1. Articles from masslive.com

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    1. 30 computer tablets helping kids read at Holyoke Boys-Girls Club thanks to Holyoke Rotary donation

      30 computer tablets helping kids read at Holyoke Boys-Girls Club thanks to Holyoke Rotary donation

      The Holyoke Boys and Girls Club bought 30 computer tablets, books and other items to help children read thanks to a $12,000 grant from the Holyoke Rotary Club. "Recognizing that technology is a strong motivator with our youth, the tablets will help create a literacy and technology-rich environment at each of our satellite sites," Eileen D. Cavanaugh, executive director of the Holyoke Boys and Girls Club, said in a press release issued by the Rotary Club on Tuesday. "We are grateful to the Holyoke Rotary for supporting the club and helping us to make sure that our programs involve ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    2. Springfield unemployment rate rises, but more people working

      Springfield unemployment rate rises, but more people working

      The city's unemployment rate inched upward in April to 6.9 percent. That's a tenth of one percentage point higher than the March rate of 6.8 percent, but lower than the 7.1 percent recorded a year ago in April, 2016, according to statistics released Tuesday by the state Executive office of Labor and Workforce relations and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Local jobless numbers are not adjusted for seasonal changes in the economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the statewide unemployment, unadjusted for seasonality, rate for April was 3.8 percent.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    3. Loomis House in Holyoke sold to Berkshire Health Systems

      Loomis House in Holyoke sold to Berkshire Health Systems

      The Loomis Communities has sold its Loomis House property at 298 Jarvis Ave. to Berkshire Healthcare Systems, of Pittsfield, for an undisclosed sum. According to a joint press release issued Monday, Loomis is keeping its other properties: Applewood in Amherst, Loomis Village in South Hadley and Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing in Springfield. Loomis, whose corporate office is at 246 North Main St. in South Hadley, began 115 years ago as Holyoke Home for the Aged, said David W. Scruggs, president and CEO of Loomis. "It was a tough decision to sell," Scruggs said. "This is our roots. This is ...

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    4. Berkshire Bank acquires Commerce Bank in Worcester, moves headquarters to Boston | masslive.com

      Berkshire Bank acquires Commerce Bank in Worcester, moves headquarters to Boston | masslive.com

      Berkshire Hills Bancorp, the holding company of Berkshire Bank, will buy Commerce Bancshares Corp., the parent company of Commerce Bank and Trust Company in Worcester, for $209 million and move the combined bank's headquarters to Boston's Financial District as part of a major push east into the metro Boston market. Berkshire Bank, with headquarters at 24 North St. in Pittsfield, has 332 employees at its facilities. No jobs will be moved or lost, spokeswoman Rachel Mabee said Monday. She said senior executives will have offices in both Boston and Pittsfield, and Pittsfield remains its regional headquarters and operational ...

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      Mentions: Berkshire Bank
    5. Springfield's Central Downtown Farmers Market opens for 2017 season (photos)

      Springfield's Central Downtown Farmers Market opens for 2017 season (photos)

      Springfield's Central Downtown Farmers Market has opened for the season, offering items such as local honey, vegetable plants, bread and more.  Every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Oct. 27, vendors will be under their tents ready to serve the public, although high winds on opening day caused some of those canopies to be taken down.  Stop by and see Jennifer Cruz, who will be happy to tell you about her Springfield Macarons, the little French cookies that she makes in her city kitchen. Say hello to Mark Gurney, of Hampden, who will ...

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      Mentions: Palmer Springfield
    6. Westfield Education to Business Alliance calls job skills 'survival' skills

      Westfield Education to Business Alliance calls job skills 'survival' skills

      There are five elements to the handshake: eye contact, smile, extend arm, grip, timing. That bit of information might not sound like high school-level work compared to algebra II, English lit and the advanced manufacturing shop. But students need to learn it somewhere, and Westfield's public schools are doing it. "People call them 'soft skills,'" said Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski. "I call them survival skills." Skills, which ones to get and and how to get them is the topic when the Westfield Education to Business Alliance gets together once a month.

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    7. House Speaker DeLeo: 'Why don't you look at Springfield?'

      House Speaker DeLeo: 'Why don't you look at Springfield?'

      DeLeo, D-Winthrop, described the conversation Thursday in a speech to the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. He said he asked about all the GE subsidiaries that might follow the home office to Massachusetts. Yes, he was told, various GE businesses might follow. "Why don't you look out west?" DeLeo told the executive. "Why don't you look in Springfield? That's where the real estate is going to sell for much less than what you are paying in the Seaport district." The EDC is a regional economic development organization that works to bring businesses to the region, helps ...

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    8. Night school program for in-demand advanced manufacturing jobs hits milestone

      Night school program for in-demand advanced manufacturing jobs hits milestone

      A night-school program at Franklin Technical School that trains adults for in-demand jobs in advanced manufacturing will graduate its 100th student since getting its start four years ago. Fourteen advanced manufacturing trainees will receive certificates of completion Friday. The training is free to those who qualify. It is aimed at those who are unemployed or underemployed at a job that pays too little. The Advanced Manufacturing Pipeline Computer Numerical Control training program is a non-credit, 15-week, 300-hour, hands-on curriculum. It's offered by Greenfield Community College in partnership with the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, the Franklin Hampshire Career Centers ...

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    9. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announces Collaborative Workspace funds at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announces Collaborative Workspace funds at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke

      The Baker administration on Tuesday announced $2.15 million in grants to help companies create shared workspaces in Massachusetts, part of a growing trend of support for artists and entrepreneurs. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito joined Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse at Gateway City Arts to announce the second round of grants under the Collaborative Workspaces Program, run by MassDevelopment. The funding includes $1.5 million in state money and $645,000 from the Barr Foundation, a Boston-based nonprofit organization. The Barr Foundation has pledged to contribute nearly $2 million over the next three years for arts-related collaborative workspaces.

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    10. Maple Commons in Springfield gets makeover with $21M MassHousing financing

      Maple Commons in Springfield gets makeover with $21M MassHousing financing

      MassHousing, the state's quasi-public housing finance agency, has provided $21 million to First Resource Companies for extensive renovations at the 173-unit Maple Commons Apartments in downtown Springfield. In total, the cost is expected to reach $35 million. The Maple Commons Apartments are in a number of buildings scattered on High Street, School Street and Union Street with a total of 102 one-bedroom apartments, 63 two-bedroom apartments and eight three-bedroom apartments. Work will include building envelope repairs; replacement of windows, boilers and roofs; upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; and apartment upgrades.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    11. Innovation, automation and Deflategate-testing robots seen at Eastec manufacturing expo in West Springfield (photos, video)

      Innovation, automation and Deflategate-testing robots seen at Eastec manufacturing expo in West Springfield (photos, video)

      Eastec, the every-other-year industrial exhibition, opened Tuesday at the Eastern States Exhibition Center run by the trade group SME. The show will run through Thursday with 549 exhibitors, including local manufacturers like Smith & Wesson and Lenox American Saw, in 146,000 square feet filling five buildings at The Big E. Smith & Wesson touted its newly named Precision Components business, which uses manufacturing abilities developed for firearms to make parts for other companies, said Rick Fowich, director of sales and marketing. That includes the firearms plant in Springfield and the plastics plant in Deep River, Connecticut. The machine that makes a ...

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    12. Seen@ 2017 Howdy Awards honoring Western Mass. hospitality workers for service excellence

      Seen@ 2017 Howdy Awards honoring Western Mass. hospitality workers for service excellence

      The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau honored eleven hospitality workers Monday night at the 22nd Annual Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence. The gala dinner, held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, attracted more than 300 tourism industry professionals. The idea is to thank the workers who often do thankless jobs but whose efforts are critical to the region's tourism industry. "We're proud and happy to present the Howdy Awards to honor just some of the most important people in the hospitality industry, the front-line workers," said GSCVB President Mary Kay Wydra in a statement ...

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    13. $36.3 million onset of Lyman Terrace renovation marked by ceremony in Holyoke

      $36.3 million onset of Lyman Terrace renovation marked by ceremony in Holyoke

      A ceremony marked the beginning of the first phase of construction of the $36.3 million renovation of the Lyman Terrace public housing complex on Monday with U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield, praising the city's commitment. "It's a very complicated project, and I think that there are few things in urban life that are more challenging than housing. It's like a big game of musical chairs and you hope when it's done that everybody gets a chair," Neal said after the ceremony. The ceremony was for onset of the combination of demolition, construction and ...

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    14. Springfield-based MassMutual celebrates 166th birthday with a new logo

      Springfield-based MassMutual celebrates 166th birthday with a new logo

      MassMutual unveiled a newly refreshed brand Monday to celebrate its 166th birthday. The company said its new branding strategy celebrates the gift of interdependence.The logo features the letter M spelled out in dots. MassMutual changed logos Monday at its headquarters on State Street and its offices in Enfield. The old logo is down from the MassMutual-owned Tower Square office tower on Main Street. The MassMutual name remains on the building, however. Johannes Leonardo advertising agency in New York City did strategy and creative work on the campaign. The Working Assembly, also of New York, design studio, did the logo ...

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    15. Women's Fund seeks applicants for $150K in partnership money

      Women's Fund seeks applicants for $150K in partnership money

      The Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts is inviting nonprofits that serve young women to apply, by midnight June 2, for $150,000 in funds over three years as a partner in a pilot program here designed to help this population succeed economically. Ellen T. Moorhouse, the fund's program officer, said the fund is seeking proposals from a "Springfield-based organization or collaborative of organizations serving young women to help guide implementation" of its Young Women's Initiative Springfield Partnership.

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    16. White Lion creates beer for Union Station reopening

      White Lion creates beer for Union Station reopening

      White Lion Brewing Co. has created a beer called Legendary Union to celebrate the reopening next month of Springfield Union Station. It will release the new brew next week, in time for the first White Lion Wednesday get-together downtown and during American Craft Beer Week. "White Lion is a part of the fabric of the city of Springfield and of Western Massachusetts. Union Station is a significant development for the city of Springfield and the region. It calls for a special beer," said Raymond Berry, company president and general manager.

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    17. Construction begins in Chicopee on new Tru by Hilton hotel (photos & video)

      Construction begins in Chicopee on new Tru by Hilton hotel (photos & video)

      A groundbreaking was held to celebrate the start of construction at the new Tru by Hilton Hotel at 450 Memorial Drive. The $15 million project will create a 108-room hotel complete with modern amenities such as a fitness room and semi-private work spaces, said Hershal Patel, one of the owners of BK Investments which is building the new hotel. State Sen. James Welch, and state Reps. Michael Finn, Joseph Wagner, and Angelo Puppolo, joined Mayor Richard J. Kos and other city officials to help celebrate the groundbreaking with owners Dennis and Hershal Patel.

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    18. Eastec 2017: West Springfield hosts massive manufacturing expo at The Big E

      Eastec 2017: West Springfield hosts massive manufacturing expo at The Big E

      Eastec is a massive manufacturing trade show hosted every other year by the Michigan-based trade group SME at the Eastern States Exposition, The Big E, in West Springfield. This year's edition runs from May 16-18. Eastec has what the manufacturing industry in the Northeast needs to stay competitive and to grow, said Kim Farrugia, senior event manager at SME. That includes the latest technology, machines available for purchase at $500,000 and more, educational seminars, an opportunity for high school and college students to learn about manufacturing and engineering, and networking time where manufacturers can sniff out new customers ...

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    19. MGM Springfield, city nearing end of negotiations to bring new residential units to city

      MGM Springfield, city nearing end of negotiations to bring new residential units to city

      MGM Springfield could soon announce changes to its plan to bring 54 market-rate residential units to the city's downtown, according to city and casino officials. Kevin Kennedy, Springfield's chief development officer, said the city is currently in the later stages of negotiating with MGM Springfield over redeveloping a long-vacant building located near the casino site at 31 Elm St.  "We are negotiating and I have said publicly that we are negotiating to incorporate that commitment into redevelopment of 31 Elm St," he said in an interview. "Currently, we're in the latter stages of that discussion and lawyers ...

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    20. UMass-Amherst grows: See how $1.8 billion in construction has transformed the campus

      UMass-Amherst grows: See how $1.8 billion in construction has transformed the campus

      In the last decade, the University of Massachusetts has invested $1.8 billion in more than two dozen building projects at the flagship Amherst campus. From research, classroom and office space to dormitories, dining halls, athletic facilities and infrastructure, buildings have sprouted or expanded across the sprawling campus. As the Class of 2017 takes its collective next step at Friday afternoon's commencement, we take a look at the construction that has transformed UMass, including how much each project cost:

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    21. Westfield State University uses historic gift of $1.1 million to gain musical distinction

      Westfield State University uses historic gift of $1.1 million to gain musical distinction

      Westfield State University announced Thursday that it has received a historic gift of $1.1 million -- the largest single contribution in the school's history -- from an anonymous donor, and that the money will be used to purchase 20 Steinway pianos.  This purchase will allow Westfield State to become an All-Steinway School, a special distinction within the musical and educational communities that signifies a commitment to excellence, University President Ramon S. Torrecilha said Thursday.

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    22. South End transforms as $950 million MGM Springfield casino taking shape (photos & video)

      South End transforms as $950 million MGM Springfield casino taking shape (photos & video)

      The MGM project has been promised to create a minimum of 2,000 construction jobs and once open, hire at least 3,000 workers, of which at least 2,200 will be employed on a full-time equivalent basis with benefits. Part of MGM's long-term employment pledge calls for the company to "use its best efforts" to ensure at least 35 percent of employees are Springfield residents, with no more than 10 percent of the workforce coming from outside the city limits to achieve labor participation goals regarding women, minorities and veterans. MGM has begun recruiting and interviewing for several ...

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    23. At Holyoke event, hands-on, real-world experience touted as path to employment

      At Holyoke event, hands-on, real-world experience touted as path to employment

      There will be a career fair this fall for Westfield's middle schools. But it won't be kids learning about what it takes to be a machinist, an engineer or an auto-body technician. It'll be their teachers. The idea isn't that educators are looking for new gigs themselves, said Kate Phelon, executive director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce. The idea is for teachers to learn what employers are looking for -- and what they hope not to see -- in job applicants, so they can impart those skills to their students as early as sixth grade.

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    24. Holyoke Medical Center raises $2M; ER ribbon cutting set for June 19

      Holyoke Medical Center raises $2M; ER ribbon cutting set for June 19

      A ribbon cutting ceremony for Holyoke Medical Center's new Emergency Department has been set for June 19. The center also announced that its capital campaign has raised $2 million in pledges during its "quiet" phase of the last year, and is now mounting a public campaign, complete with a fund-raiser indicator thermometer on the hospital's Beech Street campus, to help meet the goal of $3 million. "To raise $2 million in what is often called the 'quiet' phase of our capital campaign efforts shows the true value that businesses and individuals see in supporting our local, community-based hospital ...

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