Makers award in 2019. Now she is one of BusinessWest’s five finalists for the Alumni Achievement Award!

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    14. Big Y Expands Legacy of Helping Farmers and Small Businesses

      Big Y Expands Legacy of Helping Farmers and Small Businesses

      In 1936, Paul and Gerry D’Amour were passionate about providing fresh local food to their customers at the Y Cash Market in Chicopee. Today, close to 85 years after its founding, Big Y World Class Markets have more than 500 partnerships with local farmers like Meadowbrook Farms and local food producers like Millie’s Pierogi. The passion of its founders continues with Big Y announcing the Fresh & Local Distribution Center name and logo. “One of my earliest memories was going around with my uncle to the farms in the summer months and buying peppers and tomatoes and corn,” said ...

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    15. Massachusetts Announces Extension of Administrative Tax Relief for Businesses

      Massachusetts Announces Extension of Administrative Tax Relief for Businesses

      Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced an extension of administrative tax-relief measures for local businesses that have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. This includes the extension of the deferral of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room-occupancy taxes for small businesses due from March 2020 through April 2021, so they will instead be due in May 2021. Businesses that collected less than $150,000 in regular sales plus meals taxes in the 12-month period ending Feb. 29, 2020 will be ...

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    16. Westfield State University Among Top Public Universities in U.S. News Rankings

      Westfield State University Among Top Public Universities in U.S. News Rankings

      Westfield State University (WSU) is again one of Massachusetts’ top public universities among its peers, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges 2021 list. The rankings underscore the university’s commitment to accessibility, affordability, and intentional outcomes. In this year’s release, Westfield State is ranked 90th among 170 institutions in “Regional Universities – North.” It is ranked ahead of its peer Massachusetts state universities in both that category and U.S. News’ Best Public Schools, where it placed 26th.

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    17. Elms College Climbs U.S. News List of ‘Top Performers on Social Mobility’

      Elms College Climbs U.S. News List of ‘Top Performers on Social Mobility’

      Elms College improved its ranking by 30 spots on U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 list of “Top Performers on Social Mobility” in the northern U.S. region. The list ranks schools for enrolling and graduating large proportions of students who have received federal Pell Grants. Elms College improved its ranking dramatically, moving to seventh among 89 regional universities in the region, up from 37th in 2020. “This tremendous jump in the social-mobility rankings is an exceptional affirmation of our efforts to make a Catholic liberal-arts education accessible to students from all backgrounds,” Elms College President Harry Dumay said ...

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    18. Robert Johnson Takes the Helm at WNEU

      Robert Johnson Takes the Helm at WNEU

      At least once, and perhaps twice, Robert Johnson strongly considered removing himself from the mix as a search committee narrowed the field of candidates to succeed Anthony Caprio as president of Western New England University (WNEU) in Springfield. It was early spring, and the COVID-19 pandemic was presenting every institution of higher learning, including UMass-Dartmouth, which he served as chancellor, with a laundry list of stern — and, in some cases, unprecedented — challenges.

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    19. Springfield Positions Itself to Bounce Back from COVID-19

      Springfield Positions Itself to Bounce Back from COVID-19

      Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno noted that his city is certainly well-versed in dealing with natural and man-made disasters — everything from the tornado in June 2011 to the natural-gas explosion a year and a half later. “Battle-tested” was the phrase he used to describe a community that has been though a lot over the past few decades. But the COVID-19 pandemic … this is a different kind of disaster. “It’s like shadow boxing in a lot of ways,” he said, using that phrase to essentially describe a foe that’s hard to hit and an exercise that amounts to punching air ...

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    20. Collaboration Between UMass Amherst, IntelliVen Supports Lifelong Learning

      Collaboration Between UMass Amherst, IntelliVen Supports Lifelong Learning

      UMass Amherst announced a new collaboration with IntelliVen, a leading executive-team-development organization, to provide interactive remote-learning programs designed to raise the performance and effectiveness of leadership teams. IntelliVen offers immersive programs designed to help an organization’s core leadership team tackle the unique challenges of managing a growing organization, especially in today’s turbulent markets. IntelliVen’s proprietary set of course modules enables an interactive, remote learning experience that leaders take along with their teams to unlock their true potential to perform and grow.

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    21. River East School-to-Career Announces New Partnership Director

      River East School-to-Career Announces New Partnership Director

      River East School-to-Career Inc. (RESTC) announced the appointment of Amy Scribner as its new partnership director. She replaces Loretta Dansereau, who retired in August after more than 16 years of service to the organization. River East School-to-Career is a business and education partnership under the MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The organization’s mission is to help students gain work experience, build employability skills, and explore career options to prepare them for their future careers.

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      Mentions: Palmer
    22. Greenfield Savings Bank Promotes Anna Zadworny

      Greenfield Savings Bank Promotes Anna Zadworny

      Anna Zadworny has been promoted to assistant vice president and training and staffing manager at Greenfield Savings Bank. In her new position, she will be responsible for facilitating one-on-one and classroom training for employees with a focus on enhancing employee development, including product knowledge, internal systems training, and compliance course oversight. She will also be responsible for maintaining appropriate levels of staffing in all offices and will assist in maintaining vendor relationships, record keeping, and training budget oversight. In addition to her training role, she coordinates and oversees the external audit process.

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    23. WSU to Host Virtual Information Session for Master of Social Work Program

      WSU to Host Virtual Information Session for Master of Social Work Program

      Westfield State University’s (WSU) College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE) will host a virtual information session for the master of social work program on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. on Zoom. The program, one of only four located in Western Mass., is also offered at the YWCA at Salem Square in Worcester. The master of social work (MSW) program is fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and prepares students to become licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) and to work in a variety of positions in the human-services field. The program aims to prepare ...

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