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    1. Bay Path Earns ‘A’ Grade for Early Reading Courses

      Bay Path Earns ‘A’ Grade for Early Reading Courses

      The National Council on Teacher Quality released its scores for the 2020 Teacher Prep Review, ranking Bay Path University’s Early Reading course content in undergraduate, traditional, elementary-education programs with an ‘A’ designation. Reading ability is a key predictor of future educational gains and life success, and more than one-third of American children are not able to read by the fourth grade, with black and Hispanic children being disproportionately affected. Successful reading instruction is essential to achieving educational equity, yet only seven programs in Massachusetts received an ‘A’ ranking.

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    2. 40 Under Forty Pulls in More Than 200 Nominations

      40 Under Forty Pulls in More Than 200 Nominations

      The nomination period for the 40 Under Forty class of 2020 has closed, and now a panel of judges has a challenging task ahead. That’s because BusinessWest received a record haul of more than 200 unique nominations this year — an indication that, in its 14th year, the 40 Under Forty honor remains a coveted mark of distinction for this region’s young individuals who have made a mark both professionally and through community involvement.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    3. Bank of America Entrusts More Than $22 Million to Community Foundation

      Bank of America Entrusts More Than $22 Million to Community Foundation

      After collaborating with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) for 29 years, the Bank of America in May transferred three trusts totaling more than $22 million to the Valley-wide grant funder. The move brings CFWM’s total earned assets from roughly $153 million to $175 million and bolsters its role as an enduring philanthropic leader in the Pioneer Valley. “That the Bank of America has enough faith in us and what we can do, and in our ability to effectively administer funds, acknowledges that we are truly a leader of philanthropy in the Pioneer Valley,” said Elizabeth Sillin, trustee ...

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    4. Eversource Earns Award for Using Smart Technology to Reduce Peak Energy Usage

      Eversource Earns Award for Using Smart Technology to Reduce Peak Energy Usage

      An Eversource program that pays customers to use less electricity during high-demand periods has received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Residential Program Design & Implementation by the Assoc. of Energy Services Professionals. The award recognizes the company’s ConnectedSolutions demand-response program, which leverages customer-owned devices, such as wireless thermostats, battery storage, and electric-vehicle chargers, to reduce electric use during peak periods, when the cost and greenhouse-gas emissions of electricity in New England are at their highest.

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    5. Five Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2020

      Five Manufacturing Trends to Watch in 2020

      Both the immediate and long-term future of the manufacturing industry will be defined by the development of several evolving trends and cutting-edge technologies. According to the Assoc. of Equipment Managers (AEM), many of these are poised to have a significant impact in 2020 and beyond, so it’s critically important for manufacturers to develop a keen understanding of what they are and how they will grow over time.

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    6. HUB International Continues to Grow Its Footprint in the Region

      HUB International Continues to Grow Its Footprint in the Region

      When FieldEddy Insurance entered the HUB International family a little over five years ago, it traded a name with a rich regional history for one backed by the resources of a large corporation. The result has been the best of both worlds — HUB’s clout improves the office’s ability to grow specific niches through talent development, while the company is still able to focus on local needs with an emphasis on building deeper relationships with customers.

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    7. Changing Perceptions, State Investments Spark Renewed Interest in Area’s Technical Schools

      Changing Perceptions, State Investments Spark Renewed Interest in Area’s Technical Schools

      It wasn’t so long ago that young people — and their parents — perceived technical schools as a last resort of sorts. But a profoundly changed labor market, a workforce crisis, and a series of investments on the part of the Commonwealth have changed all that. Today, these are increasingly seen as schools of choice because of their blend of academic and vocational programs, and their students are certainly in demand. Joao Alves has been in and around what is now known as Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy for the better part of 40 years.

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    8. Jamina Scippio-McFadden Named Director of the UMass Center at Springfield

      Jamina Scippio-McFadden Named Director of the UMass Center at Springfield

      Jamina Scippio-McFadden, a senior program manager at the UMass Center at Springfield, has been named director of the center by UMass Amherst. “Jamina Scippio-McFadden has outstanding professional credentials and a wealth of strong ties to the community,” said Steve Goodwin, deputy chancellor at UMass Amherst. “As the center builds upon its achievements and identifies opportunities to be more deeply connected to the community, she is well-prepared to provide the leadership essential to success.”

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    9. HCC President Christina Royal Chosen for National Fellowship

      HCC President Christina Royal Chosen for National Fellowship

      Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal has been selected for a national fellowship for first-time college presidents administered by Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute. The Aspen New Presidents Fellowship is a new initiative designed to support community-college presidents in the early years of their tenure to accelerate transformational change on behalf of students. Royal and Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, were the only two community-college presidents chosen from Massachusetts. They are part of the inaugural group of 25 Aspen fellows selected from more than 100 applicants nationwide. The leaders, all of whom are in their ...

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    10. United Personnel Wins Best of Staffing Designation for Third Straight Year

      United Personnel Wins Best of Staffing Designation for Third Straight Year

      United Personnel, a leading Springfield-based staffing firm serving Massachusetts and Connecticut, has won ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing Client and Talent Award for the third consecutive year. According to ClearlyRated, this industry award recognizes staffing firms that have demonstrated exceptional service quality based exclusively on ratings provided by their clients and placed talent. The Best of Staffing designation serves as a credible point of differentiation for a firm’s commitment to service excellence, providing prospective clients and job seekers with qualitative data critical to vetting staffing and recruiting agencies.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    11. Eversource Customers Benefit from Increase in Reliability

      Eversource Customers Benefit from Increase in Reliability

      Eversource’s commitment to enhancing system reliability is significantly reducing the number of power interruptions that customers experience, with outages in the Commonwealth down by nearly 17% in 2019 compared to 2018, the company reports. This improvement stems from the energy company’s investments in strengthening and modernizing its electric system, including a program to install more than 1,000 smart fuses to the system throughout the Commonwealth. These smart fuses can automatically restore power to customers when a tree limb temporarily contacts wires and help to protect the electric system when a problem is detected, such as a current ...

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    12. Bay Path Programs Rank Highly on Intelligent.com

      Bay Path Programs Rank Highly on Intelligent.com

      Intelligent.com has recognized eight Bay Path University degree programs as some of the best online degree programs available in multiple areas of study. The website is a free, privately supported online platform that’s editorially independent and claims to provide unbiased, accurate, and fact-based information on a wide range of issues surrounding education. According to the website, programs were evaluated on reputation, course strength, cost, faculty, and flexibility. In addition to their numerical rankings, Bay Path’s master of science in accounting and bachelor of science in health services administration degree programs were recognized as “Best Student Resources” in ...

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    13. Elms College to Host Third Annual Executive Leadership Breakfast

      Elms College to Host Third Annual Executive Leadership Breakfast

      Elms College will host its third annual Executive Leadership Breakfast on Thursday, April 9 for the region’s business executives, state and local legislators, and community leaders. The keynote speaker for the event is U.S. Rep. Richard Neal. His talk, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” will examine how our congressional delegation is providing leadership on issues that could impact the economy of the Western Mass. region.

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    14. Ira Bryck, Consultant and Former Executive Director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

      Ira Bryck, Consultant and Former Executive Director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

      Ira Bryck started working in his family’s business — Barasch’s, a store on Long Island selling children’s clothes — when he was 5, and continued putting in hours there on weekends, after school, and during the summer through his college years. He has a lot of memories from those days, including the fact that he generally had more money in his pocket than his friends because he was gainfully employed — even in middle school. But he also remembers something his father — and boss; a tough boss at that — told him. Something that gnawed away at him in some respects ...

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    15. Vince Jackson Sees a Deeper Role for the Greater Northampton Chamber

      Vince Jackson Sees a Deeper Role for the Greater Northampton Chamber

      Taking over leadership of a chamber of commerce is always fraught with challenges, especially in a community as rich in diverse businesses and nonprofits as Northampton, and also stepping into the large shoes of the previous executive director, who served for 27 years. But Vince Jackson, with his deep background in entrepreneurship, business development, and marketing, is proving to be an ideal fit, and has already begun to shift and deepen perceptions about what a chamber can be.

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    16. An Opportunity for Western Mass.

      An Opportunity for Western Mass.

      We’re not sure just how the people of this region should take this, but apparently Western Mass. is finally getting some attention. That’s attention as in … things are soooo bad in and around Boston when it comes to congestion, traffic, and the sky-high cost of housing (and living in general) that some people are thinking about maybe — dare we say it — thinking about possibly giving this area a look. That’s what we mean by attention. It seems that, as officials and residents alike ask out loud about possible solutions to the worsening situation in Boston, Western Mass ...

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    17. Caolo & Bieniek Wins Accessible Design Award for Westfield State University Project

      Caolo & Bieniek Wins Accessible Design Award for Westfield State University Project

      Earlier this month at its annual awards gala, the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) presented Caolo & Bieniek Associates Inc. with the 2019 Accessible Design Award for its work at Westfield State University’s Davis Hall. The award honors design excellence in buildings that are accessible for people of all abilities, with an emphasis on projects that exceed the legal accessibility requirements in anticipation of diverse user needs and benefits.

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    18. Hadley Dental Care to Celebrate Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting Today

      Hadley Dental Care to Celebrate Grand Opening with Ribbon Cutting Today

      The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce invites the public the grand opening of Hadley Dental Care today, Jan. 31, from 5 to 7 p.m., with a ribbon cutting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The practice is located at 1 Mill Valley Road, Unit D, Hadley. Visitors will learn about the state-of-the-art technology and client-centric care offered by Tapan Pujara, DDS and Chaitalee Ganatra, DDS and celebrate the grand opening with an after-party, including a celebratory toast, next door at the Taproom.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    19. Allison Vorderstrasse Named Dean of UMass Amherst College of Nursing

      Allison Vorderstrasse Named Dean of UMass Amherst College of Nursing

      Allison Vorderstrasse, a faculty member and Ph.D. program director at New York University, has been named the dean of the College of Nursing at UMass Amherst. She will begin her appointment on July 1. Vorderstrasse currently serves as a faculty member and director of the Florence S. Downs Ph.D. Program in Nursing Research and Theory Development at New York University (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing. “Dr. Vorderstrasse emerged as the best in an exceptionally well-qualified pool of candidates. I look forward to working with her as she leads the College of Nursing into its 67th year,” said ...

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    20. MassDOT to Hold Second Public Meeting on East-West Passenger Rail Study

      MassDOT to Hold Second Public Meeting on East-West Passenger Rail Study

      The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will hold its second public meeting on the East-West Passenger Rail Study on Wednesday, Feb. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the UMass Center at Springfield, Classroom 014, in Tower Square, 1500 Main St., Springfield. The study examines the costs, benefits, and investments necessary to implement a range of passenger-rail service alternatives from Boston to Springfield and Pittsfield, up to and including high-speed rail. The goal of the meeting is to inform attendees about the study’s analysis of six preliminary alternatives for improving connectivity and mobility in the east-west corridor, and ...

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    21. UMassFive Promotes Craig Boivin to Vice President of Marketing

      UMassFive Promotes Craig Boivin to Vice President of Marketing

      UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced the promotion of Craig Boivin to the position of vice president of Marketing. His promotion follows the retirement of Jon Reske, who previously occupied the position for 23 years. In his new role, Boivin will report directly to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lauren Duffy. Over the last seven years, Boivin has taken on various roles within the Marketing department at UMassFive — most recently as interim vice president — and overseen many successful initiatives, including the credit union’s latest website redesign, implementation of the Buzz Points rewards program, and promotion of UMassFive ...

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    22. Behavioral Health Network Announces Leadership Change

      Behavioral Health Network Announces Leadership Change

      Katherine Wilson, longtime president and CEO of Behavioral Health Network (BHN), announced she will retire on June 30. George Marion, BHN board chair, said the organization has named Steven Winn, BHN’s current chief operating officer, as Wilson’s successor. Wilson was instrumental in the formation of Behavioral Health Network in 1992 when four nonprofit mental-health organizations — the Child Guidance Clinic, the Agawam Counseling Center, Community Care Mental Health Center, and the Hampden District Mental Health Clinic — formed the new entity and appointed Wilson CEO.

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    23. Land O’Lakes Taps Northstar Recycling for Innovative Sustainability Solutions

      Like many major companies, Land O’Lakes has become increasingly committed to sustainability initiatives in recent years. For example, Purina Animal Nutrition, a Land O’Lakes subsidiary, recently set out to develop a cost-effective recycling solution for used Purina feed tubs, a difficult and logistically complex objective. Land O’Lakes called on Northstar Recycling, its recycling partner for all of the U.S. and Canada, to handle this challenge.

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    24. Monson Savings Bank Announces 2020 Scholarship Program

      Monson Savings Bank Announces 2020 Scholarship Program

      The 2020 Monson Savings Bank scholarship application is now available to graduating high-school seniors residing in Hampden and Wilbraham. Applications are available at 15 Somers Road, Hampden, and 100 Post Office Park, Wilbraham. The purpose of the Monson Savings Bank scholarship is to promote the attainment of higher education for graduating seniors who reside within the bank’s footprint. Three $2,000 scholarships will awarded to graduating seniors who reside in Hampden or Wilbraham. Graduating seniors must be planning to attend an accredited college, technical school, or certification program. Scholarship awards will be based on the applicant’s financial need ...

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