1. Articles from BusinessWest Staff

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    1. HCC’s Christina Royal Appointed to Regional, National Boards

      HCC’s Christina Royal Appointed to Regional, National Boards

      Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal has been appointed to the board of directors of the United Way of Pioneer Valley and the American Assoc. of Community Colleges’ Commission on College Readiness. Her appointment to the United Way board was unanimously approved at the regional nonprofit’s 95th-anniversary celebration and annual meeting on May 31. She began her three-year term on July 1.

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    2. Berkshire Bank Lends Support to Square One

      Berkshire Bank Lends Support to Square One

      Square One was awarded $10,000 by Berkshire Bank in support of its Adopt-a-Classroom program. “We are excited to continue our ongoing support of Square One’s Adopt-a-Classroom initiative program,” says Jim Hickson, senior vice president, commercial regional president. “Berkshire Bank is committed to making a difference in the lives of local children and their families.”

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    3. Northampton Facility Offers Affordable Space for Creatives

      Northampton Facility Offers Affordable Space for Creatives

      It’s been four long years since the Northampton Center for the Arts had a place to call home. But that’s about to change.  In September, the center will become the first tenant of a building at 33 Hawley St. in Northampton, purchased in 2013 by Northampton Community Arts Trust, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve space for use by artists. It was conceived on the principle of a land trust, in which land is purchased with a particular intention, such as preservation.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    4. Brownfield Funding Aims to Promote Economic Redevelopment

      The U.S. Envirommental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded 14 communities in Massachusetts — most of them in Western Mass. — grants totaling $4.92 million for brownfield site revitalization and technical assistance. These communities are among 172 across the country to receive EPA brownfields funding.  Nationwide, a total of $56.8 million has been awarded by EPA to fund selected recipients for brownfield site assessment and cleanup as initial steps toward redeveloping vacant and unused properties, transforming them to productive reuse that will benefit communities and local economies.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    5. Hampden Grows While Retaining Its Character

      Hampden Grows While Retaining Its Character

      In many ways, the town of Hampden seems like a throwback to an earlier way of life.  The Western Mass. community of just over 5,000 is just east of East Longmeadow and less than a 20-minute drive from the bustling metropolis of Springfield. But with its rural feel, old-fashioned New England charm, mom-and-pop businesses, and neighborly sensibility, it seems worlds away. There’s not even a traffic light in town. “Heck, the bear population is exploding now; there are sightings every day,” said John Flynn, chairman of the town’s three-member Board of Selectmen. “Once people are in this ...

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    6. Elms College Offers New Business-focused Degree-completion Options

      Elms College Offers New Business-focused Degree-completion Options

      Elms College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership announced new bachelor’s degree completion programs that will prepare students for success in the worlds of entrepreneurship, accounting, and management and marketing. Business has long been an exciting career option. Startups were beginning to resurge in the U.S. in 2015, but the need for more entrepreneurs is vital to economic growth and job creation, according to a Kaufman Foundation survey. A 2014 Forbes survey found that 90% of startups fail, and 42% said the reason they fail is a lack of market need for their products. Elms is looking to make business-degree ...

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    7. Bay Path, Girls Inc. of Holyoke Partner for STEM Summer Event

      Bay Path, Girls Inc. of Holyoke Partner for STEM Summer Event

      A group of 15 second-year students from Girls Inc. of Holyoke will participate in “Eureka! Too Fast, Too Furious: the Physics of Car Racing” at Bay Path University today, July 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Led by Bay Path faculty and students, participants from Girls Inc. will have the opportunity to perform hands-on scientific activities and take a tour of campus. They will learn about what Bay Path University has to offer and how it differs from other universities they have been exposed to.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    8. Granite City Electric Supply Relocates from Springfield to Chicopee

      Granite City Electric Supply Relocates from Springfield to Chicopee

      Granite City Electric Supply Co. has opened a new, 80,000-square-foot distribution center and relocated its Springfield retail counter service to 451 Meadow St., Chicopee. This distribution center will provide service to the Western Mass., Connecticut, and New York markets, and further enhance the company’s exclusive GCE Night Train Delivery Service.

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    9. Partnership Connects Incoming STCC Students to Career Pathways

      Partnership Connects Incoming STCC Students to Career Pathways

      They just graduated from high school and will start college this fall, but these five teenagers are not kicking back and taking it easy this summer. They are enrolled in an eight-week nurse’s aide certification program at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) that is tied to an internship program through Baystate Springfield Educational Partnership (BSEP). Thanks to the STCC-BSEP partnership, Springfield residents Rumbila Abdullahi, Julia Hong, Genesis Medina, Anderson Nguyen, and Suraji Omoru are gaining the kind of experience they say will make them stand out as they work toward careers in healthcare.

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    10. Do You Know Someone Who Wants to Start a Business?

      Do You Know Someone Who Wants to Start a Business?

      Do you know someone who wants to start a business? SPARK will present a Launch class information session on Monday, July 17 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow St., Holyoke. Attendees will learn more about SPARK and the partners it works with, and get an overview of the application process and course curriculum to see if it’s a fit. They will also hear about what kinds of opportunities are available for graduates of the program, including grant opportunities and technical assistance.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    11. Northampton Is Not About to Rest on Its Laurels

      Northampton Is Not About to Rest on Its Laurels

      You could say Northampton has “good bones.”  Once dubbed “the paradise of America” by opera singer Jenny Lind, it is home to one of the nation’s premier colleges, it boasts a regional general hospital as well as one for military veterans, its population of nearly 30,000 is diverse and well-educated, its labor force is highly skilled and mostly employed, it has a crime rate that is lower than the state average, and it’s one of the hottest locales in the region for shopping, dining, and partaking of a multitude of performance and visual arts.

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    12. PeoplesBank Hosts Free Business-improvement Webinars

      PeoplesBank Hosts Free Business-improvement Webinars

      Based on the success of its live seminar series, PeoplesBank has launched a free lunchtime business-improvement webinar series. The series will feature bank experts who will present topics related to improving and protecting business operations, including protecting data and managing vendor risk. The seminars are designed for business owners and management and operations professionals. Each of the Friday webinars will be offered live and will start at noon. The webinars are:

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    13. South Hadley & Granby Chamber Rolls Out New Logo, Website

      The South Hadley & Granby Chamber of Commerce announced it now has a new logo representing both Granby and South Hadley, courtesy of graphic designer Paul J. Pereira, who won the chamber’s logo contest held in May and June, which invited the public to submit entries for consideration. Pereira was presented with a $150 Village Commons gift certificate on June 28 at the chamber’s BBQ Bash at Brunelle’s Marina for current and potential new members. The Village Commons and Brunelle’s Marina are chamber members.

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    14. Harry Dumay Takes Helm as 11th President of Elms College

      Harry Dumay Takes Helm as 11th President of Elms College

      Harry Dumay, who boasts a long and distinguished career in higher education, officially took the helm of Elms College as its 11th president on July 1. “I am excited to start my presidency at Elms College,” Dumay said. “The board of trustees has put together a fantastic transition team, which has been working diligently during the past few months to make it possible for me to hit the ground running. I am eager to partner with the faculty, the staff, and the student body as we advance the work of making an excellent Catholic higher education accessible to a diversity ...

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    15. Sajar Plastics Acquired by Universal Plastics

      Universal Plastics, a heavy-gauge thermoformer based in Holyoke, has acquired Sajar Plastics, a gas-assist injection molder based in Middlefield, Ohio. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Universal Plastics currently services customers who start out with custom thermoforming and graduate to injection molding. Sajar’s low-volume gas-assist injection-molding expertise provides Universal with the opportunity to support its customers further along the product life cycle. The expanded breadth of capabilities will allow a customer to stay with a Universal family company throughout the life of the product, from lower volumes at inception to higher volumes as the product grows and matures ...

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    16. Campaign Launched for Chicopee Center Project

      MassDevelopment and the City of Chicopee have announced a new campaign through the civic crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Commonwealth Places initiative. The Chicopee Center Gateway Project campaign will fund downtown beautification efforts in Chicopee, including signature banners, flower planters and other landscaping, and a signature public art bus shelter. This project will build off the momentum of other redevelopment efforts in the city to make Chicopee a more attractive place for residents, businesses, and visitors. “The Gateway project will help downtown Chicopee catalyze local business development and enhance the city’s sense of community by beautifying its streetscape,” said ...

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    17. Economic Development Strategy Report Available from PVPC

      The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission recently completed the 2017 Annual Update of the Plan for Progress, the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The document presents regional performance indicators of progress in the region and provides a detailed listing of major committed projects of regional significance – from infrastructure and transportation to redevelopment and new construction. The 2017 CEDS is available online (http://www.pvpc.org/plans/comprehensive-economic-development-strategy-ceds), or hard copies can be provided upon request.

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    18. Tanglewood’s $30 Million Expansion Is an Initiative of Note

      Tanglewood’s $30 Million Expansion Is an Initiative of Note

      Audiences have flocked to the Berkshires for Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summertime concerts since 1936, when the musicians offered a three-concert series, under the baton of then-music director Serge Koussevitzky, in a large tent at Holmwood, a storied estate in Lenox. That first series, which would ultimately morph into the world-renowned Tanglewood Music Festival, was attended by nearly 15,000 people. Then, in 1937, when the festival presented its first concert at Tanglewood, a gift to the BSO from the Tappan family estate, it drew the largest crowd to ever assemble under a tent, for an all-Beethoven program. And the ...

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    19. Healthy Development Initiative to Host Open House, Family Fun Day

      The Healthy Development Initiative, a community-focused research, education, and outreach program led by UMass Amherst faculty, will host its annual open house on Friday, June 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. and a family fun day for families with infants and young children on Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both events will be held at the UMass Center at Springfield. The public is invited to attend either or both events and learn more about the initiative, which is aimed at understanding and promoting the psychological and physical health and well-being of children, adolescents ...

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    20. Markens Group Brings Governance Lawyers Association to Springfield

      The Markens Group Inc. (TMG), an association-management and consulting firm, announced its newest full-service client, the American College of Governance Counsel (ACGC). Under this arrangement, TMG will manage ACGC’s day-to-day operations, and the association’s headquarters will be re-established in downtown Springfield. Founded in 2015, ACGC is the association for corporate governance lawyers in the U.S. and Canada. It promotes high standards within the profession and advocates for broader adoption of best governance practices within business organizations. Through programs like its annual Colloquium, ACGC addresses today’s major corporate governance issues, including challenges to traditional models of governance ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    21. Springfield Officials Announce Downtown Streetscape Improvements

      Springfield Officials Announce Downtown Streetscape Improvements

      Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy, and Public Works Director Christopher Cignoli announced several major streetscape improvements to downtown Springfield in the anticipation of the grand opening of Union Station and MGM Springfield. “I am extremely pleased to be able to announce yet another milestone in the continuing transformation of Springfield’s downtown,” Sarno said. “As we get ready for the grand opening of these two transformative developments, it is important for the city to ensure that we provide the best pedestrian experience for those living, working, and visiting Springfield.” The city’s Main Street Refresh Project ...

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    22. HCC Gateway to College Program Graduates Largest Class Ever

      HCC Gateway to College Program Graduates Largest Class Ever

      Holyoke Community College’s (HCC) award-winning Gateway to College program graduated the largest class in its nine-year history June 6, presenting certificates to 33 high-school students who have been taking college courses at HCC. Those students will now collect their diplomas from eight area high schools: Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield, Palmer, Longmeadow, Agawam, Minnechaug, and Belchertown. Among them, the students also amassed a total of 372 transferable college credits, or enough to fulfill the requirements for more than six associate degrees. “What you achieved is nothing short of miraculous,” said Mark Guglielmo, the Gateway Fine Arts instructor and the keynote speaker ...

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    23. United Bank Supports Dress for Success Western Massachusetts

      United Bank Supports Dress for Success Western Massachusetts

      United Bank donated $5,000 to support the mission of Dress for Success to help women gain economic independence. The contribution will be used to fund the Foot in the Door program, a workforce-readiness program provided by Dress for Success Western Massachusetts. Foot in the Door is a 14-week training program in which participants receive training modules consisting of career pathway and exploration, workplace readiness, employability preparation, and financial literacy. This curriculum is delivered by Springfield Technical Community College, and was created to address workforce needs and promote strategic economic development in the region.

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