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    1. Great Time to Build

      Great Time to Build
      Higher education is one industry that has embraced the advantages of building when prices are low, said Fontaine, whose firm counts colleges and universities among its niches. “The private colleges seem to have picked up on this,” he continued. “Last year we just finished the pharmacy school at WNEC, which benefited immensely from that market, and a dormitory at the College of the Holy Cross; they put that out to bid a year ago and benefited tremendously.”
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    2. 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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    3. 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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    4. 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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    5. 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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    6. 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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    7. 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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    8. 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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    9. 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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    10. 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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      Aerospace/Defense, Business Development, Creative Economy, Education, Energy, Entrepreneurship, Financial Services, Green Region, Health Care, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Logistics, Manufacturing, Medical Devices, Paper Manufacturing, Plastics, Retail, Tourism, Transportation, Workforce