Business Monday ETC.: Aug. 23, 2021

Shaun H. Ruff

MGM Springfield funds workforce efforts

MGM Springfield awarded approximately $15,000 each to four not-for-profit community partners, each of which provide education and workforce development for residents of Western Massachusetts.

The four organizations are Link to Libraries, Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield and the YWCA of Western Massachusetts. Funding is provided through two charitable giving programs, one of which involves funds raised by employees through the company’s MGM Resorts Foundation and the other monies awarded by way of corporate grants.

The awards were made during a celebration on Aug. 10 at which the casino’s president, Chris Kelley, met with representatives from all four organizations.

Link to Libraries distributes free, high quality books to low-income children in Western Massachusetts. Dress for Success is partnering with the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts and Springfield WORKS to build a workforce pipeline with community-based agencies, Springfield Technical and Holyoke Community colleges, and employers to recruit hard to reach under and unemployed Latino and black residents in Greater Springfield for career readiness, skills training, financial literacy, and career-directed employment.

The Boys & Girls Club of Springfield has developed and implemented the “teen job-ready program” designed to offer interested teenagers a summer employment experience. At the end of the program, every teen will have their first job, paycheck, bank account, job interview and first resume to compete in the job market.

The YWCA leads Hampden County in providing services to survivors of intimate partner violence (domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and human trafficking). Among the comprehensive, wrap-around services provided by the YWCA is a workforce development program, YW Works, that the YWCA has offered since 1996.

WestMass Development gets new website

Garvey Communication Associates Inc. helped plan and launch a new website for WestMass Area Development Corp.

The new website comes at the same time the development corporation announced plans for the $29.9 million renovation of the Mill 8 building at the Ludlow Mills complex.

“For decades, WestMass has sought to benefit the communities and residents in our region through the development of business and industrial parks,” said Jeff Daley, president and CEO of WestMass. “Today, it is our continued goal to help provide communities and private developers with the tools and resources they need to do smart development. The new website allows us to showcase the exciting projects WestMass is undertaking as well as promote our efforts to advance real estate and economic development opportunities throughout Western Massachusetts for years to come.”

The “critical component” of the website project was WestMass’s expansion of its traditional development role, according to Garvey Communication. “The method to achieve success would be to get that expansion documented through not only text, but video interviews, high-quality images of past and current projects, and even drone video,” said Darcy Young, director of digital public relations at Garvey.

Baystate Wing earns award

Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer has received the Paul Coverdell National Stroke Program award for Achieving Door Imaging (CT Scan) in less than 25 minutes from arrival for at least 75% of its stroke patients. The award comes from the state Department of Public Health.

This award recognizes achievement in decreasing the time to scan a patient for diagnostic purposes, decreasing the time to treatment and improving recovery rates for stroke patients who arrived in the Emergency Department in 2020.

For the award patients must receive a head CT scan within 25 minutes of arrival for acute ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke patients who arrive within two hours of the start of symptoms. Hospitals were encouraged to include EMS agencies in quality improvement activities aimed at improving this measure.

“We are very proud of this award and attribute it to the collaborative efforts of our stroke team,” said Dr. Robert Spence, chief of emergency medicine at Baystate Wing. “Our team at Baystate Wing Hospital strive to provide exceptional care to all of our patients. We work closely with area EMS providers to initiate a stroke alert when they recognize a patient with stroke symptoms in the field. Once they initiate that stroke alert, our team assembles to begin the stroke assessment and treatment the moment a patient arrives in our ER. We are proud that our commitment to providing quality stroke care was recognized by this prestigious award from the Department of Public Health’s Coverdell Stroke program.”

Cannabis certificate program goes virtual

Since its launch fall semester 2020, the American International College master’s degree program in cannabis science and commerce has been an online degree program. Beginning this fall, the micro emerging markets: cannabis certificate program will additionally be offered fully online.

The certificate program offers three business courses in rotation. There are no prerequisites to enroll other than a high school diploma or GED equivalency. Nonmatriculated students are welcome.

The courses include “Cannabis Entrepreneurship,” “Cannabis Business Operations” and “Law and Ethics of Cannabis.”

According to the 2021 jobs report issued by Leafly, the world’s largest cannabis website, 321,000 full-time equivalent jobs across 37 states were supported by legal cannabis as of January. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have now legalized adult recreational use marijuana, including Connecticut, the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis this June.

“American International College is excited to offer both a graduate level program that offers courses focused on developing business acumen in a field that is experiencing a meteoric rise and a certificate pro
gram that is a business-based offering that provides courses in a developing field,” said Susanne Swanker, dean of the School of Business, Arts and Sciences at American International. “AIC is positioning itself to be an educational leader in this rapidly emerging market that offers entrepreneurial and employment and opportunities for the future.”

For more information about the program, go online to

Freedom offers shred days

Freedom Credit union will offer a free community shred event at two of its branches on Sept. 18. The event, offered in cooperation with ProShred, is open to the public to securely purge unwanted paperwork.

The event will be offered from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Sixteen Acres branch at 296 Cooley St. in Springfield and from 11 a.m. to noon at the West Springfield branch at 58 Union St.

The public is invited to bring old bills, bank statements, tax returns and other sensitive documents for free, quick and secure on-site shredding. Credit union members and nonmembers alike may bring up to five file boxes or paper bags (per vehicle) to the events. Masks are not required for those who are vaccinated.

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