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    1. A Job Market That’s Heating Up

      A Job Market That’s Heating Up
      So the MassGREEN Initiative, as the program created to improvise such training programs is called, is essentially bringing the house to the trainees. Indeed, in a corner of Building 32 at Springfield Technical Community College, MassGREEN, created through $2.87 million in state and federal funding, has amassed a mock attic, mock basement, and mock walls, interior and exterior, in an effort to prepare students for what most expect will be a growing field
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    2. Facilitating Job Growth

      Facilitating Job Growth
      But Letendre is quick to give more of the credit for Titeflex’s continued presence in Springfield to MOBD and Vedovelli, who acted as a liaison, or facilitator of sorts, between the city and the company, when Titeflex’s parent corporation, the Smith’s Group, based in England, gave those at the Springfield-based operation a few months to come up with a plan that would ultimately make more economic sense than taking the outfit to South Carolina.
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    3. Profiles in Business

      Profiles in Business
      “R.J. Greeley Co. is surviving what is the worst market I’ve ever encountered,” he said. “For whatever combination of reasons, we ended 2010 with a flourish, and share the uncertainites that pervade our area and our economy, and we’re unsure what the future holds. But we’re getting more than our share of opportunities in an area where there are not enough opportunities.”
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    4. A Key Step Toward Economic Diversity

      There are many facets involved with cluster development, from fostering entrepreneurship to creating stronger partnerships between the business community and the region’s colleges and universities; from facilitating the flow of capital to making a region top-of-mind when it comes to deciding where to launch or grow a business. It all comes down to one word — connections.
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    5. Signs of Improvement

      Signs of Improvement
      Russell Denver, president of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, said some sectors have performed better than others in 2010, and that uneven performance will likely continue in the year ahead as players in different industries respond — or don’t — to the conditions. “It’s been a mixed bag … there is not general economic growth spread evenly among the business community. It entirely depends on what sector you’re in,” said Denver. “I’ve heard that temporary employment agencies are having a good year, and some advertising agencies are having a good year, and some architectural firms are ...
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    6. A Documented Success

      A Documented Success
      Ray Catougno didn’t graduate high school with plans to become a court reporter. But when opportunity knocked, he ran with it, and eventually founded a company that employs about 700 people nationwide, providing transcription services for the medical, legal, law-enforcement, and insurance fields.
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    7. City to City

      City to City
      Russ Denver, president of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, joked that he loved the city’s $11 commercial tax rate, less than one-third Springfield’s levy, and thought officials in the City of Homes might try such a number. Turning serious, he had high praise for the vision and creativity it took to put a 200-acre research park downtown.
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    8. Ringing True

      Ringing True
      “The employees here are some of the most amazing I’ve seen, and I’ve been in other places,” Johnson said, citing not only the strong work ethic and low absenteeism of her staff, but high ratings on employee-satisfaction surveys, all of which suggest that Liberty Mutual found the right marriage between jobs and job seekers in Springfield
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    9. Profiles in Business

      Profiles in Business
      Dave Fontaine was in his conference room, referencing the pictures on the walls, all representing projects this family business had undertaken — from perhaps its biggest initiative, the complex at UMass Medical School, to one of the most visible in this region, Scibelli Hall on the campus of Springfield Technical Community College.
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    10. Profiles in Business

      Profiles in Business
      From the day she arrived at Bay Path, Leary has had a sign on her desk that reads Attitude Is Everything. In her case, that attitude is to take full advantage of the opportunities one is given — whether it be a college education (and she is the first in her family to attain one), visiting foreign countries, landing a career opportunity, or breaking new ground in higher education. And as far as perspective is concerned, for Leary that glass is always half full and never half empty.
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    11. Not Business as Usual

      Not Business as Usual
      Thomas Burton, president and CEO at Hampden Bank, says his residential mortgage department is holding its own due to refinancing. “Rates are below 5%, which is unheard of in the course of my 40 year career,” he said. “But one of the issues many people have is that the value of their home isn’t what they think it is, and they don’t have the equity to refinance because their home is worth less than what they owe.” As a result, Burton said Hampden has only been able to close about 50% of applications for refinancing.
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    12. Down to a Science

      Down to a Science
      It’s called the New Laboratory Science Building, or NLSB, a $156 million, state-of-the-art facility now taking shape on the UMass Amherst campus. It’s part of a larger, nearly $300 million initiative, which also includes the Integrated Science Building opened in late 2009, to create a life sciences ‘precinct’ or ‘community’ on the campus that is being designed to greatly increase research capacity and facilitate collaborative efforts among science departments
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