Cannabis-Industry Training Classes
Starting April 2: The Cannabis Education Center (CEC) at Holyoke Community College (HCC) will be running three cannabis-industry training programs. The CEC’s 12-hour, introductory Cannabis Core course will be held April 2-3 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. each day over Zoom. The Cannabis Core program provides an overview of the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and is geared for people looking for general knowledge as they consider a cannabis career. During four three-hour sessions, students will interact with cannabis experts and guest speakers in reviews of the plant, various cannabis products, the endocannabinoid system, laws and prohibition, growing and plant care, labeling, packaging, testing, employment considerations, and more. The Cannabis Core program is a foundational course and a prerequisite for career track courses. Cannabis Extraction Technician training also begins April 2 and runs through April 23. The course meets weekly on Wednesdays over Zoom from 10 to 11 a.m., supplemented by self-paced online instruction. In this course, students will learn the basic fundamentals needed to work in a cannabis extraction laboratory: how to extract useful molecular components from cannabis and hemp using various techniques, including both solvent and solventless methods. Topics covered include good lab practices, health and safety metrics, extraction techniques, winterization, and dewaxing. Cannabis Culinary Assistant training begins April 19. Classes will meet in person on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St., Holyoke. Cannabis culinary assistants are responsible for cooking, baking, and infusing cannabis- or hemp-based products with extracts. The program is a 20-hour introductory course that provides an overview of cooking and baking techniques used to create edibles. The course reviews tools, equipment, food safety, standard recipes, and dosing, and provides discussions on infused oils, sauces, chocolates, ice cream, and more. Cannabis is not used in this program. Participants will be introduced to industry professionals, prepare for employment opportunities, and have the opportunity to earn SERV Safe certification. The cost of the Cannabis Core training is $599. Industry-specific course training is $799. Scholarships may be available to those who qualify. To register, visit hcc.edu/cannabis-core.
UMass 5K Dash and Dine
April 9: After a two-year hiatus, UMass Dining Services will host its 11th annual UMass 5K Dash and Dine on campus starting at 9 a.m. The goal of the event is to promote health and wellness at the university while raising funds for the Amherst Survival Center. In total, UMass dining has been able to raise more than $50,000 for the Amherst Survival Center. The 5K features a USA Track and Field certified course to runners, walkers, and wheelchair participants. When race participants are finished, all are welcomed to have lunch at the award-winning dining commons on campus. The race fee is $10 for all UMass and Five College students, $15 for UMass Amherst faculty and staff, and $20 for the general public. Children age 8 and under may participate for free. This race fee includes registration and the complimentary meal. Online registration ends at midnight on Wednesday, April 6. Walk-up registration is available on race day. To register for the event or make a donation, visit runumass.com.
MOSSO Chamber Music Series
April 14: The Westfield Athenaeum continues its three-concert chamber music series at 7 p.m., with musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, known as MOSSO, providing the music. A woodwind quintet of MOSSO musicians will be showcased, and Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders. Ann Bobo, principal flute, and Nancy Dimock, principal oboe, will be joined by their colleagues Ian Greitzer, clarinetist, Ron Haroutunian, bassoonist, and horn player Robert Marlatt. The MOSSO season at the Westfield Athenaeum opened on March 10, and will conclude with a concert on May 19, with a program to be announced soon. Tickets for the concert cost $20 and must be purchased in advance at the Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at www.westath.org. Audience members will be required to wear masks.
Eggstravaganza at the Zoo in Forest Park
April 16: The Zoo in Forest Park will host its annual Eggstravaganza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include grab-and-go stations for children with take-and-make activities, prize-filled Easter eggs, books, and candy while supplies last. There will also be animal encounters and enrichment to allow guests an up-close look at some of the animals, as well as free face painting and visits from Felix the Fox and Andy the Armadillo. Pre-registration is required to attend. No additional tickets will be sold at the door. Registration closes April 11 or when all tickets are sold. To purchase tickets, visit www.forestparkzoo.org/eggs.
Springfield Symphony Orchestra Spring Concerts
April 22, May 13: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Board announced two spring concerts will be hosted at Springfield Symphony Hall with former SSO Music Director Mark Russell Smith serving as guest conductor. Smith is music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He previously served as music director for the SSO from 1995 through 2000. He has worked as director of New Music Projects for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Minnesota, and has also served as music director for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. Details about the concerts, program, and availability of tickets will be forthcoming and available at springfieldsymphony.org.
Social Justice Awards
April 23: Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) announced that this year’s Social Justice Awards will honor the organization’s former President and CEO Ronn Johnson, who passed away in January. The organization also announced that the Justice Resource Institute has stepped forward as the first event sponsor. The 2022 Social Justice Awards will continue to be a virtual event this year and will begin at 11 a.m. Michael Weeks, president and CEO of the Providers Council, will be the keynote speaker. This year’s honorees are Barbara Gresham (education), Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr. (lifetime achievement), Bishop Talbert Swan II (race relations), CMSS and Eileen McCaffery (arts and culture), Doris Harris (health advocacy), First Church of Christ in Longmeadow UCC (faith-based initiative), MassHire Springfield and Kevin Lynn (economic development), and Thomas Morrow and Julius Lewis (entrepreneurship). Individuals and organizations interested in supporting Johnson’s work at MLKFS through sponsorship or a donation should contact Lenise Williams at (413) 736-3655 or [email protected], or visit mlkjrfamilyservices.org/donate.
Great Golf Escape
April 25: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) will host its annual Great Golf Escape tournament at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. YPS aims to engage the younger demographic in career development, networking, community involvement, recreational and social activities, and more. The cost for this event is $125 for YPS members, $500 for a YPS member foursome team captain, $135 for non-members, and $540 for a non-member foursome team captain. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. There will be prizes and a poker challenge throughout the event. The first-place team will also be able to select a charitable organization to receive a donation from YPS. Registration includes lunch, post-golf dinner, and giveaways. Members can register for the event at www.springfieldyps.com/events. This event is open to the public. However, YPS members will receive a free mulligan, entry into the door-prize raffle, and more. They’ll be offering golfers on-course hospitality, including ice-cream samples from Batch Ice Cream, sponsored by LiftTruck Parts & Service, and craft beer samples from Leadfoot Brewing. Major sponsors for this event include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), F45 Riverdale, Marcotte Ford, and the John Glover Insurance Agency. Foursomes and sponsorships are still available by visiting springfieldyps.com/golf or e-mailing [email protected].
‘Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement’
April 27: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will present a three-hour, in-person workshop focusing on life after retirement. “Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The workshop will be facilitated by former career counselor Barbara Foster. “Retirement is a major life transition, not unlike a major career change” Foster said. “People often fail to consider how they will find purpose and fulfillment in retirement. The average 65-year-old will remain active for 20 years or more after leaving a full-time job. The workshop will assist both pre-retirees and recently retired people to consider how they will spend the 2,000 hours a year they formerly spent at work. This could be volunteering, starting a new business, developing hobbies, seeking part-time work, or new learning experiences.” The workshop will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. The cost is $39. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all workshop participants, and masks must be worn in all HCC campus buildings.
Get Hired Job Fair
May 5: Holyoke Mall will host an in-person job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. on the lower level near Macy’s. Sponsored by Valley Opportunity Council, the Get Hired Job Fair is a convenient opportunity for Western Mass. employers to interview and hire workers, and to help job seekers connect with businesses who need their skills. Employers from a variety of industries will be in attendance looking for candidates at all skill levels. Several stores and venues at Holyoke Mall will also be in attendance to fill open positions. The event is free to attend for all job seekers. Employers that have already signed up to staff a table include MGM Springfield, Holyoke Medical Center, Springfield College, Trinity Senior Communities, and Valley Opportunity Council. Employers interested in participating in the upcoming job fair should contact Jim Geraghty, advertising representative for Holyoke Mall, at (617) 840-2998 or [email protected]. For full details regarding the job fair, visit www.holyokemall.com/event/get-hired-job-fair.
May 20: The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce will host sheLEADS, a woman’s conference aimed at building a bold, brave community of women in the 413 with an eye on professional development and beyond. “This is a high-energy day filled with professional development, relationship- and leadership-building opportunities. Our focus is on providing attendees tools and connections that they didn’t have when they walked in,” said Moe Belliveau, the chamber’s executive director. The day begins at the Boylston Room in Easthampton at noon and ends with networking at Abandoned Building Brewery. In between, attendees can look forward to “Activating Your Leadership Strengths,” facilitated by Colleen DelVecchio of Colleen DelVecchio Consultants; “The Language of Leadership,” a panel discussion featuring Pia Kumar, chief strategy officer at Universal Plastics, Lynnette Watkins, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care, and Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, CEO of Inclusive Strategies; and “Be Great Where Your Feet Are,” featuring keynote speaker Robyn Glaser Sr., vice president, Business Affairs for the Kraft Group. For tickets and details, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org.