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    1. State Economy Expands Robustly in Q2, UMass Journal Reports

      Explore BusinessWest (17 hours, 39 min ago)

      State Economy Expands Robustly in Q2, UMass Journal Reports

      Massachusetts real gross domestic product grew at an estimated annual rate of 5.4% in the second quarter of 2015 according to the MassBenchmarks Current Economic Index, released today by MassBenchmarks, the journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the UMass Donahue Institute in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. U.S. real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.3%, according to the advance estimate of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Based on the latest available information, it’s estimated that, in the first quarter of 2015, the state economy expanded at ...

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts

    2. AIC Puts a Unique Focus on First-generation Students

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 30 2015)

      AIC Puts a Unique Focus on First-generation Students

      AIC has a strategic plan for growth that is focused on three areas, said Maniaci. “Our first goal is to build the demand curve — we need to give parents and students a better reason to come here, give them a reason to borrow money or pay out of pocket for schooling; education is expensive, and they need to know what the return on their investment will be,” he explained, adding that students and their families need to understand that in addition to the fact that college graduates earn $1 million more over their lifetime than non-graduates, valuable lessons result from ...

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    3. Community Spotlight: Agawam Builds on its Family Friendly Character

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 30 2015)

      Community Spotlight: Agawam Builds on its Family Friendly Character

      The fifth-largest Hampden County community in population (neck and neck with West Springfield at around 28,000), Agawam has long endured the image of a town dominated by industrial parks, condos, strip malls, farms, golf courses (there are four of them), and, of course, the largest amusement park in New England. But is is fast becoming known for much more.  Indeed, while Cohen places great value in the town’s fully occupied Agawam Industrial Park, and in the town’s measures to preserve open farm space, his enthusiasm level rises to a new height when he talks about Agawam’s ...

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    4. Hotel on North Is “Putting the Berkshires on the Map” Honoree

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 28 2015)

      Hotel on North Is “Putting the Berkshires on the Map” Honoree

      1Berkshire, the countywide economic development organization, announced today that The Hotel on North project has been chosen as the 2015 “Putting the Berkshires on the Map” honoree in recognition of the substantial contribution it is making to the overall image of the Berkshires. This recognition will be presented at the fifth annual Celebrate the Berkshires event on Sept. 10 at the Stationery Factory in Dalton.  Hotel on North creates a unique modern experience that also pays homage to the building’s historic character. The hotel has been called a game-changer for downtown Pittsfield because of its potential as a catalyst ...

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    5. The Mill District Builds on the Cowls Family’s Legacy

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 28 2015)

      The Mill District Builds on the Cowls Family’s Legacy

      “The vision for the Mill District is for an eats, arts, and entertainment destination, built with respect for our industrial and agricultural past and reflecting that history,” she explained. “This is where history and opportunity meet; it would be a place where you would have unique experiences not found on the Internet, a destination for not just college students, but people of all ages.”  For this issue and its focus on commercial real estate, BusinessWest talked with Jones and Mollye Wolahan, vice president of Real Estate and Commercial Development for W.D. Cowls Inc. about the Mill District and how ...

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    6. Chicopee’s New Development Czar, Mike Vedovelli, Gets Down to Business

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 28 2015)

      Chicopee’s New Development Czar, Mike Vedovelli, Gets Down to Business

      In April, Mike Vedovelli found himself in a place he wasn’t expected to be — the market for a new job. But just as the Baker administration has gone in a new direction with the Mass. Office of Business Development, which Vedovelli served as Western Mass. liaison, he has gone in one as well. He’s the new director of the Community & Economic Development for Chicopee, and believes he’s in the right place at the right time, from a career-challenge perspective. 

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    7. Common Threads

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 20 2015)

      Common Threads

      As the bank celebrates its milestone anniversary this year, it is not marking that number or another figure ($2 billion in assets, which the institution just passed), as much as it is highlighting those traits it still has in common with Skinner, he explained.  “If William Skinner were to look at the bank today, he would see that, in some ways, nothing has changed, and in another way, everything has changed,” said Bowen, now in his 10th year at the helm of the Holyoke-based institution.  Certainly, the figures on the ledger sheet have changed. The bank, which opened on St ...

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    8. Hitting Its Stride

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 17 2015)

      Hitting Its Stride

      As Guy Antonacci remembers things, it was supposed to be just a “facelift.”  That was the term he used to describe what his family, owners of USA Hauling and a number of other business ventures, intended to do with Hampden Country Club when they acquired it at auction in early 2012.  The initial plan was to take a club, opened in 1973 and that was, by most accounts, tired — an adjective that could be applied to the course, clubhouse, and practically every other aspect of the operation — and make it far less so.  They started with the sand traps, eventually ...

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    9. Facing a Talent Crisis

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 14 2015)

      Facing a Talent Crisis

      That means he’s always looking for people like him, who at some point discover a love for computers and information technology and are skilled at it. But finding those people has not been easy.  “Technology encompasses such a vast range of jobs,” he told BusinessWest. “Programmers and coders are a completely separate thing from people who do what we do, providing managed services, managing people’s networks … and that’s totally different from, say, web design.”  By all accounts, opportunities in those fields and many others in the IT realm are only growing. Yet, at the same time, the ...

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    10. Community Spotlight: East Longmeadow

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 14 2015)

      Community Spotlight: East Longmeadow

      East Longmeadow businessman John Maybury, president of Maybury Material Handling, located in the Denslow Road Industrial Park since 1981, echoes Federici’s comments about East Longmeadow’s commercial economy.  “The industrial park is just about completely filled,” said Maybury, “although there still may be a couple of buildable parcels left. The Deer Park industrial area just south of Denslow is also growing nicely, and all of these companies are doing very well. And, of course, we still have the big ones, Hasbro and Lenox, which has invested $60 million in the plant since its purchase by Newell Rubbermaid in 2003 ...

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    11. 2016 Update to Regional Transportation Plan Now Available

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 10 2015)

      2016 Update to Regional Transportation Plan Now Available

      The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission announced that the draft version of the 2016 update to the Regional Transportation Plan for the Pioneer Valley (RTP) is now available for public review and comment. The RTP outlines the direction of transportation planning and improvements for the Pioneer Valley through the year 2040. Updated every four years, it provides the basis for all state- and federally funded transportation-improvement projects and planning studies. The long-range plan concentrates on both existing needs and anticipated future deficiencies in transportation infrastructure, presents preferred strategies to alleviate transportation problems, and creates a schedule of transportation-improvement projects that are ...

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    12. Donahue Institute Receives $14M Contract for Head Start Programs

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 9 2015)

      The UMass Donahue Institute has been awarded a five-year, $14 million contract to provide training and technical assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start programs for all of New England.  The institute will work with local Head Start programs on their educational, health, and family services as well as management systems to strengthen their ability to serve children and their families. Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the comprehensive development of children from birth to age 5 in centers, child-care partner locations, and their own homes. Early Head Start also provides services to pregnant women. Head Start ...

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    13. Baystate Health Announces Completion of Noble Acquisition

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 2 2015)

      Baystate Health Announces Completion of Noble Acquisition

      The trustees of Baystate Health and Noble Hospital announced that Noble and its affiliated entities are now part of Baystate Health. As of July 1, the hospital will be known as Baystate Noble Hospital and will join Baystate’s team of community hospitals in Greenfield, Palmer, and Ware. Ronald Bryant, currently president and CEO of Noble Hospital, will accept the position of president of Baystate Noble Hospital, in accordance with Baystate Health’s structure for its community-hospital leadership. 

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    14. United Personnel Honored with Champions of Hope Award

      Explore BusinessWest (Jul 1 2015)

      United Personnel Honored with Champions of Hope Award

      A local, woman-owned business, United Personnel has received various awards throughout its history, including Champions of Hope from United Way, Businesswoman of Distinction Award from Pioneer Valley Girl Scouts, Inner City 100 list by Inc. magazine, list of 500 Fastest-Growing Privately Held Companies in America by Inc. magazine, Super 60/Fabulous 50 Away by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and Top 100 Woman-Led Businesses in Massachusetts from Babson College and Commonwealth Institute.

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    15. A Matter of Perspective

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 30 2015)

      A Matter of Perspective

      Meehan, who said he essentially put himself on a track for either of those pursuits, eventually became chancellor of UMass Lowell, where, by all accounts, he led a stunning resurgence at the school.  And last month, he was chosen to succeed Robert Caret as president of the entire university system, thus becoming the first UMass undergrad (he earned a degree in education and political science at the Lowell campus) and first chancellor within the five campuses to ascend to the president’s office.

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    16. Community Spotlight: Westfield

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 30 2015)

      Community Spotlight: Westfield

      New buildings are under construction, while older ones that sat empty for as long as a decade are being transformed and repurposed. Phase I of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail is underway, work is being done in the so-called Gaslight District, and other initiatives are becoming a reality.  “Fourteen years ago, Mayor [Richard] Sullivan showed me his plan for the city, and I saw what the future could be,” said Knapik, adding that this action plan and its prospects for becoming reality led him to seek election to the City Council, where he held a seat from 2001 to 2009 ...

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      Mentions:   Westfield

    17. Tighe & Bond Promotes Three Managers to Vice President

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 29 2015)

      Tighe & Bond Promotes Three Managers to Vice President

      Following the firm’s annual stockholder meeting, Tighe & Bond announced the promotion of three of its veteran managers to vice president: Christopher Bone, Antonio da Cruz, and John McClellan.  Bone, who has 22 years of engineering experience and works out of Tighe & Bond’s Westfield office, joined the firm in 1999. Over the years, he has served as an environmental engineer and project manager for numerous high-profile wastewater and water-resources projects. He has overseen the design of numerous new treatment plants, and also has a history of finding innovative and cost-effective solutions for challenging upgrades at existing facilities. Currently, he ...

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    18. Delcie Bean Wins Continued Excellence Award at 40 Under Forty Gala | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 22 2015)

      Delcie Bean Wins Continued Excellence Award at 40 Under Forty Gala | BusinessWest

      Serial entrepreneur Delcie Bean IV took home BusinessWest’s inaugural Continued Excellence Award at last night’s ninth annual 40 Under Forty gala.  It was yet another honor for the owner of Paragus Strategic IT, who was named BusinessWest’s Top Entrepreneur for 2014. For the Continued Excellence Award, which will be awarded annually to a former 40 Under Forty honoree who has continued to expand his or her business accomplishments and community impact, Bean was among about 40 individuals nominated by their peers and judged by an independent panel.

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    19. Mohawk CEO Joins Neal to Discuss Future of Fine-paper Industry | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 22 2015)

      Mohawk CEO Joins Neal to Discuss Future of Fine-paper Industry | BusinessWest

      Thomas O’Connor Jr., chairman and CEO of Mohawk, will join U.S. Rep. Richard Neal to discuss the future of the fine-paper industry during the New England Paper Cluster’s annual conference today in Springfield.  The New England Paper Cluster, a regional, nonprofit trade association founded by the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, is comprised of New England-based businesses — including paper mills, packaging companies, and printing companies — that work to promote the regional paper industry.

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    20. United Way of Pioneer Valley Honors Community Leaders Today | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 17 2015)

      United Way of Pioneer Valley Honors Community Leaders Today | BusinessWest

      United Way of Pioneer Valley will present eight awards to local community leaders during its annual meeting and celebration today, starting at 5:15 p.m. at Chez Josef in Agawam.  The event is hosted by MassMutual Financial Group, Health New England, Excel Dryer, the Springfield Department of Health & Human Services, and Jennifer Endicott. Azell Cavaan, chief communications officer for Springfield Public Schools, and Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, director of the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley, will serve as emcees.

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    21. Tighe & Bond Acquires New Hampshire-based Waterfront Engineers | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 17 2015)

      Tighe & Bond Acquires New Hampshire-based Waterfront Engineers | BusinessWest

      Waterfront Engineers LLC, a New Hampshire-based firm known for providing specialized engineering services for shoreline challenges and waterfront facilities, joined forces this week with Tighe & Bond, a New England leader in engineering and environmental services.  Tighe & Bond acquired Waterfront Engineers to offer its clients additional expertise and targeted solutions for complex and challenging coastal projects. Tighe & Bond’s Portsmouth, N.H. office will serve as the hub for these expanded services.

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    22. State of Urgency | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 17 2015)

      State of Urgency | BusinessWest

      Chris Geehern says he didn’t contrive the phrase (or this particular application of it) — attribution belongs to a Baystate business owner requesting anonymity — but he certainly puts it to work liberally as he talks about the Commonwealth’s innumerable business regulations and the manner in which they are enforced.  “He called it the ‘bad-waiter syndrome,’” Geehern, executive vice president for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), said of the individual in question. “He said doing business in Massachusetts is like going to a restaurant where you really like the food, the atmosphere is terrific, and the dessert and drinks ...

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    23. Greening the Gateway Cities Program Expands to Chicopee, Revere | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 16 2015)

      “The Greening the Gateway Cities Program is not only an important tool in our overall urban forestry plan, but will be an engine for job creation and energy sustainability in these communities,” said DCR Commissioner Carol Sanchez. “DCR is proud to continue the long-standing partnership between the Bureau of Forestry and the cities of Chicopee, Revere, Chelsea, Holyoke, and Fall River. With the help of local community and grass-roots organizations, GGCP will pay dividends in these high-density urban communities where green space is needed most.”

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      Mentions:   Chicopee

    24. Greater Holyoke Chamber to Celebrate 125 Years of Service

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 9 2015)

      Greater Holyoke Chamber to Celebrate 125 Years of Service

      The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, a business association devoted to promoting and improving the region through economic progress, public advocacy, and workforce development, will host an anniversary gala to celebrate 125 years of commitment to growing local prosperity.  The event will take place on Friday, June 19 from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The celebration will kick off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour on the patio, featuring a presentation of historic photos and images of the city of Holyoke and the chamber. A cash bar, complimentary guest photos, and music ...

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