Agenda Departments


Western Mass. Employment Collaborative Job Fair

Aug. 22: The Western Mass. Employment Collaborative (a service of Riverside Community Care) and Holyoke Community College are partnering for a Job Fair from 10 a.m to noon at Holyoke Community College’s Kittredge Center, Room 303. The purpose of the event is for businesses to meet qualified candidates for their hiring needs and for job seekers to have multiple opportunities to speak to employers and partner agencies and to interview for competitive employment. Western Mass. Employment Collaborative (WMEC) partners are all working toward a common goal: to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. WMEC works across all disabilities and represents hundreds of job seekers who have the skills, commitment, and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer. By attending this job fair, employers will discover this is a largely untapped pool of qualified job candidates and learn how to work with the vibrant partnership between service providers, government agencies, and workforce-development entities that WMEC facilitates. The job fair will serve as both as a recruitment venue and a valuable experience for job seekers as they prepare to enter the workforce. Job developers and coaches will work with their job seekers around readiness skills and how to interact with employers. Students from the college will have an opportunity to be a part of this diverse and inclusive environment and see what employers from Western Mass. have to offer. Contact Pam Mendes at [email protected] or (617) 360-1646 with questions.

Springfield Jam Fest

Sept. 9: The Springfield Business Improvement District will present the first annual Springfield Jam Festival in downtown Springfield from noon to 11 p.m. at Court Square. Multiple stages will feature dozens of local artists performing throughout the entire day, playing everything from rock and country to blues, reggae, and more. Area vendors will sell a large variety of food and beverages. Sponsorship agreement goals have been reached to put on the festival, and all additional funds raised by the event will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Western Massachusetts, which is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness through support, education, and advocacy. One in four people in the U.S. has a mental-health condition, and as an affiliate of the nation’s largest grass-roots mental-health organization, NAMI-Western Massachusetts advocates for access to services, treatment, support, and research and is steadfast in its commitment to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all those in need. For more information on the Springfield Jam Festival, visit

Family Improv Class

Sept. 10 to Oct. 15: Local improv company Happier Valley Comedy announced a new addition to its Comedy School lineup of classes for the fall. Family Improv is a six-week class held on Sunday afternoons beginning in September and is open to any child-and-adult combo. Family Improv gives families the opportunity to laugh with a loved one and bond over fun improvisation games and exercises. The Family Improv curriculum is guided by the principles of acceptance, mindfulness, quieting judgment of self and others, and strengthening communication, all while having a blast playing together. Family Improv will complement Happier Valley Comedy’s monthly Happier FAMILY Comedy Show, a high-energy, interactive event designed especially for families and kids ages 5-12. Registration for Family Improv is available on the Happier Valley Comedy website (, with weekly classes to be held Sept. 10 through Oct. 15 on Sundays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Family Improv will be taught by Kate Jopson, a graduate of the Happier Valley Comedy’s Zen of Improv classes and a Happier FAMILY Comedy Show cast member. Every child who is registered in the class receives a free ticket to the comedy show.

Patent and Trademark Educational Event

Sept. 14: The South Hadley Library and the South Hadley & Granby Chamber of Commerce announced a free business educational event for the business community and the public from 4 to 6 p.m. at the South Hadley Library, located at 2 Canal St. The event, designed for entrepreneurs and businesses, is a joint collaboration between the library and the chamber. The speaker, Paulina Borrego, is a science and engineering librarian at UMass Amherst. Soon after becoming a librarian in 2007, she took on the role of the Patent & Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) librarian in 2009. She is trained by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to educate patrons about patents and trademarks, the application process, and how to conduct an effective and thorough search. She works in the UMass Amherst Science & Engineering Library, which is open to the public. For more information on the program, visit the South Hadley Library’s website at or the chamber website at

Free Legal Help Hotline

Sept. 21: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. will offer a free Legal Help Hotline in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law from 4 to 7 p.m. at the law school, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 796-2057 to speak to a volunteer. Volunteers will provide legal advice on a variety of topics, including divorce and family law, bankruptcy, business, landlord/tenant matters, and real estate. Additionally, in light of recent immigration developments, attorneys with immigration-law experience will also be available to answer questions. Spanish-speaking attorneys will be available.

Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 19: BusinessWest and the Healthcare News will present the inaugural Healthcare Heroes Awards at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden. This new recognition program was created by the twin publications to recognize outstanding achievement across the region’s broad and diverse healthcare sector. Nominations were accepted in a number of categories, including ‘Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider,’ ‘Innovation in Health/Wellness,’ ‘Community Health,’ ‘Lifetime Achievement,’ and many others. A panel of judges determined the winners, who will be profiled in the Sept. 4 issue of BusinessWest and the September issue of HCN. American International College and Trinity Health are the presenting sponsors of Healthcare Heroes. Additional sponsors are Bay Path University, Baystate Health, Cooley Dickinson Health Care, Elms College, and Renew.Calm. Tickets to the event are $85 each, with tables available for purchase. For more information or to order tickets, call (413) 781-8600.

Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass.

Nov. 2: Comcast Business will present the Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass. at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News. The seventh annual business-to-business show will feature more than 150 exhibitor booths, educational seminars, breakfast and lunch programs, and a day-capping Expo Social. Current sponsors include Comcast Business (presenting sponsor), Johnson & Hill Staffing Services and Wild Apple Design Group (executive sponsors), Inspired Marketing (show partner), MGM Springfield (corporate sponsor), Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst (education sponsor), Xfinity (social sponsor), and the Better Business Bureau (contributing sponsor). Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $800. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

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