SPRINGFIELD — William Dávila, a Springfield native and longtime executive at nonprofit institutions, has been named director of operations for the UMass Center at Springfield.
A 1996 graduate of UMass Amherst who holds advanced degrees from Boston College and the University of Hartford, Dávila said he is excited to help bring opportunity to his hometown. “I want people to feel this is a center that is welcoming to them. My message is that this is a gateway to opportunity.”
The UMass Center at Springfield is a new facility housed in Tower Square in downtown Springfield. Its 26,000 square feet of space includes classrooms, specialized nursing classrooms, conference rooms, and a computer lab. A welcome center where prospective students can learn about courses is already open. Classes begin Sept. 2.
UMass President Robert Caret noted that, “with this appointment, the campuses of the UMass system, in partnership with the local community colleges, are ready to deliver important, life-improving educational programs to the people who need them most. The UMass Center at Springfield will fuel the economic well-being of the entire region.”
Added UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, “as we consolidate the university’s Springfield-area programs in this central location, I know William Dávila will be a well-respected and active advocate in the community who will help residents take advantage of these opportunities. As the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, UMass Amherst will play a leadership role in creating new career paths in the region.”
Through the UMass Center at Springfield, the UMass campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell, as well as Holyoke Community College, Springfield Technical Community College, and UMass Online, are able to bring their strengths to a variety of programs. The 40 initial course offerings draw on key industry needs in the region, including advanced manufacturing, management, cybersecurity, information technology, and casino management.
“This matches up perfectly with the needs of the area,” Dávila said. “These are professional skills that the community needs.” As the Springfield center develops more courses and certificate programs, Dávila expects to see more cooperation with the community colleges and area private colleges as well.