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    1. Dress for Success Graduates 14 from Foot in the Door Program

      Dress for Success Graduates 14 from Foot in the Door Program

      The third cohort of the Western Mass. Dress for Success Foot in the Door program celebrated its graduation at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). Fourteen women recently completed the nine-week training. Graduates already have interviews scheduled with TD Bank, MGM Springfield, Sunshine Village, Baystate Health, and Smith & Wesson. One participant said she’s decided to return to higher education and get her bachelor’s degree. These women are ready for the workforce due to a grant from Baystate Health and Smith & Wesson.

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    2. Mercy Health ACO Announces State Certification for New Program

      Mercy Health ACO announced that the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) certified it as an accountable-care organization (ACO) in the HPC’s new, first-in-the-nation program. The HPC’s first round of ACO certification includes 17 HPC-certified ACOs and is a significant milestone for Massachusetts, making it the first state to implement statewide, all-payer standards for care delivery. “We are pleased to take the next step in this important effort to improve care for MassHealth patients and reduce costs for the Commonwealth,” said Mark Fulco, president of Mercy Medical Center. Mercy has formed an ACO partnership with Boston Medical Center (BMC ...

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    3. Women Remain Underrepresented in IT — but Why?

      Women Remain Underrepresented in IT — but Why?

      Despite the fact that women comprise roughly half the workforce and the majority of college enrollment, the world of computers and information technology remains a largely man’s world, with women accounting for just over one-quarter of all professionals. Many reasons have been posited for this disparity, but most industry leaders agree that opportunity abounds for talented women willing to, as one local professor put it, “just jump in.”

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    4. Baystate PURCH Program Puts Focus on Population Health

      Baystate PURCH Program Puts Focus on Population Health

      Like most first-year students, Kathryn Norman entered medical school in August not knowing exactly what to expect.  But there were certainly some things she never expected.  Like a curriculum that included a visit to the Hampden County jail in Ludlow, where she and fellow classmates talked with inmates about their health and well-being and learned first-hand how social issues and mental-health conditions have impacted their lives and put them on a path to incarceration.

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    5. Massachusetts Is Fertile Ground for Biotechnology Careers

      Massachusetts Is Fertile Ground for Biotechnology Careers

      For college students — or career changers — seeking a career path with plenty of opportunity close to home, biotechnology in Massachusetts is certainly enjoying an enviable wave. For example, drug research and development — one key field in the broad world of biotech — has been surging in Massachusetts for well over a decade, and isn’t slowing down, according to the annual report released in November by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, or MassBio. According to that report, Massachusetts has more jobs classified as biotechnology R&D than any other state (see table below), with 34,366 currently employed — a 40% increase since ...

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    6. Granite State Development Corp. Helps Businesses — and the Economy — Expand

      Granite State Development Corp. Helps Businesses — and the Economy — Expand

      Certified development companies, or CDCs, are entities that partner with banks to help small businesses secure financing to grow their operations. But in doing so, they’re also growing the economy by promoting economic development, which is, in fact, a key element of their mission. Since its inception in New Hampshire in 1982 — and its subsequent, ever-expanding work across Massachusetts — Granite State Development Corp. has been executing that mission.

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    7. Hazen Paper Co. Honored With International Award for Holography

      Hazen Paper Co. Honored With International Award for Holography

      Hazen Paper Co. was recognized with an Excellence in Holography Award from the International Hologram Manufacturers Assoc. (IHMA) at its annual conference in Barcelona, Spain. The annual awards recognize outstanding achievement in pioneering innovative holographic products or techniques, as well as the best use of holography in commercial applications. Singled out from a record number of entries, Hazen was awarded Best Applied Decorative Packaging Product for its own promotional 2017 calendar and supporting brochure. The six-panel brochure and related poster/calendar each highlight different capabilities and product characteristics, though they both feature a dramatic image of a woman dressed in ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke Hazen Paper
    8. New Developments Light the Way in Chicopee

      New Developments Light the Way in Chicopee

      Mayor Richard Kos is fond of pointing out that Chicopee is alone among Western Mass. communities in having two exits off the Mass Pike — and now it has a third ‘beacon’ of sorts, as he calls it, with the new Mercedes-Benz dealership lighting the night as it overlooks the Pike at exit 6. “One of the benefits of Chicopee is its convenience, as well as being a great place to do business,” Kos told BusinessWest. “That’s why Mercedes chose to build in that location. Having two exits on the turnpike is unique in Western Mass., let alone being close ...

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    9. Berkshire Hills Announces Employee and Community Investments - BusinessWest

      Berkshire Hills Announces Employee and Community Investments - BusinessWest

      “Berkshire’s unique culture is built on the recognition that our employees are our most important asset,” CEO Mike Daly said. “As an organization, we believe that taking care of our employees leads to more satisfied customers, healthier communities, and higher returns to shareholders. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to further reward the team for their hard work and dedication to our customers, while also investing in their long-term professional development and furthering our overall commitment to the communities we serve.”

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    10. Springfield Central Cultural District Receives $25,000 Grant

      Springfield Central Cultural District Receives $25,000 Grant

      Morgan Drewniany, executive director of the Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD), announced the receipt of a $25,000 Beveridge Family Foundation grant to help the organization create an artist database, as well as increase internal capacity. Part of the grant from the Beveridge Foundation will be utilized to hire the UMass Arts Extension Service, a nationally renowned thought leader in the arts field, to help create a grassroots network of artists. This network will increase the economic growth of the creative-economy sector in Springfield by connecting artists to paid opportunities, as well as making it easier for local businesses, nonprofits ...

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    11. Berkshire Bank Launches $52,500 Scholarship Program

      Berkshire Bank Launches $52,500 Scholarship Program

      Berkshire Bank announced it will honor 35 high-school seniors across Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for their volunteer service with Berkshire Bank scholarships. The scholarships recognize students who excel academically, have a financial need, and share the bank’s commitment to community service. Additionally, students must attend a high school that is located in a county with a Berkshire Bank or Commerce Bank office. The recipients will share in $52,500 in scholarship funds.

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      Mentions: Berkshire Bank
    12. STCC Offers EMT Program for Spring Semester

      STCC Offers EMT Program for Spring Semester

      Springfield Technical Community College will offer an Emergency Medical Training (EMT) program during the upcoming semester, beginning Monday, Jan. 22. The course consists of 177 hours of lectures and workshops in trauma, medical, behavioral, and environmental emergencies, including 28 hours of online instruction and an auto-extrication field trip that prepares the student to take the National Certification Examination.

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    13. Springfield Schools to Launch Culinary and Nutrition Center

      Springfield Schools to Launch Culinary and Nutrition Center

      Pat Roach likes to share an anecdote that speaks to the occasional absurdity of school lunch. It involves the community gardens that dozens of Springfield schools have planted and maintain.  “Take Kennedy Middle School, which has a beautiful garden, where kids grow their own vegetables,” said Roach, chief financial officer of Springfield Public Schools. “If they want to serve them in the cafeteria, we have to ship the vegetables to Rhode Island, where they’re washed, cut, processed, and shipped back to Kennedy.”

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      Mentions: Springfield
    14. Davenport Acquires Property in Innovation District

      Chestnut Acquisitions LLC, an affiliate of Davenport Properties, has acquired 151 Chestnut St. in Springfield. The abandoned 70,000 SF building, severely damaged in downtown Springfield’s 2012 gas explosion, is part of the city’s planned Innovation District. Davenport, best known as MGM Springfield’s development partner, is also developer of Davenport Square on Main Street and owner of Springfield Plaza. Charles Irving, a principal of the company, began investing in Springfield in 1994.

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    15. 25 Cities and Towns Designated as Green Communities

      The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that an additional 25 Massachusetts cities and towns have been designated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions. With today’s designation, more thanhalf of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 68% of residents live in a Green Community. The 25 new Green Communities are now eligible for grants totaling $4,3 million to complete renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in their communities. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities ...

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    16. MassDOT: $1B Invested in Infrastructure in 2017 - BusinessWest

      The Mass. Department of Transportation announced that approximately $1 billion was invested in improving and upgrading roads, bridges, sidewalks, multi-use paths, and intersections across the state in calendar year 2017.  Among the notable construction project highlights from 2017 include is reaching the full beneficial use milestone for the $148 million I-91 Viaduct Rehabilitation Project in Springfield approximately eight months ahead of schedule. The majority of the work has now been completed and the lanes and ramps on I-91 have reopened.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    17. Bay Path Launches Healthcare Management Master’s Program

      Bay Path Launches Healthcare Management Master’s Program

      Healthcare today requires multi-dimensional leaders whose knowledge spans professional leadership, healthcare, science, and information technology. Coupled with the dynamic complexities of the healthcare system, increasing compliance regulations, technical advances, and higher costs, the demand for professionals who have expertise in both healthcare management and organizational leadership is rapidly rising. Medical and health service managers have strong career prospects, with projected employment growth of 17% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

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    18. Stockbridge Strengthens Role as Regional Draw

      Stockbridge Strengthens Role as Regional Draw

      The Elm Court Estate in Stockbridge was constructed in 1886 as a summer cottage for William Douglas Stone and Emily Vanderbilt, completed a series of renovations in 1919, and evolved into an inn in the ’40s and ’50s, hosting dinners, events, and overnight accommodations. It was eventually placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Nowadays, it’s getting a big boost from Travaasa Berkshire County, which plans to renovate, preserve, and add to the complex in order to create a new resort — and bring in the jobs and tourism that comes with it.

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    19. Area Construction Companies Say Business Is Strong

      Area Construction Companies Say Business Is Strong

      After years of slow recovery after the recession that struck almost a decade ago, area construction firms are reporting strong volume in 2017 and predicting the same, if not better, in 2018. Whether relying on diverse expertise, a widening geographic footprint, or repeat business from loyal customers, there are plenty of ways to grow in the current economic environment, and contractors are optimistic they will do just that.

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    20. BusinessWest Breakfast Series Focuses on What’s Next

      BusinessWest Breakfast Series Focuses on What’s Next

      From the beginning, perhaps the hardest thing about being in business is trying to figure out what’s coming next, how to prepare for it, how, perhaps, to capitalize on it, and, well, how to stay in business.  And at the rate technology is advancing and society is changing, this assignment has probably never been more challenging. Just ask the former owner of a Blockbuster Video franchise — although that example is dated and almost cliché.

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    21. PeoplesBank’s Culture Is a Big Key to Its Success

      PeoplesBank’s Culture Is a Big Key to Its Success

      PeoplesBank was in news again recently, bringing more ‘top employer’ honors, this time from both the Boston Globe, again, and the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast, also again. While the awards are newsworthy, the real story is what’s behind them, a culture of employee engagement. In a roundtable discussion, some bank leaders talk about this culture and how other businesses can create one of their own.

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    22. Society of Women Engineers Conference Inspires STCC Students

      Clair Yiting Gu was nearly 2,000 miles from Springfield Technical Community College, but she felt at home at the annual conference of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Gu was one of eight STCC students who traveled to Austin, Texas, for the SWE conference to join 14,000 attendees, including college students, academic women, and professional women. “It’s awesome,” said Gu, a computer science student who spoke from the STCC campus after returning from the conference. “You see a lot of women engineers there. You feel like you are not alone. It’s very exciting.” Another computer science ...

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    23. Union Station Project Earns Top Brownfield Redevelopment Honor

      Union Station Project Earns Top Brownfield Redevelopment Honor

      Springfield’s Union Station — and the project to bring it back to productive life after more than 40 years of dormancy — have both been described using a whole host of words and phrases. But ‘a bureaucrat’s delight?’ That was a new one, and one that most people probably wouldn’t expect to see the light of day. But Kevin Kennedy, Springfield’s chief Development officer, summoned it as he talked about the latest additions to what is becoming known as the Union Station trophy case — only there is no such thing. Yet. These would be two awards from the ...

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