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    1. West Side Balances Private, Public Projects

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 24 2016)

      West Side Balances Private, Public Projects

      Mayor William Reichelt says West Springfield is a small town that in many ways assumes the character of a city, due in part to the popular retail establishments — stores and restaurants — that line its two main commercial corridors, Riverdale Street and Memorial Avenue.  But that economic development has been balanced by efforts initiated by the new mayor: Reichelt, a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty Class of 2016, took office in January and has already streamlined the permitting process and formed new committees and task forces to ensure that the zoning is appropriate, traffic flow does not affect residential ...

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      Mentions:   Colvest Group   West Springfield   Springfield

    2. Western New England University Named a College of Distinction

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 24 2016)

      Western New England University Named a College of Distinction

      Western New England University (WNEU) is featured in the 2016-17 edition of the Colleges of Distinction guidebook. Based on the opinions of guidance counselors, educators, and admissions professionals, the guidebook honors colleges that excel in key areas of educational quality and appeal to students’ unique and varied interests. “We place high value on innovation and excellence in order to provide the best possible experience for our students. We challenge students to dream big, take risks, and surprise themselves with all they can accomplish,” said Bryan Gross, vice president for Enrollment. “This recognition affirms that our distinctive best practices are effective ...

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      Mentions:   Western New England University   Springfield

    3. Jiminy Peak, PeoplesBank, W.D. Cowls Win AIM Sustainability Award

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 23 2016)

      Jiminy Peak, PeoplesBank, W.D. Cowls Win AIM Sustainability Award

      Six Massachusetts companies, ranging from a ski resort in the Berkshires to the largest grocery chain in New England, have been named winners of the inaugural Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Sustainability Award. The award recognizes excellence in environmental stewardship, promotion of social well-being, and contributions to economic prosperity. AIM announced that Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort of Hancock, PeoplesBank of Holyoke, W.D. Cowls Inc. of North Amherst, Cavicchio Greenhouses Inc. of Sudbury, Gorton’s Seafood of Gloucester, and the Stop & Shop New England Division of Ahold USA were selected from among 33 nominations. The six companies will be honored ...

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      Mentions:   Associated Industries of Massachusetts   Coca-Cola   Amherst

    4. Unemployment Rate in Massachusetts Drops to 4.1% in July

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 22 2016)

      Unemployment Rate in Massachusetts Drops to 4.1% in July

      The state’s total unemployment rate dropped to 4.1% in July from 4.2% in June, and preliminary estimates show the state gained 7,300 jobs over the month, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported.  The state also added more jobs in June than the Bureau of Labor and Statistics originally estimated for the month, gaining 17,600 jobs compared to the previously published 16,400-job-gain estimate. Year to date, December 2015 to July 2016, Massachusetts has added 56,600 jobs.

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    5. Three Western Mass. Companies Are Finalists for Awards

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 22 2016)

      Three Western Mass. Companies Are Finalists for Awards

      Three companies from Western Mass. are among the 18 businesses from across the state selected as finalists for the 2016 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards, awarded annually by MassEcon. They are Jarvis Surgical of Westfield, PV Sullivan Supply of Chicopee, and Prolamina of Westfield.  These finalists will present one-minute elevator pitches describing their growth in the Bay State to a panel of judges and business leaders on Sept. 14 at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP in Boston. Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash, will be the featured guest at the event.

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      Mentions:   Massachusetts Office of Business Development   Chicopee   Westfield

    6. Chamber Kicks off Breakfast Season with Magic

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 19 2016)

      Chamber Kicks off Breakfast Season with Magic

      MindScrambler’s “Cultivating Connections” live show will be the highlight of the Springfield Regional Chamber’s kick-off Business@Breakfast on Sept. 7 at 7:15 a.m. at the Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place, Springfield. The event is sponsored by Breakfast Series Sponsor United Personnel, Breakfast Sponsor Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Speaker Sponsor Bay Path University’s Graduate Program and Coffee Bar Sponsor FIT Staffing. Having the ability to connect with others is the foundation to any relationship. With friendships, networking opportunities or a business interactions the stronger you can form the connection, the more powerful the bond. In a ...

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    7. Paragus Founder Gives Employees an Ownership Stake

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 18 2016)

      Paragus Founder Gives Employees an Ownership Stake

      Delcie Bean likened an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, as one is commonly called, to an onion. By that, he obviously meant that it has many layers of intrigue and complexity, as he found out while researching, planning, and eventually executing one for the company, Paragus Strategic IT, that he founded 17 years ago, when he was just 16. “My initial understanding of an ESOP amounted to this 30,000-foot view,” he explained. “Over the past 2 ½ years, we kept peeling back the layers. I’ve learned more about this over the past few years than I could ever ...

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    8. Local Employment Agencies See Surge in Demand for Full-time Employees

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 18 2016)

      Local Employment Agencies See Surge in Demand for Full-time Employees

      Employment agencies, by nature of the work they carry out, can take an accurate read of the economy, the confidence exhibited by area employers, and the trends developing within various sectors. Their pulse-taking exercises reveal, among other things, that the economy has been growing steadily since the end of the recession, and that this remains, by and large,  a a job hunter’s market because businesses and start-ups are growing, and the demand for people with specialized skills is currently greater than the supply.

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      Mentions:   West Springfield   Springfield

    9. Agency Fuels Entrepreneurship in Greater Holyoke

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 18 2016)

      Agency Fuels Entrepreneurship in Greater Holyoke

      Since its launch nearly two years ago, SPARK Holyoke has become an important addition to the region’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing a learning-and-nurturing environment for a variety of business owners. To sum up its impact, one participant said the agency gave him the discipline to be “both a creator and a finisher.”

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      Mentions:   Holyoke Community College   Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce   Holyoke

    10. TD Bank Supports Dress for Success

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 18 2016)

      TD Bank Supports Dress for Success

      In support of Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts’s mission to empower women in their careers, the agency was recently awarded $5,000 from TD Bank. “We’re so grateful to TD Bank for recognizing the importance of our work in the community and the impact we are having on the women who are benefiting from our programs and services,” said Dawn Creighton, board president, Dress for Success. “Our community is fortunate to have so many business leaders who understand and appreciate the importance of supporting our region’s non-profit work.”

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      Mentions:   TD Bank   Springfield

    11. Holyoke Chamber Slates Networking Event

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 17 2016)

      Holyoke Chamber Slates Networking Event

      The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce’s summer Chamber After Hours networking event will be staged tonight at Fiesta Café at 305 Main Street, starting at 5, as the business celebrates the opening of its new outdoor patio with a ribbon cutting. Fiesta Café opened its doors in January 2015 with the aim of holding Latino culture high in downtown Holyoke. Owned and operated by Juan Montano, Fiesta Café is a family-orientated restaurant that believes in keeping family and tradition together. The Montano family has lived in Holyoke for more than 25 years.  The family’s first business was established ...

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      Mentions:   Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce   Kathleen G. Anderson   Holyoke

    12. Holyoke Wins ‘Landmarks’ Grant

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 17 2016)

      Holyoke Wins ‘Landmarks’ Grant

      The National Endowment for the Humanities recently announced that the city of Holyoke, along with 20 other entities across the country, has been awarded a Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for School Teachers grant, which funds one-week workshops for K-12 educators that address themes and topics in American history, government, literature, art history, and other humanities fields related to historic landmarks. Wistariahurst, on behalf of the City of Holyoke, has been awarded $123,768 to implement two, week-long intensive history summer teaching institutes to be held in August, 2017. The institutes, titled Women Making Change: Activism and Progressivism ...

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      Mentions:   Holyoke   Alex Morse

    13. SSO Takes Steps to Broaden Its Reach, Audience

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 15 2016)

      SSO Takes Steps to Broaden Its Reach, Audience

      As it enters its 73rd year, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra does so knowing that, to remain relevant, it must be creative and willing to assume risks as it strives to cultivate new audiences, especially the younger generations. Peter Salerno, who has twice served as interim director of the SSO and took the helm on a permanent basis earlier this year, says the institution is more than up for that challenge.  Peter Salerno said the phone call seemed to come out of left field … or from the 20-yard line, as the case may be.

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      Mentions:   Springfield   Springfield Symphony Orchestra

    14. STCC to Offer Training in Fiber Optics

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 15 2016)

      STCC to Offer Training in Fiber Optics

      odern telephones, Internet, and cable television are connected to fiber optic cables, which can ferry much more information than old-fashioned copper wires. Due to the growing demand for optical fibers, the telecommunications industry needs certified fiber optic technicians to install, maintain and repair its vast networks. And to help meet the demand for employees in this growing field, Springfield Technical Community College offers affordable training. The college has been running a Certified Fiber Optics Technician Course for the past several years. The next three-part introductory course takes place Sept. 12, 13 and 14 between 8 a.m. and 5 p ...

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      Mentions:   Springfield Technical Community College   Springfield

    15. GCC Survey Uncovers What Area Employers Value Most in Hires

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 12 2016)

      GCC Survey Uncovers What Area Employers Value Most in Hires

      What skills and knowledge do Pioneer Valley employers look for in their recent hires? That was the focus of a spring 2016 survey conducted by Greenfield Community College (GCC). More than 125 businesses, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and schools weighed in on the college-learning outcomes they value the most.  The survey, modeled after a national study conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the Assoc. of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), was sent to Pioneer Valley employers on the member lists of the Franklin County, Greater Northampton, and Amherst Area chambers of commerce. It presented 17 distinct skill and knowledge ...

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      Mentions:   Greenfield Community College   Amherst   Northampton

    16. MassMutual Program Introduces Students to Law Careers

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 11 2016)

      MassMutual Program Introduces Students to Law Careers

      Nia Major used to get really nervous when she met someone new and had to talk with them.  But after completing a week-long Summer Legal Institute session (SLI) at MassMutual last month, the 15-year-old from Sabis International Charter School in Springfield gained so much confidence that she was named a grand-prize winner in an oral-argument competition, where she played the role of a lawyer in a mock case that involved name-calling and cyberbullying.

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      Mentions:   MassMutual   Western New England University   Springfield Renaissance School

    17. Wilbraham Sees Potential in Former Paper Mill

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 10 2016)

      Wilbraham Sees Potential in Former Paper Mill

      When Brian and Tanya Miller walked into Building 2 at the former Collins Paper Co. in Wilbraham, they knew immediately they had finally found the perfect place to open their new business.  The couple is about to launch Movement Terrain LLC, which they describe as a “functional fitness obstacle-course gym,” and they spent a year looking at sites throughout Western Mass. before their visit to Wilbraham.
      “We saw many standard buildings that would be great places to get fit, but we wanted a place that had real charm,” said Brian as he talked about the mill’s brick walls, its ...

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   Amherst   Chicopee

    18. Jerry Rome Nissan Becomes Balise Nissan

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 8 2016)

      Jerry Rome Nissan Becomes Balise Nissan

      Jerry Rome Nissan, located at 500 Riverdale St. in West Springfield, has officially become Balise Nissan of West Springfield. The current facility and parking area will undergo expansion in the coming months. Pending approval from the town of West Springfield, the dealership will be renovated to align more closely with Nissan’s latest dealership image.

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      Mentions:   West Springfield   Springfield   Balise Motor Sales

    19. Springfield Regional Chamber Super 60 Nominations Due Aug. 12

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 8 2016)

      Springfield Regional Chamber Super 60 Nominations Due Aug. 12

      Time is running out to submit nominations for the Springfield Regional Chamber’s annual Super 60 awards program. The deadline is this Friday, Aug. 12. Now in its 27th year, the awards program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing privately owned businesses in the region, which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy. Each year, the program identifies the top-performing companies in revenue growth and total revenue. Last year, total-revenue winners combined for revenues of more than $1 billion, with only-third of winners exceeding revenues of $30 million. All winners in the revenue-growth category had ...

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    20. Aer Lingus Flights Seen as Boost for Airline, Bradley, Region

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 4 2016)

      Aer Lingus Flights Seen as Boost for Airline, Bradley, Region

      As they talked about the Aer Lingus flights set to begin at Bradley International Airport late next month, Kevin Dillon and Keith Butler used strikingly similar language as they discussed what the service means to their respective organizations. Indeed, Dillon, executive director and CEO of the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA), which manages Bradley, and Butler, chief commercial officer for the Dublin, Ireland-based airline, said the timing for this venture is ideal, that the flight represents a key component of their respective growth strategies, and that it could be a catalyst for more developments of this type.

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      Mentions:   Bradley International Airport   Boeing   Springfield

    21. Nancy Creed Takes the Helm at the Springfield Regional Chamber

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 4 2016)

      Nancy Creed Takes the Helm at the Springfield Regional Chamber

      As she takes the helm at the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, Nancy Creed brings to the job a diverse résumé that includes work with nonprofits and in nonprofit management; in small businesses, large businesses, and her own business; and at the chamber itself. She believes these experiences have prepared her for the many challenges facing this organization — and all chambers.

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      Mentions:   Northeast Utilities   TD Bank   MassMutual Center

    22. Training Program on Oct. 4-5 to Target Incubator Development

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 4 2016)

      Training Program on Oct. 4-5 to Target Incubator Development

      The International Business Innovation Assoc. (InBIA), in partnership with the Assoc. of Cleantech Incubators of New England (ACTION), will host a two-day Northeast Training Institute at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 4-5. Four courses will be offered for the professional development of incubator managers or those exploring the development of an incubator or accelerator program in their community.

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      Mentions:   Holyoke

    23. Berkshire Bank Named Among Top 10 Best Banks in Massachusetts

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 4 2016)

      Berkshire Bank Named Among Top 10 Best Banks in Massachusetts

      Berkshire Bank has been recognized by AdvisoryHQ News as one of the Top 10 Best Banks in Massachusetts. “We are honored to be recognized by AdvisoryHQ News on their list of the best banks in Massachusetts,” said Tami Gunsch, executive vice president of Retail Banking. “We look forward to continuing to provide solutions to meet the financial needs of those within our communities and help our customers thrive and achieve what’s most exciting in their lives.”

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      Mentions:   Berkshire Bank

    24. Eric Nelson Takes the Helm at Westmass

      Explore BusinessWest (Aug 3 2016)

      Eric Nelson Takes the Helm at Westmass

      As Eric Nelson takes the reins at Westmass Area Development Corp., the agency’s ambitious Ludlow Mills project, which features economic-development opportunities on several levels, is entering an intriguing new stage. Meanwhile, Westmass is moving aggressively to answer the question ‘what’s next?’ — meaning everything from development of new sites to creation of a development-services arm to provide technical assistance to area cities and towns.

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   Holyoke Community College   Amherst

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