1. Articles from BusinessWest Staff

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    1. North Adams Vision Plan Offers Optimistic View - BusinessWest

      North Adams Vision Plan Offers Optimistic View - BusinessWest

      Seven priorities, 43 goals, 95 policies, and 355 actions.  This tall list makes up the master plan for the city of North Adams. The Vision 2030 Plan was launched in 2011, and just this year, Mayor Thomas Bernard and cohorts revisited the plan to check up on the progress made to date.  “We had a really good session in October where we got some interesting suggestions for setting priority areas around marketing and promotion to move the needle on some of the economic developments,” he said.

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    2. Broker Says Boston’s Challenges Can Become Springfield’s Opportunities - BusinessWest

      Broker Says Boston’s Challenges Can Become Springfield’s Opportunities - BusinessWest

      Evan Plotkin was talking about how “something has to give.”  With that one phrase, he was talking about the commercial real-estate markets in the central business districts of Boston and Springfield.  In the Hub, said Plotkin, president of NAI Plotkin, rents are sky-high and continue to climb — to more than $100 per square foot in some locations and to roughly $63 per square foot on average, with more space being built to accommodate soaring demand. Meanwhile, traffic, congestion, and problems with mass transit are strangling businesses, he said, to the point where meetings can’t start until 10 a.m ...

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    3. Howdy Awards Program Calls for Nominations

      Howdy Awards Program Calls for Nominations

      Through March 1, the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) is providing an opportunity to thank individuals who provide great service by nominating them for a Howdy Award for Hospitality Excellence. To nominate someone, visit explorewesternmass.com and click on the Howdy logo. For 25 years, the Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence program has recognized outstanding restaurant servers, attraction attendants, bartenders, hotel personnel, retail clerks, and others across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. Official categories include accommodations, attractions, banquets and meetings, beverage, food casual, food tableside, public service, retail, transportation, and people’s choice (a category voted on by ...

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    4. Pilot Precision Products Recognized at 16th Annual Economic Impact Awards

      Pilot Precision Products Recognized at 16th Annual Economic Impact Awards

      Pilot Precision Products, which opened the doors to its new, 24,000-square-foot facility in South Deerfield in April, received a Silver award in the Western Mass. division at the 2019 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. Nineteen companies from across the Commonwealth were selected as finalists for MassEcon’s 16th annual celebration of firms for their outstanding contributions to the Massachusetts economy.

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    5. Now Named FORGE, Agency Links Entrepreneurs with Manufacturers

      Now Named FORGE, Agency Links Entrepreneurs with Manufacturers

      The agency formerly known as Greentown Learn has been rebranded as FORGE, a name that more effectively speaks to its mission of making connections between entrepreneurs and manufacturers that can create prototypes of their products or actually produce them. Since its inception, FORGE has facilitated such connections for nearly 200 companies, helping improve the survival rate of such ventures while also bringing more work to a number of area manufacturers.

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    6. Pump-station Project Brings Innovation to Springfield’s Riverfront - BusinessWest

      Pump-station Project Brings Innovation to Springfield’s Riverfront - BusinessWest

      he wastewater pump station at Springfield’s riverfront has done its job for more than 80 years, but it’s nearing the end of its useful life and lacks the capacity to keep up with the region’s growth — which threatens the cleanliness of the Connecticut River itself. That’s why the Springfield Water & Commission has launched a $115 million project to build a new station and three new pipelines across the river — a project that comes with some intriguing challenges and equally innovative solutions, including something called microtunneling.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    7. Ware Strives to Build Vibrancy — and a Brand - BusinessWest

      Ware Strives to Build Vibrancy — and a Brand - BusinessWest

      ‘Somewhere worth seeing.’  This is the tagline that’s been attached to a visioning, branding, wayfinding, and business-development plan for the town of Ware, an ambitious document that has elements ranging from a community vision to a branding strategy to new signage that will direct locals and visitors alike to various civic, cultural, and recreational destinations within the community.

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    8. HCC Marks 20th Year of Giving Tree Campaign

      HCC Marks 20th Year of Giving Tree Campaign

      Holyoke Community College (HCC) celebrated the 20th anniversary of its annual Giving Tree campaign Thursday, fulfilling the holiday wishes of 375 consumers from four nonprofits that aid and support some of the area’s most at-risk residents. During the campaign’s closing ceremony, HCC students, faculty, and staff gathered with representatives from WestMass Elder Care, Homework House, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), and the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home to share food, stories, and gifts.

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    9. Family Business Center Awards Memberships to Three Women Business Owners

      Family Business Center Awards Memberships to Three Women Business Owners

      At the Family Business Center’s (FBC) December Log Cabin Dinner Forum, Lakisha Coppedge of Coppedge Consulting, Kimberley Betts of Betts Plumbing & Heating Supply, and Sherryla Diola of Mundo Artisan Foods were awarded grant-funded memberships for the 2020 year. This inaugural grant, aimed at supporting women business leaders in Western Mass., was funded by Encharter Insurance.  “My goal is to grow our trusted business learning community intentionally, and to increase diversity and inclusion,” said Jessi Kirley, FBC executive director, who collaborated with the women leaders of local partner organizations, including the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, Leadership Pioneer Valley, EforAll ...

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    10. EforAll Holyoke Announces Its 2020 Winter Cohort

      EforAll Holyoke Announces Its 2020 Winter Cohort

      Ten early-stage businesses and nonprofits have been selected to participate in the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Winter Accelerator program in Holyoke. This cohort was evaluated by more than 50 community leaders, EforAll Mentors, industry experts, and entrepreneurs through a rigorous application review and interview process. The startups selected represent both products and services from a variety of industries. This year-long program is comprised of 70% of the startups having at least one founder of color and 80% of the startups having at least one female founder. This is representative of EforAll’s mission to accelerate economic development and social impact ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    11. STCC Acquires New Simulator

      STCC Acquires New Simulator

      The Springfield Technical Community College surgical technology program has acquired a new simulator that gives students hands-on experience addressing emergencies during birthing procedures. Featuring an open abdomen with access to internal organs filled with artificial blood, the C-Celia Emergency Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) Simulator allows training for postpartum and cesarean hysterectomy procedures. Surgical tech students can use the simulator to learn how to control bleeding and make stitches with a suture. “We actually can make this unit bleed, profusely if we want,” said Mary Jayne Rossman, Surgical Technology program director at STCC.

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    12. New Branch Manager Joins Greenfield Cooperative Bank

      New Branch Manager Joins Greenfield Cooperative Bank

      Michael E. Tucker, President & CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, announced today that Courtney Huxley has joined the bank as the future Branch Manager of our new South Hadley location. “Courtney has more than 15 years of banking experience,” said Tucker. “Most recently, she was the branch manager at another bank in Northampton. Prior, she was, coincidently, the branch manager at a bank in South Hadley, which we purchased and are scheduled to open in January 2020.

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    13. PeoplesBank Donates $50,000 to HCC Foundation

      PeoplesBank Donates $50,000 to HCC Foundation

      When Holyoke Community College student Christopher Royster needed help repairing his credit after an incident of identity theft, he knew where to turn — the Thrive Student Resource Center at HCC. Thrive@HCC is known mostly for providing support to students experiencing food and housing insecurity. Thrive manages HCC’s Food Pantry and provides free grab-and-go snacks to hungry students as well as financial-management and budget-planning consulations. More than that, though, Thrive staff can assist students as they negotiate the complex bureaucracies associated with myriad issues, such as health insurance, food, housing and utility assistance, and credit repair.

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    14. TD Bank Awards Baystate Health $1 Million Ready Challenge Grant

      TD Bank Awards Baystate Health $1 Million Ready Challenge Grant

      Baystate Health received a $1 million grant from TD Bank to further the health system’s commitment to the communities it serves by funding an innovative new mobile preventive health clinic called the TD Bank – Baystate Health Bus. Baystate Health is one of only four healthcare organizations in the U.S., along with six in Canada, to receive the Ready Challenge Grant from the TD Bank Group to support programs aimed at improving access to early detection of disease and disease intervention.

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    15. Davis Educational Foundation Awards $100,000 to CCGS Joint Purchasing Initiative

      Davis Educational Foundation Awards $100,000 to CCGS Joint Purchasing Initiative

      The Davis Educational Foundation has awarded the CCGS Joint Purchasing Initiative a $100,000 grant to be distributed over two years. This is the third grant by the Davis Educational Foundation to underwrite this collaborative project. The Joint Purchasing Initiative (JPI) consists of the five private member institutions of the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield (CCGS), including American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Springfield College, and Western New England University.

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    16. Florence Bank Unveils Renovated Easthampton Branch

      Florence Bank Unveils Renovated Easthampton Branch

      Florence Bank has completed a renovation of the interior and drive-through at its existing Easthampton branch at 5 Main St.  The renovation is part of Florence Bank’s ongoing effort to align its physical branch locations with modern banking offerings and customer needs. The Easthampton renovation included interior updates and modernizations, along with two new ATMs. Florence Bank is a full-service, mutually owned bank based in Florence and has served the Easthampton community for 20 years. It first merged with Easthampton Cooperative Bank and expanded and remodeled its present location on Main Street in 1999. The Easthampton location serves more ...

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      Mentions: Easthampton
    17. Eversource Announces Industry-leading Goal to Be Carbon-neutral by 2030

      Eversource Announces Industry-leading Goal to Be Carbon-neutral by 2030

      As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, Eversource Energy announced an industry-leading goal to be carbon-neutral by 2030. The energy company plans to achieve this aggressive goal through a series of targeted steps across its operations to reduce carbon emissions while also continuing to support regional economic growth and maintaining safe and reliable service for its approximately 4 million customers. While the goal to be carbon-neutral is limited to the energy company’s own corporate emissions across all departments and operations, Eversource will continue to work with state leaders to reduce emissions from energy supply for customers in accordance ...

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    18. TWO Offers ‘Team Building Through Culinary’ Program

      TWO Offers ‘Team Building Through Culinary’ Program

      Eighteen employees from four different area hotels competed last month in a friendly, Chopped-style culinary competition at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute designed to enhance their professional development. The participants, all management-level employees from the BK Investment Hotel Group, took part in a new one-day, four-hour program called “Team Building Through Culinary,” offered by Training and Workforce Options (TWO), a collaboration between Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College.

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    19. Asphalt Academy at STCC Paves the Way to Construction Careers

      Asphalt Academy at STCC Paves the Way to Construction Careers

      Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) plans to open a mobile lab on campus to meet a demand in the construction industry for trained asphalt technicians and inspectors. Students will train in the mobile lab as they pursue certification as hot-mix asphalt plant technicians and hot-mix asphalt paving inspectors. The jet-black lab, which resembles a boxcar without wheels, is located next to a civil engineering technology classroom on the STCC campus. The college plans to offer courses in 2020. The program is designed for students without prior asphalt training

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    20. As It Marks 25 Years, Bright Nights Displays Power of Collaboration

      As It Marks 25 Years, Bright Nights Displays Power of Collaboration

      Judy Matt had been tracking the results daily, almost hourly, and then … she couldn’t any longer. So, she’ll have to wait, like everyone else, to see how Bright Nights at Forest Park fares in this year’s USA Today competition to determine the top 10 holiday lighting shows in the country. When she was last able to check the tabulations before the magazine stopped running a count — presumably to build suspense for the Dec. 13 announcement regarding this and some other contests — Matt noted that Bright Nights was running fourth, behind such vaunted displays as the Legendary Lights ...

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    21. Westmass Area Development Corp. Moves Corporate Offices to Downtown Springfield

      Westmass Area Development Corp. Moves Corporate Offices to Downtown Springfield

      Westmass Area Development Corp. announced the opening of its new corporate offices in downtown Springfield. Located at One Monarch Place, Suite 1350, the new offices will host all corporate functions of Westmass with capacity to continue regional awareness and growth. The new office location will enable Westmass to continue to brand itself as a regional development company focusing on opportunities in real estate and economic development in Western Mass.

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    22. Project Management Exam Prep Workshop to Be Held at Bay Path

      Project Management Exam Prep Workshop to Be Held at Bay Path

      Are you ready to become a certified project-management professional (PMP)? Forbes.com lists a PMP certificate as the second-highest-paying IT certification for 2019, and the Project Management Institute (PMI) states that, through 2020, 1.57 million new project-management jobs will be created each year. To help prepare community members to begin the certification process, Bay Path University’s Strategic Alliances division is hosting a three-day workshop on Jan. 6-8 that will prepare participants to take the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) Exam.

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    23. EforAll Berkshire County to Hold All Ideas Pitch Contest on Feb. 5

      EforAll Berkshire County to Hold All Ideas Pitch Contest on Feb. 5

      Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County is holding an All Ideas Pitch Contest on Wednesday, Feb. 5. The program will be held at the Green at 85 Main St., Suite 105, North Adams from 6 to 8 p.m.  EforAll’s first Pitch Contest at the Berkshire Museum in October created a lot of community buzz, with more than 100 attendees and 11 companies competing. The big winner that night was Kaitlyn Pierce of Binka Bear.

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