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    1. State Senate Passes Economic-recovery and Development Bill

      On Wednesday, state Sen. Eric Lesser joined colleagues in the Massachusetts State Senate in passing a sweeping economic-recovery and development bill providing much-needed support to businesses, investments in infrastructure, and creating new jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ENDURE Act, co-authored by Lesser, includes provisions for small-business competitive grant programs, housing production, local economic-development projects, capital funding for vocational schools and community colleges, and investments in infrastructure. It also provides support for the tourism and cultural sectors and restaurant industry. Further, to promote equity and protect borrowers and workers across the Commonwealth, the ENDURE Act establishes a ...

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    2. Springfield Museums to Present ‘Heroes in Healthcare’ Exhibit

      Springfield Museums to Present ‘Heroes in Healthcare’ Exhibit

      The Springfield Museums will present “Heroes in Healthcare: Celebrating Springfield’s Medical Community” at the Wood Museum of Springfield History from Aug. 3 through Jan. 24, 2021. As a complementary exhibit to Hall of Heroes, located on the first floor of the Wood Museum of Springfield History, “Heroes in Healthcare” pinpoints the deep appreciation we all feel for those who put themselves in harm’s way in order to help others.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    3. New EV Charging Stations Available in Downtown Northampton

      Whalen Insurance, located at 71 King St. in Northampton, now has six new electric-vehicle (EV) chargers installed beneath and powered by its solar canopy. These charging stations are operational and available for public use, charge up to 7.2 kW of power at a cost of $2 per hour, and require no parking fees to access them. The EV chargers and 62.64 kW solar canopy were both installed by PV Squared, a local solar design and installation company based in Greenfield. The EV project was funded primarily by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, as a ...

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      Mentions: Northampton
    4. STCC Launches New Water-distribution Course

      STCC Launches New Water-distribution Course

      Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will offer an online course this fall to prepare students for careers in the drinking-water industry and to help those working in the field enhance their skills. The course, called “Concepts & Practices of Drinking Water Distribution,” is being offered through the Workforce Development Center at STCC in partnership with the Massachusetts Water Works Assoc. and the Springfield Water & Sewer Commission. The training, which runs from Sept. 14 to Dec. 4, is free for students enrolled in any community college in Massachusetts. Individuals not enrolled at a community college, as well as employees at water utilities ...

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    5. COVID-19 Response Fund Awards $725,000 to 26 Nonprofits in Latest Grant Round

      COVID-19 Response Fund Awards $725,000 to 26 Nonprofits in Latest Grant Round

      The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts announced new grants totaling $725,000 to 26 local nonprofits through the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley, targeting employment assistance, food insecurity, homelessness and foreclosure prevention, and other immediate needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Including this latest round, the Response Fund has awarded more than $5.5 million in grants to nonprofits in Western Mass. that are on the front lines of serving vulnerable populations affected by the crisis. The statewide Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund has provided $4.3 million in funding to support the Community Foundation’s response to the pandemic ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    6. Baker-Polito Administration Issues New Travel Order Effective Aug. 1

      Baker-Polito Administration Issues New Travel Order Effective Aug. 1

      Gov. Charlie Baker announced that, effective Saturday, Aug. 1, all travelers entering the Commonwealth, including both out-of-state residents and Massachusetts residents returning home, will be required to comply with a new travel order. The full order and other information is available at www.mass.gov/matraveler. Starting Aug. 1, all visitors and Massachusetts residents returning home, including students returning to campuses for the fall semester, must fill out a Massachusetts Travel Form and quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from a COVID-19 lower-risk state or they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 ...

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    7. Leadership Pioneer Valley Welcomes Lidya Rivera-Early to Board

      Leadership Pioneer Valley Welcomes Lidya Rivera-Early to Board

      Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) recently welcomed Lidya Rivera-Early of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) to its board of directors. Rivera-Early has a demonstrated history of serving on various boards and committees within the community. As an LPV LEAP alumna, she also brings a passion for both the mission of the organization and the continued success of the Pioneer Valley.

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    8. Elms College Receives $240,000 Grant to Fund Experiential Learning

      Elms College Receives $240,000 Grant to Fund Experiential Learning

      Elms College announced it has been awarded a $240,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation (DEF) in support of its Experiential Learning Mastering Success (ELMS) – Real World Ready! learning initiative. The grant will be dispersed over the next three years. “Experiential Learning, through the ELMS – Real World Ready! learning initiative, will provide all of our students with the framework to be career-ready, community-minded graduates,” said Joyce Hampton, associate vice president of Academic Affairs, Strategic & Global Initiatives. The overall goal of the ELMS – Real World Ready! learning initiative is to provide at least one high-impact experiential learning opportunity to every ...

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    9. Florence Bank Gives $7,500 to Easthampton Community Center

      Florence Bank Gives $7,500 to Easthampton Community Center

      Florence Bank donated $7,500 to the Easthampton Community Center to support its Food Pantry Program that serves 22 towns throughout the Pioneer Valley. The Easthampton Community Center’s Food Pantry currently provides food each month to 6,000 food-insecure individuals in need, including more than 600 children in the greater Easthampton area through the Kid’s Summer Pantry Program. The Easthampton Community Center has been a dependable resource in the Easthampton community for 46 years. The core of the Community Center’s mission is to provide services and assistance to residents through its Food Pantry, Community Care Kitchen, and ...

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      Mentions: Easthampton
    10. Dress for Success Announces Mentorship Collaboration With the Links Inc.

      Dress for Success Announces Mentorship Collaboration With the Links Inc.

      Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts announced a partnership with the Greater Springfield chapter of the Links Inc. Founded in 1946, the Links Inc. is an international, not-for-profit organization that brings together professional women of color to serve their communities through volunteerism and philanthropy. Its ultimate goal is to sustain the culture and economic survival of African-Americans and people of African ancestry. Formed in 1986, the Greater Springfield Chapter of the Links Inc. is one of 288 chapters. Greater Springfield chapter President Danielle Williams noted that “the goals of Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts align well with the chapter ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    11. Baker-Polito Administration Announces Site-readiness Program Grants

      Baker-Polito Administration Announces Site-readiness Program Grants

      he Baker-Polito administration announced more than $3.6 million for 12 projects — two of them in Western Mass. — in its fourth annual round of Site Readiness Program awards. These awards provide resources to municipalities, private-sector businesses, and nonprofit economic-development entities to help overcome obstacles to developing otherwise prime locations. The funding announced this week will finance feasibility studies, master planning, environmental work, strategic land acquisition, and site improvements, resulting in critical additions to the Commonwealth’s inventory of large, development-ready sites.

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    12. WNEU to Offer Master of Science Program in Construction Management

      WNEU to Offer Master of Science Program in Construction Management

      Western New England University (WNEU) announced the addition of a new master of science program in construction management to the list of graduate-degree offerings. “Construction management is defined as a professional service that uses specialized project-management techniques to oversee the planning, design, and construction of a project, from its beginning to its end,” said Kenneth Lee, founding chair for the Construction Management department, as well as professor and chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at WNEU.

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    13. HCC to Begin Virtual Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series on July 29

      HCC to Begin Virtual Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series on July 29

      Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal and Amanda Sbriscia, HCC’s vice president of Institutional Advancement, will kick off a reimagined monthly Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series on Wednesday, July 29. The 2020 Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series, postponed from spring due to COVID-19, will now take place virtually over Zoom on the last Wednesdays of July, August, September, and October from noon to 1 p.m. The series is sponsored by HCC and Training and Workforce Options (TWO), a collaboration between HCC and Springfield Technical Community College.

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    14. UMass Freezes In-state Tuition for 2020-21 Academic Year

      UMass Freezes In-state Tuition for 2020-21 Academic Year

      Responding to the financial hardships many Massachusetts families are facing, the University of Massachusetts board of trustees voted to freeze tuition rates for in-state undergraduate and graduate students for the 2020-21 academic year. Across the Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell campuses, tuition will average $14,722 for the nearly 48,000 in-state undergraduate students before financial aid is provided. This keeps UMass mandatory charges nearly $1,000 lower than the average for New England public research universities.

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    15. West of the River Chamber of Commerce to Host Virtual Job Fair on Aug. 4

      West of the River Chamber of Commerce to Host Virtual Job Fair on Aug. 4

      With government-mandated social-distancing restrictions in place, the West of the River Chamber of Commerce (WRC) will hold its annual job fair virtually this year on Tuesday, Aug. 4. “We feel we need to continue to move forward in this new environment and show our business community that we are here, active, and supporting our members during this time,” Executive Director Robin Wozniak said.

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    16. New Bay Path President Says School Will Be a Leader in Time of Crisis

      New Bay Path President Says School Will Be a Leader in Time of Crisis

      Sandra Doran says her family has long been attracted to careers in education and the law. One great-grandfather traveled from New York to Colorado and set up the first one-room schoolhouse in that state, she noted, while her grandfather was superintendent of a school district in New York City, and her mother was a music teacher. And her other great-grandfather was a bankruptcy lawyer, kept especially busy during the Great Depression. So it’s logical she would take one of those career paths. Actually, she took both.

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      Mentions: Carol A. Leary
    17. Westfield Leaders Take Optimistic View

      Westfield Leaders Take Optimistic View

      While communities nationwide continue to grapple with what he calls the “grumpy cloud” of COVID-19, Westfield Mayor Donald Humason is looking to project a little sunshine. “A lot of it has to do with the attitude in Westfield,” the mayor said. “We’re optimistic, and we want people to come to our community because it’s a great place to live, work, go to school, and run a business.”  Kate Phelon, executive director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, agreed, and wants everyone to know Westfield is open for business.

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      Mentions: Westfield
    18. ESE Searches for Revenue Streams After 2020 Big E Is Canceled

      ESE Searches for Revenue Streams After 2020 Big E Is Canceled

      As he talked with BusinessWest about the cancellation of this year’s Big E and how the Eastern States Exposition (ESE) will respond to that huge loss of revenue, Gene Cassidy stopped and pointed to a picture at the opposite end of the company’s large conference room. “That’s J. Loring Brooks, son of Joshua L. Brooks, founder of the Eastern States Exposition,” said Cassidy, president and CEO of ESE. “He was the Big E’s chief development officer. When the Eastern States had rainy fairs or fairs where, for one reason or another, we didn’t make any ...

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    19. After Four Challenging Months, Museums Reopen to a Different World

      After Four Challenging Months, Museums Reopen to a Different World

      Kay Simpson says the top priority before reopening Springfield Museums was making sure both visitors and staff would be safe. “Kissing Through a Curtain” is an exhibit of 10 contemporary artists, dealing with communicating and translating across borders, how people interact, and the meaning behind words. It was hung at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in March, a few days before the museum closed due to COVID-19 — and there it has hung, dormant, ever since.

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      Mentions: Springfield
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