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    1. Report: Massachusetts is the Healthiest State in the Nation

      Report: Massachusetts is the Healthiest State in the Nation

      Massachusetts is the healthiest state in the nation, according to the 28th annual America’s Health Rankings report. Among the state’s strengths are its low percentage of uninsured people, low prevalence of obesity, and high vaccination rates. The 2017 report also ranked Massachusetts first for the health of women and children. “This report highlights the notable progress that our state is making to improve the health and well-being of every individual living in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts is proud to have the lowest number of uninsured residents in the country and robust public-health efforts, and our ...

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    2. Bradley International Airport Recognized by Condé Nast Traveler

      Bradley International Airport Recognized by Condé Nast Traveler

      The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) announced that Condé Nast Traveler has released the results of its 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, and Bradley International Airport has been recognized as the fifth-best airport in the U.S. with a score of 82.35. “We are very proud to have earned this prestigious recognition, and we thank not only the many travelers who voted for us, but all of the millions of passengers who choose Bradley for their travel needs on an annual basis,” said CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon. “This distinguished award from the travel community is a testament to our ...

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    3. Springfield Project Offers a Window to Changing Role of Libraries

      Springfield Project Offers a Window to Changing Role of Libraries

      As she talked about libraries, and borrowed (that’s an industry term) from Mark Twain when she said their death was greatly exaggerated, Molly Fogarty used some words and phrases that definitely brought her argument home. That’s because these are not the kinds of things that would have been said about these institutions a century ago, or perhaps even a decade ago. “Libraries help level the playing field,” said Fogarty, director of the Springfield City Library. “They help people cross the digital divide; they’re technology hubs.” Elaborating, he said that, in this computer age, access to the Internet ...

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    4. Ambitious Renovation Project Will Reshape the Basketball Hall of Fame

      Ambitious Renovation Project Will Reshape the Basketball Hall of Fame

      The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will soon commence work on an ambitious, $15 million renovation and expansion that will dramatically change the look and feel of the shrine. While the project represents the future, it also speaks loudly to just how far the Hall has come since the dark days — and years — earlier this century. John Doleva calls it a “spaceship.” That’s what he and others at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame have come to call the individual lights that sit atop the dome that defines the shrine on West Columbus Avenue and change color ...

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    5. A Host of Factors Are Lifting the Region’s Economy Higher

      A Host of Factors Are Lifting the Region’s Economy Higher

      The state of the region’s economy is strong, and the economic outlook is bright. That’s a simple statement, but let’s look at the facts that support that optimism. We all have read of the important investments that MGM and CRRC, the Chinese rail-car manufacturer, are making in Springfield. Less-reported is the some $5.2 billion of economic-development projects that have recently occurred or are currently underway in our region. In a 2016 study, the Economic Development Council of Western Mass. (EDC) catalogued the growth in each community — from housing developments to manufacturing companies expanding and relocating to ...

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    6. Jim Ayres Directs the United Way Through a Time of Change, Challenge

      Jim Ayres Directs the United Way Through a Time of Change, Challenge

      Jim Ayres, who took the helm at the United Way of Pioneer Valley this past spring, arrived knowing he would be leading the organization through a time of significant change and challenge. His elaborate to-do list includes efforts to increase efficiency, do a better job of telling the United Way’s story to the younger people who probably don’t know it, and continuing the work of building coalitions to take on the many issues confronting the region’s communities and families. There’s an old map hanging on the wall just inside the door to Jim Ayres’ office within ...

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    7. UMass Amherst Receives $1.1 Million Grant for Large Battery Project

      UMass Amherst Receives $1.1 Million Grant for Large Battery Project

      UMass Amherst has been awarded a $1.1 million state grant from the Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) project to work with Tesla Energy to construct a large battery at the Central Heating Plant on the west side of campus. The project involves a 1-megawatt/4-megawatt-hour lithium ion battery storage system that will be designed and constructed by Tesla Energy adjacent to the campus power plant. Working with Tesla and the UMass Clean Energy Extension (CEE), the goal is to reduce peak energy demand on the Amherst campus and related costs. The battery storage system will provide power at times ...

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    8. HCC Awarded Grant to Expand Community Health Worker Program

      HCC Awarded Grant to Expand Community Health Worker Program

      Holyoke Community College has been awarded a grant of more than $400,000 from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to expand its Community Health Worker program in partnership with area employers. The four-year, $431,227 allocation will enable approximately 120 people to take a series of three credit-bearing classes to enhance their education and training as community health workers. The three classes — free for those accepted into the grant program — were selected in consultation with representatives from Behavioral Health Network and the Gandara Center, two regional, nonprofit behavioral-health agencies.

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    9. Greater Holyoke Chamber Announces Its Ambassador of the Year

      Greater Holyoke Chamber Announces Its Ambassador of the Year

      The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce bestowed its Chamber Ambassador of the Year Award to Jessica Picard, marketing director at Loomis House Retirement Community, a position she has held since 2012. Previous to that, she was the marketing and admissions liaison for Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing in Springfield. She graduated from Westfield State University with a degree in business management and a minor in marketing. “Our ambassadors play a pivotal role in allowing the Greater Holyoke Chamber to be able to execute on our programs and events. Jessica Picard has been a champion of the Greater Holyoke Chamber for ...

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    10. Great Barrington Is Taking Big Steps Forward

      Great Barrington Is Taking Big Steps Forward

      Jennifer Tabakin acknowledged that, figuratively speaking, at least, City Hall in New York and Town Hall in Great Barrington are much more than 125 or so miles apart.  In most all ways, they’re worlds apart, and she should know, because she’s worked in both settings, and is firmly entrenched in the latter as town manager.  In New York, she worked for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg for several years. To be more specific, she worked under the deputy mayor for Economic Development after a stint in state government with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority working on capital projects.

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    11. UMass Engineer Makes Bioinspired Polymers with Electrostatic Force

      UMass Engineer Makes Bioinspired Polymers with Electrostatic Force

      UMass Amherst chemical engineer Sarah Perry, working with a colleague at the University of Illinois, is creating new bioinspired materials using electrostatic charge to direct the self-assembly process of long molecules. The research team, working with a class of polymers called coacervates, found they could be modified by changing the sequence of charges along the polymer chain. Coacervates are commonly used in food products and cosmetics. The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.

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    12. Five Colleges Names Sarah Pfatteicher Executive Director

      Five Colleges Names Sarah Pfatteicher Executive Director

      The board of directors of the Five College Consortium has appointed Sarah Pfatteicher to be its new executive director, succeeding Neal Abraham, who will be retiring after nine years at the helm of the higher-ed collaboration. Pfatteicher is currently associate dean for Academic Affairs and a research professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The board was impressed with the breadth and depth of experience that Sarah will bring to the position,” said Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire College and of the Five College board of directors. “The level of leadership she’s shown at the University of Wisconsin in both ...

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    13. Elms College, University of Kochi Extend 20-year Exchange Program

      Elms College, University of Kochi Extend 20-year Exchange Program

      Elms College signed an agreement on Nov. 29 continuing its international exchange program with the University of Kochi in Japan. The exchange relationship is celebrating its 20th year. Harry Dumay, president of Elms College, and Takahiro Ioroi, academic vice president of the University of Kochi — one of the original faculty members involved in starting the exchange program — signed the agreement in Dumay’s office at Elms. Every year, visiting students from Kochi spend nearly two weeks exploring life at Elms. The Kochi students stay in residence halls at Elms, study English, attend classes related to their majors, and take in ...

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    14. Hcc, Stcc to Launch Gaming School

      Anyone interested in working as a professional card dealer or croupier at the soon-to-open MGM Springfield will have their first opportunity to sign up for training classes on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at a downtown event launching the new MCCTI Gaming School. The event will be held on the first floor of the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., in the exhibit hall pre-function space, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College, through TWO, their Training and Workforce Options collaborative, and MCCTI, the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute, will operate the gaming school on the ...

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    15. Regional Director of MOBD to Meet Business, Community Leaders

      Regional Director of MOBD to Meet Business, Community Leaders

      Debra Boronski, regional director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development (MOBD), will hold office hours for business and community leaders on Monday, Dec. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center office located in Building 101 of the STCC Technology Park, 1 Federal St., Springfield. Meetings will be held in the Peter Pan Room, located on the second floor.

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    16. The O’Connell Companies Opens a New Headquarters in Holyoke

      The O’Connell Companies Opens a New Headquarters in Holyoke

      The O’Connell Companies traces its history in Holyoke back to 1879, when Daniel O’Connell founded the construction company that eventually branched into property design, management, development, and much more. For more than a century, the company was housed in limited quarters on Hampden Street, but a new headquarters on Kelly Way offers more space, amenities, and opportunities for what one of the firm’s executives called “cross-fertilization.”

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    17. Steve Rosenkrantz Touts Franchise Ownership with the Entrepreneur’s Source

      Steve Rosenkrantz Touts Franchise Ownership with the Entrepreneur’s Source

      Western Mass. has seen an impressive surge in entrepreneurship over the past decade, but when people think about the successes, they tend to call to mind startups and independent companies. But there is another way to succeed in business ownership, and that’s through franchising. Through a national company called Entrepreneur’s Source, Steve Rosenkrantz has been matching clients with franchises for 17 years — by focusing on what they want not just in a career, but out of life.

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    18. Cambridge College Announces Partnership with ILI

      Cambridge College Announces Partnership with ILI

      Cambridge College and the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI) recently announced a partnership through the University Pathways Program. Through this partnership, international students in the University Pathways track receive the academic support and counseling they need to help them transition successfully to Cambridge College. ILI carefully selects its partner colleges and universities. Cambridge College was selected because of its program offerings and commitment to the adult-learning model.

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    19. Group’s Mission Centers Around Women Investing in Women

      Group’s Mission Centers Around Women Investing in Women

      Kate Putnam knew something special was going on — right from the first get-together. That was back about 18 months or so ago, when a dozen women were invited to a breakfast to discuss ideas for making Western Mass. the place for women entrepreneurs and innovators. “More than 30 showed up,” said Putnam, one of the organizers and chief spokespeople for a group that came to be known, after considerable discussion, as WIT, initially a joint venture of Valley Venture Mentors and the Economic Development Council of Western Mass. That’s short for Women Innovators & Trailblazers, and also for What It ...

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    20. Peoples United Relocates Office, Names New Manager

      Peoples United Relocates Office, Names New Manager

      Jim Curran was asked about the heightened state of competition within the commercial-lending realm in Western Mass. and how People’s United Bank is responding to this changing landscape.  He began his answer by noting that, while conditions in this region are perhaps somewhat more competitive than they were when he first started working in this market more than 30 years ago, the reality is that there have always been a lot of strong competitors for People’s United, formerly the Bank of Western Mass.

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    21. Baystate’s Jane Albert Embraces Change in Many Ways

      Baystate’s Jane Albert Embraces Change in Many Ways

      From her early days in marketing, Jane Albert had a goal — to work in the field of healthcare, and specifically for Baystate Health, the region’s largest health system. To achieve that goal, and eventually be part of the organization’s senior leadership, she was willing to take risks, welcome new opportunities as they arose, and continually make connections — all the while never losing sight of who her customers are and how to most effectively meet their needs. 

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    22. STCC to Host Health Careers Exploration Night on Nov. 29

      STCC to Host Health Careers Exploration Night on Nov. 29

      On Wednesday, Nov. 29, Springfield Technical Community College will offer Health Careers Exploration Night, an opportunity for anyone interested in becoming a healthcare professional to learn more about STCC’s programs. Open to the public, the free event will take place from 4 and 6 p.m. While no registration is required, visitors should check in with organizers in the first-floor lobby of Building 20, on the Pearl Street side of the campus.

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