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    1. MachineMetrics Announces $11.3 Million Funding Round

      MachineMetrics Announces $11.3 Million Funding Round

      MachineMetrics, which equips factories with the digital tools needed to increase productivity and win more business, announced it has raised $11.3 million in Series A financing. Tola Capital led the round with participation from existing investors Hyperplane Venture Capital, Long River Ventures, Mass Ventures, Hub Angels, and Firebolt Ventures. With the new funds, the company will expand its data-science and product-development teams while accelerating global sales. MachineMetrics is a pioneer in industrial IoT (internet of things) technology. Its system is designed so customers can install it themselves without the need for expensive and time-consuming customization.

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    2. NAI Plotkin Sells Historic Hampden Savings Bank Building in Downtown Springfield

      NAI Plotkin, a leading commercial real-estate brokerage firm, announced it represented the seller in the sale of 1665 Main St., a 2,010-square-foot commercial building, formerly Hampden Savings Bank, located in downtown Springfield. The building was constructed in 1918 and has a glass ceiling with an ornate supporting structure, marble walls, and copper entrance. The asset sold for $285,000, although it last assessed for $127,600. Wilfredo Lopez of NAI Plotkin was the listing broker for the property. RLTY Development Springfield LLC secured the property and, as the new owner, plans to complete restoration of the original bank building ...

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    3. To Keep Top Talent, Employers Need to Consider Work-life Balance

      To Keep Top Talent, Employers Need to Consider Work-life Balance

      In its 2019 National Business Trends Survey, the EEA aimed to determine the top five most important factors prospective employees are looking for, with the goal of assisting employers with recruitment and retention. The top five factors included, in order, competitive pay (named by 82% of respondents), good work/life balance (69.2 %), flexibility in work hours (56.1%), opportunities for advancement (55.4%), and competitive health benefits (49.9%). “The shortage of labor will be a key factor for employers in 2019,” said Phil Brandt, who chairs the EAA board of directors. “How employers will fill those new jobs ...

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    4. Initiative Aims to Make Individuals Workforce-ready

      Initiative Aims to Make Individuals Workforce-ready

      “We’ve been hearing this for years, but it had just reached a boiling point.” That’s how Kermit Dunkelberg chose to sum up the conversation in this region regarding how many individuals lack the soft skills and the essential skills needed to be workforce-ready. This ‘boiling point’ status helped inspire a regional response to a request for proposals for state funding — and a $247,000 grant aimed at putting more qualified workers in the pipeline.

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    5. Bay Path University Named Safest College in Massachusetts

      Bay Path University Named Safest College in Massachusetts

      Campus safety is a top consideration for many individuals and their families when it comes to choosing a college to attend. Niche.com compiled a list of the safest college campuses in America, and Bay Path University ranked third out of nearly 1,500 reviewed. The university ranked first for safety in both Massachusetts and New England.  “We do as much as we can to ensure that the Bay Path University campus is a safe place,” said Michael Giampietro, vice president for Finance & Administrative Services. “Campus safety is a top priority here. Our Longmeadow campus, in particular, is well-lit with ...

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    6. Monson Savings Bank Asks for Community Input on Charitable Giving

      For the ninth year in a row, Monson Savings Bank is asking the community to help plan the bank’s community giving activities by inviting people to vote for the organizations they would like the bank to support during 2019. “Every year, we donate over $125,000 to organizations doing important work in the communities we serve,” said Steve Lowell, president of Monson Savings Bank. “For several years now, we’ve been asking the community for input on which groups they’d like us to support. We’ve been so pleased by how many people inquire each year as to ...

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    7. Bay Path Physician Assistant Class Scores 100% Pass Rate on National Exam

      Bay Path Physician Assistant Class Scores 100% Pass Rate on National Exam

      The physician assistant (PA) studies class of 2018 from Bay Path University posted a 100% first-time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). The PANCE must be taken before a PA can be licensed for the first time upon graduation from an accredited program. Bay Path University’s PA program currently holds a three-year average pass rate for first-time exam takers of 97%.

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    8. American International College Awarded Matching Grant from Alden Trust

      American International College Awarded Matching Grant from Alden Trust

      American International College (AIC) has been awarded a $150,000 matching grant from the George I. Alden Trust in Worcester to be applied to the Colaccino Center for Health Sciences building project. George Alden established the George I. Alden Trust in 1912 for the purpose of maintenance of charitable or philanthropic enterprises, with specific interest in the promotion of education in schools, colleges, or other educational institutions. This grant is the largest ever given to AIC by Alden Trust and offers a unique and inspiring challenge: the funds will be realized only if the college’s alumni match the pledge ...

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    9. Baystate Health Names Judith Ward VP of Marketing and Communications

       Judith Ward, an accomplished healthcare marketing professional, has been named vice president of Marketing & Communications for Baystate Health. In her new role, Ward will oversee marketing, digital/web, communications, public affairs, social media, creative services, loyalty programs, and special events at the Springfield-based health system, which includes hospitals in Springfield, Greenfield, Palmer, and Westfield, along with more than 100 medical practices at some 80 locations throughout Western Mass. Among the strategic marketing executive’s past accomplishments include conceiving and executing strategies that define, differentiate, and drive increased brand recognition, preference, customer loyalty, and market share.

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    10. Hazen Paper Recognized at Manufacturing Award Ceremony

      Hazen Paper Recognized at Manufacturing Award Ceremony

      The state’s third annual Manufacturing Award Ceremony, sponsored by the Legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus, was recently held at the State House in Boston. Hazen Paper was one of 58 manufacturers recognized for their success. Hazen is known worldwide for its holographic paper and manufacturing in Holyoke. Well-known examples its work include the Stadium Edition Super Bowl Program and the Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Yearbook. “In 2009, when the world was embroiled in the Great Recession, Hazen launched a new holographic and metallizing factory in the industrial sector on Main Street in Holyoke,” said John Hazen, president of Hazen ...

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    11. Michael Daly Steps Down as President, CEO of Berkshire Hills Bancorp

      Michael Daly stepped down Monday as president, CEO, and director of Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Berkshire Bank’s holding company. Berkshire Bank President Richard Marotta has been named CEO and president of the company and CEO of the bank. Sean Gray, chief operating officer of Berkshire Bank, will replace Marotta as bank president. The move comes a year after the financial institution moved its headquarters from Pittsfield to Boston, and the purchase of Worcester-based Commerce Bank helped grow Berkshire to its current $12 billion in assets, making it the largest independent Massachusetts-based bank.

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      Mentions: Berkshire Bank
    12. TommyCar Auto Group Supports Unify Against Bullying

      TommyCar Auto Group was the official partner for Unify Against Bullying for October in support of National Bullying Prevention Month. During the entire month of October, each dealership in the group — including Country Nissan, Country Hyundai, Northampton Volkswagen, and the new Volvo Cars Pioneer Valley — donated $20 for every car sold. Thanks to customer involvement, TommyCar Auto Group was able to donate $4,200.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    13. Ambitious Project will Address Workforce Needs, Security Issues in the Supply Chain

      Ambitious Project will Address Workforce Needs, Security Issues in the Supply Chain

      A group of regional partners, led by Bay Path University, has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Mass. Technology Collaborative for a pilot program that will address a host of identified issues — from a critical shortage of workers in the cybersecurity field to the need for smaller manufacturers to become more cyber secure if they are going to keep doing business with their customers in the defense, aerospace, and other sectors.

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    14. Holyoke Community College Opens New Center for Life Sciences

      Holyoke Community College Opens New Center for Life Sciences

      As she walked BusinessWest through one of the brand-new labs in Holyoke Community College’s Center for Life Sciences, Professor Emily Rabinsky said there’s plenty for students to appreciate. “Our old lab space was very outdated and not very conducive to learning,” said Rabinsky, who coordinates the Biotechnology program at HCC. “There were two long bays with a tall shelf in between that made it very difficult for the students to see what the lecturer was referring to, and the equipment was very outdated.” Not so today. “At our recent open house, some students happened to walk by, peeked ...

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    15. Educare Draws Connections Between Home, School, and Economic Opportunities

      Educare Draws Connections Between Home, School, and Economic Opportunities

      The new $14 million Educare Center now under construction in Springfield is focused on education, obviously, but parental involvement and workforce development are key focal points within its broad mission. Mary Walachy calls it “Head Start on steroids.” It’s a term she has called upon often, actually, when speaking to individuals and groups about Educare, an innovative model for high-quality early education that’s coming to Springfield next year — only the 24th such center in the country, in fact.

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    16. CISA Celebrates 25 Years of Sustaining Local Agriculture

      CISA Celebrates 25 Years of Sustaining Local Agriculture

      Margaret Christie is quick to point out that the many challenges area farmers faced a quarter century ago are still as much a part of the landscape as asparagus fields in Hadley. These include everything from the cost of land (among the highest levels in the country), to the many pressures on that land, meaning attractive development options ranging from housing subdivisions to industrial parks, to immense competition from across the country and around the world.

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    17. ‘Job Readiness’ Is focus of HCC-led Grant Project

      ‘Job Readiness’ Is focus of HCC-led Grant Project

      Holyoke Community College has been awarded a $247,000 grant to help unemployed and underemployed individuals acquire the job-readiness skills they need to secure — and retain — stable employment.  Through this grant from the Mass. Dept. of Higher Education’s Training Resources and Internship Networks initiative — TRAIN — HCC will work with a long list of regional partners to develop a three-stage program that includes pre-training in job readiness, industry-specific training in culinary arts or manufacturing, followed by some kind of work experience with a local employer. Up to 120 individuals from Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties are expected to participate in ...

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    18. Mercedes-Benz of Springfield Partners with MGM Springfield

      Mercedes-Benz of Springfield is partnering with MGM Springfield during the holiday season on a number of programs and events. Starting Nov 1, MGM began the “Choose Your Ride” promotion offering one lucky patron a chance to win a new Mercedes-Benz. The drawing will be held Dec. 1 at the casino. Three Mercedes-Benz have been on display in the plaza since Nov 1. Also, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield is proud to have the naming rights for another Springfield first from Nov. 23 to March 3. The plaza will transform into The Ice Rink at MGM Presented by Mercedes-Benz of Springfield where guests ...

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    19. Comcast Unveils New Xfinity Store at Holyoke Mall

      On Tuesday, Comcast staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of its newest Xfinity Store, which is located on the upper level of the Holyoke Mall. The 4,691-square-foot space is the first Xfinity Store in the region to open in a mall setting and is focused entirely around the needs of customers. Consumers will have the opportunity to explore, learn about, and interact directly with the latest Xfinity products and services, including Xfinity Mobile. In addition, the store offers a dedicated space where Comcast Business customers and prospects can discover cutting-edge business solutions and get connected with ...

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    20. GSCVB Elects Three New Members to Board

      The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) announced the addition of three new business leaders to its full Board of Directors. The three were formally voted onto the board during the organization’s recent annual meeting, staged at The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, and will serve two-year terms, expiring in September 2020.

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    21. American Women’s College at Bay Path University Recognized

      American Women’s College at Bay Path University Recognized

      According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations will add more new jobs than any other occupational group in the next decade, projecting overall growth of 18% by 2026. The American Women’s College at Bay Path University prepares graduates to help meet that growing demand with its online bachelor of science in health service administration program, which has just been recognized on a list of the 30 best in the nation by TheBestSchools.org.

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    22. Five Colleges, PVTA, Towns Reach Agreement to Increase Bus Payments

      Five Colleges, PVTA, Towns Reach Agreement to Increase Bus Payments

      A proposal by the Five College Consortium to increase its annual payment to the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority by a total of $250,000 over the next four years has been accepted by PVTA and area municipalities. PVTA’s costs are covered with a combination of federal and state subsidies, payments from towns and cities, and passenger fares. Since 1979 Five Colleges has agreed to pay PVTA the town portion of the cost of bus routes that include its campuses. This has been with the understanding that, to encourage bus use, Five College students do not have to pay fares.

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    23. Michael T. Oleksak Joins bankESB as VP of Commercial Lending

      Michael T. Oleksak Joins bankESB as VP of Commercial Lending

      Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, announced that Michael T. Oleksak has been hired as vice president of Commercial Lending. Oleksak brings more than 15 years of experience in banking, most recently serving as the vice president of Commercial Lending for Westfield Bank, managing a portfolio of more than $25 million. Before Westfield Bank, Oleksak was the assistant vice president, Business Banking officer at United Bank.


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