1. Articles from BusinessWest Staff

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    1. STCC Wins State Career Pathways Grant for Early-childhood Education

      STCC Wins State Career Pathways Grant for Early-childhood Education

       Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will apply a $296,904 state grant to support a new, affordable professional-development program for early-childhood educators. The funding will allow STCC to roll out its Child Development Associate Plus program this fall. The program will help early-childhood educators obtain certification and become better-qualified to teach infants and toddlers as well as preschool-aged children. STCC announced in July that the college received the Early Childhood Education Career Pathways Grant, funded through the state Department of Early Education and Care.

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    2. UMass Amherst Economists Examine Impact of Minimum-wage Increases on Jobs

      UMass Amherst Economists Examine Impact of Minimum-wage Increases on Jobs

      AMHERST — Economists at UMass Amherst, along with colleagues from University College London and the Economic Policy Institute, have found that the overall number of low-wage jobs remained essentially unchanged over the five years following increases to the minimum wage, and that affected low-wage workers overall saw a wage gain of 7% after a minimum-wage increase.

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    3. Restored Brewer-Young Mansion Set to Begin Its Next Chapter

      Restored Brewer-Young Mansion Set to Begin Its Next Chapter

      In its heyday, the Brewer-Young mansion was the center of Longmeadow’s social scene. Those who don’t remember those days know it more as an eyesore alongside the town green, after a string of owners over the past 30 years were unable to maintain the decaying structure. Enter a trio of investors with a commercial vision for the property, one that would pump economic vitality into the building while restoring its original architecture — and historic importance.

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      Mentions: Baystate Health
    4. Greenfield Community College Receives Continuation of Title III Grant Funding

      Greenfield Community College Receives Continuation of Title III Grant Funding

      In October 2016, Greenfield Community College (GCC) was awarded a $1.6 million Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education, to be disbursed over five years. This grant is part of the Strengthening Institutions Program, which helps institutions expand their capacity to serve low-income and at-risk students. This academic year will mark the fourth year of continued funding of GCC’s Title III grant. The aim of GCC’s Title III grant is to integrate academic-success coaching and career exploration into a structured first-year experience that supports students who have been shown to be most at risk ...

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    5. Easthampton: It’s Not the ‘New Northampton’

      Easthampton: It’s Not the ‘New Northampton’

      It was the food that brought Cynthia West to Easthampton. Well, sort of. It was the food, in the form of weekly visits to restaurants like Galaxy, Kisara, and others that gave West … well, a flavor of Easthampton and, eventually, the opinion that this was the place to bring a business she had been thinking about and dreaming about for some time. It’s called Sonnet & Sparrow, a “curated thrift store” she operates with her daughter, McKenzie West, in space that was once part of the historic, yet also somewhat notorious, Majestic Theater on Cottage Street. Notorious because 30 years ...

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    6. Tighe & Bond Again Named PSMJ Circle of Excellence Member

      Tighe & Bond Again Named PSMJ Circle of Excellence Member

      Tighe & Bond has been named as a member of the PSMJ Resources Inc. 2019 Circle of Excellence for second year in a row. The Circle of Excellence highlights successfully managed firms that demonstrate outstanding achievements in areas such as profitability, overhead management, cash flow, productivity, business development, and staff growth. “To be recognized as a member of PSMJ’s Circle of Excellence for the second consecutive year is a high honor. Tighe & Bond has always strived to create an outstanding client- and employee-focused firm that adheres to exceptional business practices and delivers sustainable business results,” said Bob Belitz, president and ...

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      Mentions: Tighe & Bond
    7. Hampshire Colleges Hires President, Charts New Course - BusinessWest

      Hampshire Colleges Hires President, Charts New Course - BusinessWest

      When asked whether he thought Hampshire College could not only maintain its accreditation but forge a long-term future, Ed Wingenbach, the recently named president of the beleaguered institution, didn’t hesitate in his response and spoke with a voice brimming with confidence.  “Yes; do you need me to say more?” he replied as the question was posed at a press conference to announce his appointment on July 18.

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    8. Merger of Aerospace Giants Creates Uncertainty, but Perhaps Opportunity   - BusinessWest

      Merger of Aerospace Giants Creates Uncertainty, but Perhaps Opportunity   - BusinessWest

      Since the announcement last month that defense and aerospace giants Raytheon and United Technologies will merge into one firm based in Eastern Mass., few other details have emerged, and questions remain about the impact on the companies’ workforce, particularly those currently based at UTC’s Connecticut plant. But some see potential growth in the merger, which may bode well for the many Western Mass. machine shops — and their 5,000 employees — that make components for those companies.

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    9. American Benefits Group CEO and Founder Bob Cummings Reelected as President of NAPBA

      Bob Cummings has been re-elected to serve as president of The National Association of Professional Benefits Administrators (NAPBA). A  NAPBA trustee since 2007, Cummings was first elected NAPBA president in 2015, and has been an instrumental force in the emergence of the consumer directed healthCare industry over the past 20 years, orchestrating the growth of NAPBA as the primary compliance standards and best practice organization for third party employee benefits administrators serving the consumer directed healthcare industry.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    10. PIP in East Longmeadow Receives Franchise Top 10 Award

      PIP in East Longmeadow Receives Franchise Top 10 Award

      PIP in East Longmeadow recently received a Top 10 Sales Volume award recognizing the business as one of the top 10 in the entire PIP franchise network. The award is based on 2018 annual sales revenue and was announced at the annual PIP Convention, staged July 17-20, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio in Texas. PIP in East Longmeadow is owned by Michael and Vicki Tarby and Bob and Claudia Pelzek.

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    11. Nominations Close August 2 for Super 60

      Nominations Close August 2 for Super 60

      The Springfield Regional Chamber is seeking nominations for its annual Super 60 awards program, presented by Health New England, with platinum sponsor People’s United Bank. Marking its 30th year, the awards program recognizes the success of the fastest-growing and privately-owned businesses in the region, which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy. Each year, the program identifies the top-performing companies in revenue growth and total revenue. Last year, Total Revenue winners combined for more than $750 million in revenues, with 25% of these winners exceeding revenues of $40 million. All winners in the Revenue ...

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    12. Women of Impact 2019

      Women of Impact 2019

      BusinessWest has consistently recognized the contributions of women within the business community and has now created the Women of Impact awards to honor women who have the authority and power to move the needle in their business; are respected for accomplishments within their industries; give back to the community; and are sought out as respected advisors and mentors within the field of influence.

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    13. MassDevelopment Provides $310,000 for Real-estate Projects Across Massachusetts

      MassDevelopment announced up to $310,000 in funding for 10 projects through its Real Estate Technical Assistance program. Under this program, through a combination of in-house expertise and contracts with consultants, MassDevelopment works with municipal officials, planners, local stakeholders, and others to address site-specific and district-wide economic-development challenges. The technical-assistance funds will support a range of projects, from feasibility studies to master-planning efforts. Locally, the town of Greenfield will use one of the awards to prepare a market assessment and operational analysis of proposed uses in the First National Bank and Trust building. This follows a feasibility study that consultant ...

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    14. STCC Students Land Internships at MIT Lincoln Laboratory

      Two Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) students are working as interns this summer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Defense research and development center in Lexington. MIT Lincoln Laboratory selected Douglas Bednarczyk and Shane Richardson, students from the Optics and Photonics Technology program at STCC. They are interning at the Lexington facility through August. Richardson earned his associate degree from STCC in May, but will return this fall to take additional classes. Bednarcyzk finished his first year in the two-year Optics and Photonics Technology program and hopes to earn his associate degree in spring 2020.

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    15. Bay Path’s Strategic Alliances Partners with Area Employers

      Bay Path’s Strategic Alliances Partners with Area Employers

      The ever-changing workforce environment is a continuous challenge for employers seeking qualified people to fill their positions. However, not all employers are looking for people with a college degree. In fact, the World Economic Forum reported recently that skills are in higher demand in the labor market than occupations and degrees. This is one of the many reasons why Bay Path University started a new division on campus — Strategic Alliances, which provides customized training and learning experiences for area employees, as well as the latest online certifications and recertifications.

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    16. Launch413 Helps Ventures Get to the Next Stage

      Launch413 Helps Ventures Get to the Next Stage

      The name tells a good part of the story. Launch413, one of the latest additions to the region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, exists to help developing companies get to the proverbial next level. It does so by linking entrepreneurs with seasoned experts in everything from marketing to supply-chain dynamics, thus enabling them to soar higher — and, hopefully, within the 413.

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    17. Nominations for Women of Impact Awards Due Aug. 2

      Nominations for Women of Impact Awards Due Aug. 2

      BusinessWest magazine is currently accepting nominations for its second annual Women of Impact, a recognition program launched in 2018 to honor a specific segment of the local population: women who are making an impact in and on this region. Nominees who score the highest in the eyes and minds of a panel of three independent judges will be honored at a luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Sheraton Springfield.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    18. Live Well Springfield to Kick Off Role Model Campaign

      The Live Well Springfield coalition will kick off its “Guess What I Did?” Role Model Campaign on Thursday, July 18 at 11:30 a.m. at Duryea Way Park on Stearns Street in Springfield. The campaign highlights the power people have in making a difference in their community. Live Well Springfield believes systemic change cannot happen without the residents who are most impacted by the issues. Six role models from across the city have several years of advocacy experience and truly believe in the power of leading by example. Over the next year, the coalition will tell the story of ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    19. Online Nursing Programs Evolve to Meet Workforce Needs

      Online Nursing Programs Evolve to Meet Workforce Needs

      Back in 2010, the Institute of Medicine put out a call for 80% of all registered nurses to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) by 2020. National nurse organizations picked up the goal as well — 85% is the current goal — while hospitals with ‘magnet’ status, such as Baystate Medical Center, maintain even stricter staffing goals. One problem, though: RNs work full-time jobs, and many go home to a full slate of family and parenting obligations. And that leaves little opportunity to go back to school to take classes toward a BSN.

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    20. Hoop Hall, MGM, Ray Allen Team Up for Charity Golf Classic

      Hoop Hall, MGM, Ray Allen Team Up for Charity Golf Classic

      They’re calling it a “pairing party.” And, as that name suggests, this is a party at which the pairings for the MGM Springfield Basketball Hall of Fame Golf Classic Hosted by Ray Allen!, will be announced. Most golf tournaments in this region, and there are a great many of them, don’t have a pairing party. This one does, and for a good reason — players are being paired with Hall of Famers and legends of the game. The list of those signed on to participate include players such as Allen, Dominique Wilkins, Gary Payton, Dave Cowens, Rick Barry, Bernard ...

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    21. Greenfield Cooperative Bank Maintains a Solid Pace of Growth

      Greenfield Cooperative Bank Maintains a Solid Pace of Growth

      Like most all bank presidents in the 413, Michael Tucker would concede that a great many of the region’s communities are heavily populated with financial institutions, or “overbanked,” to use the term most would put into play. He’s inclined to include Greenfield on that list, and gestures out the window of his office to make his point. “They used to call the other end of the street Bank Row,” he said, referring to a stretch of Federal Street now occupied by what once were stately bank offices, many of them redeveloped for other uses. “They really should call ...

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    22. Westfield Makes Connections to Spur Progress

      Westfield Makes Connections to Spur Progress

      Kate Phelon has long appreciated the spirit of collaboration between Westfield’s municipal, business, and educational leaders — and points to the Westfield Education to Business Alliance, which just wrapped up its third year, as a good example. The alliance, WE2BA for short, connects the city’s schools, where students are beginning to contemplate their career paths, with companies that are eager to mine local talent. Last year, it launched an adopt-a-classroom program — Mestek, Forum House, and PeoplesBank were the initial adopters, and more are expected to come on board next year — while Westfield High School’s annual career fair drew ...

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    23. Nonprofits Face a Host of Daunting Challenges - BusinessWest

      Nonprofits Face a Host of Daunting Challenges - BusinessWest

      Managing a nonprofit agency has never been easy, but a number of factors, from low unemployment rates and rising employment costs to new labor regulations and immense competition for donor dollars, are making it much more difficult for organizations to carry out their missions.  Joan Kagan compares the effects that unfunded mandates and rising costs have on a nonprofit to a bad tomato season. Well, sort of.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
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