UMass Amherst College of Engineering Receives $10 Million Gift
AMHERST — The UMass Amherst College of Engineering (COE) has received a $10 million gift from Jerome and Linda Paros aimed at accelerating its cutting-edge work in atmospheric research and hazard mitigation by enabling a new center of excellence. The gift is the largest ever received by the college. The gift will support the translation of ongoing and future research into improved hazardous weather predictions, alert systems, and policies that will save lives as the world continues to experience increases in the intensity and frequency of storms and other extreme weather events that stem from climate change. The $10 million gift will provide discretionary support for the new Paros Center for Atmospheric Research, funding for the Paros Fellows/Scholars Endowed Fund for graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships, and to establish the Paros Chair of Atmospheric Research and Hazard Mitigation. Building upon UMass Amherst’s leadership in the field through the Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) — an engineering research center housed at UMass and established through prior National Science Foundation funds — this new funding will enable UMass researchers to expand CASA’s original mission to explore new frontiers in atmospheric measurement, science, and technology. Jerome Paros, a 1960 UMass Amherst alumnus, is a leader in the field of geophysical measurements. He holds more than 50 patents and is the founder, president, and chairman of Paroscientific Inc., Quartz Seismic Sensors Inc., and related companies based in Redmond, Wash. These companies use the quartz crystal resonator technology he developed to measure pressure, acceleration, temperature, weight, and other parameters. His work has improved the measurements of geophysical phenomena such as tsunamis, earthquakes, and severe weather, and enhanced knowledge about the complex earth, air, and ocean processes that produce climate change. In the mid-2000s, Jerome and Linda Paros endowed a fund in measurement science at UMass Amherst, with the goal of creating synergy in this field of study between the COE and the College of Natural Sciences.
HCC Lands $147,000 Grant to Buy Mobile Culinary-arts Lab
HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been awarded a $147,000 Skills Capital Grant to purchase a truck for its culinary-arts program that will be used as a mobile kitchen for community outreach and education. The funds, from Gov. Charlie Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, are part of a new, $3.3 million package of grants to 20 educational organizations in Massachusetts for updating equipment and expanding student enrollment in career education programs. According to the award letter, HCC will use the $147,000 to purchase and outfit a mobile food lab that will support both credit and non-credit culinary-arts programs and also incorporate other areas of study, including nutrition, health, business, and entrepreneurship. HCC’s grant application notes that residents of Holyoke face a high level of food insecurity and that downtown Holyoke has been identified as a ‘food desert.’ The mobile food lab will be used to engage community partners such as the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club and area food pantries. Students will meet with representatives from area organizations to create menus based on ingredients of their choice or what might be seasonally available. Once the truck arrives — sometime later this year — food-truck operations will be worked into the current culinary-arts curriculum in both credit and non-credit courses such as event planning and line-cook training. Students will have to learn to cook in a much smaller space than they are used to in the kitchens at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute; they’ll also have to learn food-truck logistics, such as how to dispose of dirty ‘grey’ water, replenish the kitchen with fresh water, and maintain a stable power source.
McGovern Auto Group Opens McGovern Chevrolet of Greenfield
GREENFIELD — McGovern Auto Group, which operates 19 dealerships across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York, announced the opening of McGovern Chevrolet of Greenfield. The new dealership, which replaces Dillon Chevrolet, employs 25 people across its sales, leasing, and maintenance teams, with plans to increase headcount to at least 40 by the end of 2022. The opening was enabled by McGovern Auto Group’s acquisition of Dillon Chevrolet, located at 54 Main St., from longtime owners Tom and Jay Dillon. Under the McGovern brand, the new dealership will feature a lot with more than 125 new and used cars, plus a completely reimagined customer experience including comfortable, clean, and modern waiting areas with free coffee and high-speed WiFi. To mark the transition to new ownership after 60 years in the Greenfield area, McGovern Chevrolet is also offering all Greenfield area residents an express detail — a $100 value — with any service. Founded in 2016, McGovern Auto Group is a full-service dealer group with four collision centers in addition to a commercial and municipal division. Known for luxury vehicles such as Ferrari and Porsche, the company also brings deep expertise working with brands including Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Hyundai, Honda, and Toyota.
Bulkley Richardson Supports Baystate Children’s Hospital
SPRINGFIELD — Throughout the course of a year, the Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Baystate Children’s Hospital cares for more than 800 newborns. These babies are fighters, but they require essential care. Many have come into the world too early; others emerge with medical challenges that need to be addressed in the moments after birth. All of them deserve the best chance for a healthy life. Bulkley Richardson, a Springfield-based law firm, recently made a $10,000 gift to support that essential care through the purchase of a transcutaneous CO2 monitor. This device provides a non-invasive and efficient way to monitor newborns’ exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2) when they require a ventilator to assist their breathing. It also allows the team to review and respond to important health details in real time instead of through multiple painful blood draws. With one in 10 families needing the NICU in their lifetime, this type of equipment will be used by many and provide a more comfortable experience for Baystate’s youngest patients.
DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology Adding Nail & Esthetics Programs
WEST SPRINGFIELD — DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology is getting a makeover. The school, which opened its doors in 2002, will be renovating and expanding this spring to add a nail program and an esthetics program. Paul DiGrigoli, owner and CEO of the DiGrigoli Companies, first opened DiGrigoli Salon in 2000 on Riverdale Street in West Springfield. A couple years later, he added the fully accredited and award-winning DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology, which has produced hundreds of cosmetologists in the Western Mass. area and beyond. Due to the expansion of the school, DiGrigoli Salon officially came to an end on Feb. 26. The extra space from the salon will allow for larger facilities and amenities for both students and clients of the new DiGrigoli School. Renovations will begin in spring, and details of the new programs and enrollments will be available by fall 2022. The currently running cosmetology program will continue uninterrupted, with its next class starting on May 3. Former clients of DiGrigoli Salon are welcome to visit the school’s student salon, which offers a variety of hair and basic manicure services. Appointments can be made by calling (413) 827-0037 or on a walk-in basis.
AIC Named to 2022-23 Military Friendly Schools List
SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) announced it has earned the 2022-23 Military Friendly School designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2022-23 survey, with 665 recognized for going above the standard. The 2022-23 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of GI Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com. Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher-education and military-recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer), and loan-default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.
Home City Development Signs Land Disposition Agreement for South End Townhouses
SPRINGFIELD — Home City Development Inc. (HCDI) has signed a land disposition agreement with the city of Springfield to develop up to 40 for-sale residential units on the former Gemini site in the South End of Springfield. This townhouse development will serve low- to moderate-income households earning between 70% and 100% of adjusted median income. The residential zoning change was approved in October, and Mayor Domenic Sarno signed the land disposition agreement in January. The team is working closely with funders to make sure the project is developed and managed appropriately to serve the community. The HCDI team continues to meet with the South End Citizens Council, receiving valuable input. HCDI has received a preliminary commitment from MassHousing for the majority of the public financing necessary and has applied to the city of Springfield for the remaining funds. Once these funds are in hand, construction could start as early as the fall of 2022. Designs are being finalized by Architecture Environment Life of East Longmeadow and Torres Engineering of Wethersfield, Conn.
Pioneer Moving Launches Program to Turn Food Waste into Donations
SOUTH HADLEY — When people move residences, they typically do a lot of purging before moving day. One common area to clean out is the pantry, resulting in large amounts of wasted food. Pioneer Moving is on a mission to use this practice to benefit to those in need though the company’s newly launched Pioneer Program. The Pioneer Program collects non-perishable food from residents who are getting rid of items they don’t need and distributes it to shelters and food banks. The program is 100% free to everyone involved and is simple to participate in. Consumers can obtain a Pioneer Program box from a real-estate agent, rental office, or another local business. The participants fill up their box with non-perishable, non-expired food. Then they can call the Pioneer Program to promptly pick up the box from them. The Pioneer Program team will distribute the food to a local food pantry or homeless shelter. Pioneer Moving donates the boxes and labor time collecting and delivering the food. Brian Clark, owner of Pioneer Moving, founded the Pioneer Program when he noticed a large amount of food being tossed in the trash by residents on moving day that could be donated. Knowing that people who are moving are typically rushed for time to get everything ready for the movers, Clark immediately recognized that residents would be more than happy to have someone help them easily get rid of items they no longer want or need.
KeyBank Announces Support for Humanitarian Efforts for Ukraine
CLEVELAND — KeyBank announced several steps it is taking to support humanitarian efforts currently underway for the people of Ukraine. In a message to employees, Chris Gorman, KeyCorp chairman and CEO, announced $150,000 in grants from KeyBank Foundation and a 1:1 employee matching-gift program. KeyBank Foundation will give a $100,000 grant to the American Red Cross to support its efforts to provide food, water, and other essential items and services to the people of Ukraine. The Red Cross has teams on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries helping families and working to repair vital infrastructure, support health facilities with medicines and equipment, and support families with food and hygiene items. KeyBank Foundation will also make a $50,000 grant to UNICEF for its work supporting children and families impacted by the war in Ukraine. In addition, KeyBank is launching a 1:1 employee matching-gift program through KeyBank Foundation that will help amplify and raise the collective voice of teammates in support of Ukraine. As part of this program, KeyBank Foundation will prove a dollar-for-dollar match for all employees up to $5,000, for several organizations supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, including Americares, CARE, Project Hope, Save the Children, and World Central Kitchen.
Pioneer Valley Credit Union Donates to Friends of the Homeless Shelter
SPRINGFIELD — Pioneer Valley Credit Union donated $100 worth of thermal layers, hats, socks, sweaters, and sweatpants and an additional monetary donation of $500 for a grand total of $600 to Clinical & Support Option’s (CSO) Friends of the Homeless Shelter in Springfield. The warm-clothing collection efforts were made at the Sixteen Acres and East Springfield branches throughout the month of February in addition to the option to donate over the phone. CSO’s Friends of the Homeless program is more than an emergency shelter. In addition to offering more than 1,000 individuals with a warm bed and hot shower each year, the program also assigns case workers to each guest. It also serves three community meals each day, offers a robust resource center, and operates low-income housing units for those in need.