1. From the EDC

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    1. Beyond COVID: Expect a ‘click and mortar’ approach as colleges emerge from the pandemic

      Beyond COVID: Expect a ‘click and mortar’ approach as colleges emerge from the pandemic

      When the coronavirus pandemic closed college campuses in March of 2020, administrators initially hoped that some normalcy would return by the fall semester. That did not happen. Some schools that reopened dormitories had to shut them down again. Others did not reopen their campuses at all, continuing classes online.

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    2. Tree House Brewing to host COVID vaccination clinic at former Channing Bete building in Deerfield

      Tree House Brewing to host COVID vaccination clinic at former Channing Bete building in Deerfield

      Tree House Brewing will host a COVID-19 vaccination site this week at its newly purchased property in South Deerfield, at the former Channing Bete headquarters. The clinic runs Thursday, Feb. 18 and Friday, Feb. 19. Signups are available at maimmunizations.org. There are 140 appointments available on the first day and 164 available on the second day. The clinic is open to eligible residents of Franklin County

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    3. Sisters of Providence sell Mount Saint Vincent property in Holyoke for $2 million

      Sisters of Providence sell Mount Saint Vincent property in Holyoke for $2 million

      Sisters of Providence Ministry Corp. sold the former Mount Saint Vincent Care Center at 35 Holy Family Road for $2 million, according to deed documents filed earlier this month. The transaction had already been made public and received state Department of Health approval in December 2020. The buyer, iCare Health Network of Manchester, Connecticut, has renamed the facility as MissionCare Holyoke.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    4. Kristin Carlson of Peerless Precision is elected Chairperson of the State Of Massachusetts Workforce Training Funds Advisory Board

      Kristin Carlson of Peerless Precision is elected Chairperson of the State Of Massachusetts Workforce Training Funds Advisory Board

      Congratulations to our Peerless Leader, Kristin Carlson,for being elected as Chairperson of the State of Massachusetts Workforce Training Funds Advisory Board! The Workforce Training Fund Program helps address business productivity and competitiveness by providing resources to Massachusetts businesses to fund training for current and newly hired employees. The Workforce Training Fund is for businesses of all sizes, but its major focus is small to medium-sized businesses.

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    5. Maybury Material Handling of East Longmeadow is key link in supply chain

      Maybury Material Handling of East Longmeadow is key link in supply chain

      John F. Maybury grew up working on minibikes and motorcycles, mechanical skills that came in handy when he started Maybury Material Handling in 1976. But finding employees with mechanical or electrical experience for his business is proving more difficult, a challenge amplified during the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re always hiring. We’re continuously advertising. Our demand is growing,” Maybury said in a recent interview.

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    6. Creativity, connectivity and compassion are essential

      Creativity, connectivity and compassion are essential

      This time last year, Western Massachusetts was focused on continuing its incredible momentum. Entrepreneurs were launching new ventures, long-term investments were bearing fruit and public-private partnerships were helping address key challenges we faced. And then, COVID-19 brought everything to a standstill, inflicting pain and hardship throughout our community. Even now, as we see a light at the end of the tunnel, we know so many are still struggling.

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    7. Manufacturing partnership in apprenticeship program delivers workers

      Manufacturing partnership in apprenticeship program delivers workers

      Massachusetts is the first state in the United States to have a registered apprenticeship program for mechanical production worker training in rail car manufacturing. The Registered Apprenticeship Program for mechanical assemblers at CRRC, with Hampden County Workforce Board as the sponsor, is approved by the state Division of Apprentice Standards and provides career opportunities for unemployed and underemployed residents to work, be paid and be trained to develop professional technical skills resulting in a long-term career pathway in manufacturing.

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    8. Young inventor Connor MacFarlane gets help developing insulin delivery system from nonprofit Forge

      Young inventor Connor MacFarlane gets help developing insulin delivery system from nonprofit Forge

      It’s a long way from a back-of-the-napkin idea to a dream fulfilled, but a nonprofit with an office at the Springfield Technology Park is helping innovators forge ahead with the process. Forge, launched five years ago under clean-technology incubator Greentown Labs, helps startups on their journey from prototype to product by connecting them with manufacturers, design firms and engineers.

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    9. Which Massachusetts industries need economic recovery funds? Study seeks to determine impact of COVID

      Which Massachusetts industries need economic recovery funds? Study seeks to determine impact of COVID

      Mass. Cultural Council is launching a fifth survey of the state’s cultural institutions to take stock of the economic damage the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. More than 30,000 cultural sector jobs have been affected by COVID-19-related cancellations and closures, the organization said, and its November survey found a loss of more than $484 million in revenue for cultural organizations in Massachusetts.

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    10. MGM Resorts, parent of Springfield casino, says regional casinos are leading its recovery

      MGM Resorts, parent of Springfield casino, says regional casinos are leading its recovery

      MGM’s regional casinos — a category that includes MGM Springfield — are outperforming the company’s Las Vegas properties and leading its recovery, according to fourth-quarter and year-end financial results released Wednesday. The company told investors that net revenues at the regional operations were down 34% in the fourth quarter compared with the same time last year, to $595 million. For the Vegas Strip resorts, net revenues were down 66% compared with the same time last year, to $480 million.

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    11. Peter Pan Bus Lines turns motorcoaches into mobile COVID testing and vaccination sites

      Peter Pan Bus Lines turns motorcoaches into mobile COVID testing and vaccination sites

      Peter Pan Bus Lines is making motorcoaches newly outfitted with refrigeration equipment available as mobile COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites in a program called Peter Pan Cares. The mobile units are meant to solve the problem of how to get the vaccine into neighborhoods or remote areas that don’t have clinics, the company said Wednesday.

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    12. Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts awards $1.3M in COVID relief to prevent evictions, hunger

      Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts awards $1.3M in COVID relief to prevent evictions, hunger

      The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts announced its latest round of coronavirus relief funds on Wednesday, awarding $1.3 million to help prevent evictions and hunger and to address mental health needs. Grants awarded from the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley to date total $10.2 million to182 agencies in the Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties, the foundation said in a news release.

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    13. Special permits approved for Knox automobile housing plan; with councilors concerned about local input, developer says delays could kill the project

      Special permits approved for Knox automobile housing plan; with councilors concerned about local input, developer says delays could kill the project

      The City Council approved special permits Monday for a housing development at the historic Knox automobile buildings following a discussion that included strong praise for the project as well as strong concerns about neighborhood input and the developer’s track record on hiring minority contractors.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    14. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens for sale; family of founder George Miller seeks buyer with ‘a passion for butterflies’

      Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens for sale; family of founder George Miller seeks buyer with ‘a passion for butterflies’

      Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens boasts more than 4,000 colorful insect residents, representing 50 species from around the world. And soon, the roadside attraction may have a new owner. Current owners George E. Miller III of Bernardston and Kathleen A. Fiore of Northfield started looking last week for a buyer at the business their father, George E. Miller Jr., helped create in 1999. Magic Wings has drawn more than 2 million visitors since it first opened.

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    15. Heather Gawron Named Senior Director of Development for New England Public Media

      Heather Gawron Named Senior Director of Development for New England Public Media

      New England Public Media has tapped Heather Gawron to lead its fundraising division. As Senior Director of Development, Gawron will oversee the non-profit media organization’s fundraising efforts, including grants, on-air fundraising campaigns, and its planned and major giving programs, contributing to the organization’s overall budget of $10 million. Heather will also lead NEPM’s targeted fundraising effort for programming and endowment.

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    16. Performing arts venues, suffering under pandemic shutdown, struggle to move forward

      Performing arts venues, suffering under pandemic shutdown, struggle to move forward

      There is a joke among concert promoters that since they have nothing to do, the government should put them in charge of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. “Everyone would get a wristband and head into a post-vaccination VIP meet-and-greet for a picture with Dr. Fauci,” said John Sanders of DSP Shows.

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    17. Baystate Medical Center readies $208M ‘hospital of the future’ with 18 operating rooms, eight laboratories

      Baystate Medical Center readies $208M ‘hospital of the future’ with 18 operating rooms, eight laboratories

      Baystate Medical Center will begin work over the next few months on its $208 million buildout of unfinished space once dubbed the “Hospital of the Future.” Now called the MassMutual Wing, the 640,000-square-foot, seven-floor addition already has Baystate’s emergency departments and the Davis Family Heart & Vascular Center. The project — which got approval from the state Department of Public Health in December — will go out to bid in the next few weeks, said Kirsten Waltz, Baystate Health’s director of facilities planning and design.

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    18. Presidents at Holyoke Community, Greenfield Community and Elms recognized for inclusion

      Presidents at Holyoke Community, Greenfield Community and Elms recognized for inclusion

      The presidents of Holyoke Community College, Greenfield Community College and Elms College of Chicopee have been recognized for leadership in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the education technology company Cengage.

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    19. Chicopee approves special permit for Revolution Greencare marijuana cultivation facility, shop in vacant industrial building

      Chicopee approves special permit for Revolution Greencare marijuana cultivation facility, shop in vacant industrial building

      Revolution Greencare LLC. is now close to becoming the third cannabis business to open in the city once the owners, Adam Brady, of Colorado, and David Peskin, of Holyoke, receive final approvals from the state Cannabis Control Commission. Earlier the two said they hope to open by the end of this year.

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      Mentions: Chicopee Holyoke
    20. ‘It is going to happen’: Demolition finally on the horizon for vacant building near MGM casino, Caring Health Center

      ‘It is going to happen’: Demolition finally on the horizon for vacant building near MGM casino, Caring Health Center

      After years of delays, officials say demolition is near for a long-vacant, crumbling building adjacent to the Caring Health Center and across from the MGM Springfield casino. The plans for demolition proceed as the owner of 24 Park St., Louis Masaschi of Longmeadow, said he continues to plan a hotel for the site. Masaschi, owner of JLL Realty Developers, said this week the NorthStar Group of Everett has been hired for the demolition project and work is expected to begin within a month.

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      Mentions: Springfield
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