1. Articles from BusinessWest Staff

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    1. PV Squared Named Among Top 500 Solar Contractors in U.S.

      Solar Power World, the leading publication covering solar technology and development, published its annual Top Solar Contractors list in July. PV Squared, a local solar-installation company and worker-owned cooperative, was listed prominently among other top solar contractors and developers across the country. PV Squared is a local leader in the field of solar design, installation, and maintenance. A worker-owned cooperative, the company has provided renewable-energy solutions to a range of clients, including business owners, commercial property owners, farmers, and homeowners since 2002. PV Squared currently employs 42 people, 19 of whom are co-owners of the business. In 2016, it completed ...

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    2. New England Knowledge Corridor Issues 2017 Business Survey

      New England Knowledge Corridor Issues 2017 Business Survey

      Massachusetts and Connecticut business leaders are being surveyed about their companies’ outlook, methods to recruit and retain talent, and thoughts on how to address the region’s most pressing transportation issues. The 2017 Business Survey is once again being conducted by the New England Knowledge Corridor (NEKC), an interstate partnership of regional development, planning, business, tourism, and educational institutions working together to advance the region’s economic progress.

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    3. Unlocking Potential: Five Successful Secrets to Motivating Employees

      As a business, your most valuable assets are your employees. When your staff is happy and motivated, they’re more likely to perform at the highest levels. “The best way to create this type of environment is by giving everyone a sense of ownership,” said Margaret Lenihan, senior vice president, Cash Management at PeoplesBank. In other words, get all your employees to think like entrepreneurs. “If your employees don’t feel they own their own spaces, they will constantly wait for your day-to-day directions and expect you to solve every problem,” Lenihan added.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    4. Dress for Success to Host Tag Sale Aug. 18-20

      Dress for Success to Host Tag Sale Aug. 18-20

      In keeping with its mission to empower women to be more confident in their personal and professional lives, Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts is hosting a tag sale at the Holyoke Mall to raise funds and awareness, while also working to meet the needs of women throughout the community. The sale is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customers may peruse through the racks of new and gently used ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    5. HCC Gateway to College Program Again Earns National Honors

      HCC Gateway to College Program Again Earns National Honors

      For the second year in a row, the Gateway to College program at Holyoke Community College has received national recognition for exemplary performance. The Gateway to College National Network, based in Portland, Ore., honored HCC with its 2017 Gateway Program Excellence Award at a conference in Providence, R.I. last month. Gateway is a second-chance, dual-enrollment program for students who have either left high school or are at risk for dropping out. Gateway students take college classes and earn college credits while also working toward their high-school diplomas.

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    6. Springfield College Athletic Training Program Earns Accreditation

      Springfield College Athletic Training Program Earns Accreditation

      The Springfield College Athletic Training Program has been granted 10 years of continuing accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The Springfield College Athletic Training Class of 2017 earned a 100% first-time pass rate on the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. Accreditation by CAATE is focused on student and program outcomes, including board of certification exam first-time passing rates and student placement in graduate-level programs. Accreditation is important because, in order to be eligible to sit for the board of certification exam for athletic training, a student must graduate from an accredited athletic-training education program.

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    7. Planning for Small Business Growth: Strategies to Hit the Next Level

      After creating your business plan, raising capital, and opening your doors, your next task is to make a profit. But once the money is coming in and your operation is sustaining itself, you want to start thinking about growth. How do you achieve growth? The answer is to plan for it, and it is never too early to start, said Jay Seyler, vice president of Business Banking at PeoplesBank.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    8. Pathlight Fellows Advance Tech Concepts Through VVM Accelerator

      As she worked as a Pathlight fellow in Valley Venture Mentors’ (VVM) accelerator program this spring on technology designed to offer fire-safety guidance to individuals with intellectual disabilities, Lili Dwight learned she needed to tweak some components of her product. Having access to test audiences provided by Pathlight, VVM and other organizations were key in the learning, she said. An entrepreneur and a founder of Galactic Smarties in Deerfield, Dwight’s app was originally called Fire Drill, and it was intended to tell the user such things as where the fire is and the best route to safety. As part ...

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    9. United Way, Peter Pan Launch Annual Stuff the Bus Program

      United Way of Pioneer Valley and Peter Pan Bus Lines will launch the annual Stuff the Bus campaign with a press conference event on Friday, July 28, 2017 at 10 a.m. outside the Target store at the Holyoke Mall. The campaign will collect new school supplies from July 28 to Aug. 16. The supplies will be distributed in new backpacks to children who are homeless in Chicopee, Holyoke, Springfield, Westfield, West Springfield, and South Hadley. “All children in our community deserve to enter school feeling confident, proud, and equipped to learn. Yet, in our community, hundreds of children are ...

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    10. 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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    11. 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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    12. 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
    13. 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
    14. 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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    15. 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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    16. 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
    17. 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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    18. 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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    19. 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
    20. 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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    21. 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
    22. 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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    23. 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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