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    1. Seven Area Communities Receive $1,446,675 for Clean-energy Projects

      The Baker-Polito Administration recently awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,446,675 to Agawam, Blandford, Chicopee, Granville, Ware, Warren, and Westfield. The awards will fund clean-energy projects and were presented by Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton and Department of Energy Resource (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson in a recent ceremony at Chicopee City Hall. Earlier this year, 30 Massachusetts cities and towns were designated by DOER as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable-energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions.

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    2. Cartamundi’s East Longmeadow Plant Is Open for Business

      Cartamundi’s East Longmeadow Plant Is Open for Business

      Since Cartamundi acquired the Hasbro plant in East Longmeadow in 2015, the two companies have been closely linked — in news accounts and everywhere else. And that’s understandable, because the toy and game developer is easily the biggest customer for the East Longmeadow plant. But those managing that facility are working hard to make it clear that this facility can do much more than make games for Hasbro.  Bob Adams acknowledged there are many benefits to the recent announcement that Play-Doh — that curious, multi-colored molding compound that has been part of American culture for more than 60 years — will again ...

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      Mentions: Hasbro, Inc.
    3. Western New England University to Host Business Policy Discussion

      Western New England University to Host Business Policy Discussion

      The Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law continues its series of national policy discussions, “Trump: First 100 Days,” on Thursday, March 23 with a focus on the Trump administration’s business policies and, in particular, how the administration’s policies may impact small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Trump administration has a pro-business reputation, and some of its early policy choices reflect preferences of certain industries over others. ‘Business’ is a broad term, however, and the impact of policies that may benefit one type of business may not have the same effect on other businesses.

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    4. Tree House Brewing Co. Expands Its Horizons

      Tree House Brewing Co. Expands Its Horizons

      It’s one of the region’s most unlikely success stories — a brewery that doesn’t distribute its beers beyond the building where they’re crafted, yet has managed to amass a passionate following of enthusiasts who wait in long lines to buy that week’s selections. From humble beginnings in a Brimfield barn, Monson-based Tree House Brewing Co. will make its second big move later this year, into a 55,000-square-foot brewery in Charlton, which will dramatically expand its capacity, raise its profile, and put smiles on the faces of a lot more thirsty people.

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      Mentions: MassDevelopment
    5. Developers Find New Uses for Holyoke Properties

      Developers Find New Uses for Holyoke Properties

      Marco Luzuriaga and his brother Denis are betting on the future. To be precise, that’s the future of Holyoke, a city where years of disinvestment led to vacant buildings with major environmental challenges that squashed any interest developers had in investing in them. But a slow evolution has occurred over the past few years, and the landscape is undergoing marked change. The combination of Mayor Alex Morse’s proactive stance, support from the City Council, and work by other officials led to the creation of an urban-renewal plan four years ago that is finally coming to fruition. Notable progress ...

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    6. Report: Nonprofits Have Vital Role in Closing EITC Awareness Gap - BusinessWest

      The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) recently released a new edition of its Commonwealth Insights publication series. The report, “Doing More Good: Making the Most of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC),” details the lifeline for low-income families that is the EITC and the gap between those eligible for this credit and those claiming it. With less than a month to go before the tax-filing deadline, MNN is calling on nonprofits across the state to help spread awareness and increase access to the EITC. The report indicates that, each year, more than 100,000 Massachusetts residents who are eligible for the ...

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    7. Porchlight Partnership with STCC Yields Advances in Home Care

      Holly Chaffee, president of Porchlight VNA/Home Care, and Sharon Grundel, director of Healthcare Training Development at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), presented to healthcare leaders at the Organization of Nurse Leaders Quarterly Educational Meeting at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. on March 10. The presentation detailed the partnership the two organizations developed in 2015 to bring an innovative approach to in-home, direct-care worker training, including the use of new technology. The training program was made possible with a grant from the Training and Workforce Options (TWO) collaborative between STCC and Holyoke Community College and the Mass. Department of Higher ...

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    8. Halpern Titanium Has a Sharp Focus on Continued Growth

      Halpern Titanium Has a Sharp Focus on Continued Growth

      Marianne Halpern says the company used to be called Custom Knife Supply because … well, that’s what it did — that’s all it did.  It supplied custom parts — blades, handles, hinges, and other components — to knife makers across the country, she said of the venture that she and her husband, Les, started out of their home in Monson, more as a money-making hobby than anything else.  Exactly how much the new name has helped the company is a matter of debate, but what isn’t is the fact that Halpern Titanium, now located in the Palmer Technology Center (the old ...

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      Mentions: Palmer
    9. Women’s Fund, Bay Path Partner to Promote Leadership, Learning

      The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and Bay Path University announced a groundbreaking partnership aimed at driving women’s leadership and educational access by providing college credits as part of the Women’s Fund Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) program. Through this partnership, which aims to educate women for leadership roles, the LIPPI program will give participants access to Bay Path’s online classroom tools, including access to virtual sessions with instructors and with their cohort. LIPPI participants will also be able to opt in to receive three undergraduate or graduate credits from Bay Path or ...

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      Mentions: Carol A. Leary
    10. At Brick Coworkshop, Iron Sharpens Iron … and Much More

      At Brick Coworkshop, Iron Sharpens Iron … and Much More

      Dan Battat is a glassblower, and that can be a solitary art. But he prefers company.
      “As someone who has worked in a solo shop setting, it’s awesome to look up from the bench and see someone pouring concrete into molds, or these guys in the machine shop cutting metal, all in my view from my workspace. Seeing them, it’s hard not to think of new ideas.”  That iron-sharpening-iron philosophy is one of the driving forces behind Brick Coworkshop in Holyoke, a co-working space that currently houses eight artists of varying disciplines — from glass, metal, concrete, and wood ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    11. WNEU to Host Regional Career Fair March 29

      WNEU to Host Regional Career Fair March 29

      The College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts will hold a career fair on Wednesday, March 29 from noon to 3 p.m. in the Alumni Healthful Living Center on the campus of Western New England University. Nearly 100 companies will be recruiting college students for paid and unpaid internships, as well as full-time and part-time employment opportunities. This annual event is a unique opportunity for employers and graduate-school representatives to connect with motivated students and alumni who are looking to launch and advance their careers.

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    12. Dress for Success, T-Birds Partner for ‘Hockey ’n Heels’ Fund-raiser

      Dress for Success, T-Birds Partner for ‘Hockey ’n Heels’ Fund-raiser

      Dress for Success Western Massachusetts will host “Hockey ’n Heels” Saturday, March 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, during the Springfield Thunderbirds vs. Hartford Wolfpack game. A donation of $50 will purchase admission to the pre-game cocktail reception with special guests Jennifer Brodeur, the UMass Football Assoc. head athletic trainer; Doug Janik, Springfield Thunderbirds assistant coach; and Nate Costa, executive vice president of the Springfield Thunderbirds, as well as admission to the Thunderbirds-Wolfpack game. The $50 also includes a $20 donation to Dress for Success Western Massachusetts to support its programming in 2017.

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    13. Efforts to Boost South Hadley Falls Gain Steam

      Efforts to Boost South Hadley Falls Gain Steam

      In two months, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge that leads from Holyoke into South Hadley Falls will be closed for a day for a “River Roll and Stroll” event.  The family festival is designed to promote healthy living and is being co-sponsored by the Holyoke Bike-Pedestrian Committee and the South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee, a grass-roots effort to help promote recreational opportunities for bicyclists and pedestrians.  “The River Roll and Stroll will give people a look at the Falls and allow them to see the potential that exists while providing an economic boost to businesses there,” said Mariann Millard, co-chair of ...

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    14. Springfield Central Cultural District Connects Downtown Through Art

      Springfield Central Cultural District Connects Downtown Through Art

      As director of the Springfield Central Cultural District, Morgan Drewniany doesn’t see the arts in a vacuum. Rather, they’re one of the connecting threads joining the realms of economic development, social justice, and a city’s walkability and livability, which are, of course, among the keys to any community’s future. To that end, the SCCD is raising the profile of the arts in and around downtown Springfield — and that of its myriad artists as well.

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    15. Speed Networking Back by Popular Demand

      Speed Networking Back by Popular Demand

      The Springfield Regional Chamber will stage its popular Speed Networking event on March 14 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Lattitude, 1338 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. The event provides attendees with a quick and entertaining opportunity to introduce themselves and pitch their company to the other attendees. The core concept to speed networking is the “elevator speech,” a short summary of an individual, business, organization, product or service — a summary that a person could deliver in the time span of a short elevator ride. Attendees will be divided into two groups, seated across from each other. Each group ...

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    16. Health Program at STCC Wins Accreditation

      Health Program at STCC Wins Accreditation

      The health information technology program at Springfield Technical Community College was awarded accreditation, a big step forward for an area of study that can help hospital workers like Pamela Rau advance in their careers. Rau, 53, of Southampton, worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield for more than 20 years when she decided to seek an associate degree in health information technology from STCC. She needed the diploma to continue working as a supervisor in health information management. Rau was part of the first graduating class in June.

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    17. Greater Holyoke Chamber Table Top Expo Finds New Home

      Greater Holyoke Chamber Table Top Expo Finds New Home

      The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Table Top Expo has a new home in 2017, as the Bartley Center at Holyoke Community College (HCC) will open its doors to the event on Wednesday, April 12 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The 23rd annual event, one of the region’s largest small-business networking events, will welcome 200 small-business professionals and entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level and develop their business leads. The show is the ‘big sister’ of the Chicopee Table Top Expo, which takes place each fall, and is a multi-chamber event that ...

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    18. Mitchell Machine Builds on Nearly a Century of Providing Solutions

      Mitchell Machine Builds on Nearly a Century of Providing Solutions

      Since it was launched by John Mitchell in 1920, Mitchell Machine has grown and diversified — shifting from producing parts and tools for the Springfield Armory and Indian Motocycle to designing and manufacturing complex machines for the semiconductor industry. But since day one, the company has essentially been doing the same thing — producing solutions for its clients.

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    19. Greater Northampton Chamber Arrive @ 5 Event Slated for April 5

      Two of Northampton’s local businesses are uniting to co-host the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce’s Arrive @ 5 event on Wednesday, April 5. Degrees of Comfort — Northampton Plumbing Supply’s kitchen and bath showroom — will join Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice for this community-networking event from 5 to 7 p.m. at 168 Industrial Dr.

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    20. Longmeadow Facility Continues to Grow and Evolve

      Longmeadow Facility Continues to Grow and Evolve

      The Longmeadow Shops recently completed an ambitious 21,000-square-foot expansion project, continuing a process of growth and evolution that has been ongoing for more than half a century.  Steve Walker says that, almost from the start, the Longmeadow Shops has had the location, the access, and a solid mix of retail that attracts both visitors and, well, more retail.  The ‘almost’ is because Interstate 91, or at least the Massachusetts portion of it, had not been completed by the time the shopping plaza, created at the east end of Bliss Road near the East Longmeadow line by Friendly’s co-founder ...

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    21. PeoplesBank Retains Young Talent by Keeping Employees Engaged

      PeoplesBank Retains Young Talent by Keeping Employees Engaged

      t’s difficult to pigeonhole the Millennial generation — though many have tried — in terms of what they want in a job and a workplace.  But one recurring theme is a sense of purpose and meaning, one that goes beyond their list of duties. And on this front, employers are largely falling short.  In fact, according to a recent Gallup study, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” only about one-third of young professionals strongly agree that the mission or purpose of their organization makes them feel their job is important. And just 40% feel strongly connected to their company’s ...

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    22. Hogan Technology Invited to Technology Assurance Group Convention

      Hogan Technology Invited to Technology Assurance Group Convention

      Hogan Technology announced that Sean Hogan, the company’s president, has been invited to attend the 17th annual Technology Assurance Group Convention, an organization of dominant unified-communications companies in North America representing $350 million in products and services. The event, to be held in Houston on April 2-5, brings together the most successful leaders in the unified-communications sector in order to elevate the industry as a whole, through the sharing of best business practices, CEO-to-CEO collaboration, and exchange of viewpoints as the future of technology. The theme of this year’s convention is “teamwork drives success.” It will focus on ...

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      Mentions: Easthampton
    23. WNEU to Host Annual Pharmacy Conference March 16

      WNEU to Host Annual Pharmacy Conference March 16

      The Western New England University College of Pharmacy will hold its seventh annual Continuing Pharmacy Education and Preceptor Development Conference on Thursday, March 16 from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Rivers Memorial Hall. The conference is one way the College of Pharmacy supports the educational needs of pharmacists in the region. Hundreds of regional pharmacists from New England participate each year in the full-day training program, which will provide insight into legal issues impacting the pharmacy profession, preceptor development, and updates on clinical therapeutics.

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    24. I-91 Viaduct Project Will Provide Concrete Benefits

      I-91 Viaduct Project Will Provide Concrete Benefits

      In May 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation signed a $148 million contract with the Joint Venture of JF White-Schiavone to overhaul the 1-91 viaduct in Springfield. The project is immense in scope, and although it has inconvenienced drivers, especially during peak hours, it is ahead of schedule and brings concrete benefits for the local economy and area businesses that manufacture or provide products needed for the repair and reconstruction of the 45-year-old section of highway.

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