Marcella Named to 2022 Inc. 5000
NORTHAMPTON — Marcella, a mission-driven, ethically made direct-to-consumer designer fashion brand committed to advancing women and girls globally, experienced a 909% jump in revenue from 2018 to 2021 and has been listed on the annual Inc. 5000 list as the fastest-growing company in the retail sector in New England, 35th in retail nationally, and 689th overall. The Inc. 5000 is a ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America. In addition to impressive growth, the companies on the 2022 Inc. 5000 have also demonstrated resilience amid supply-chain woes, labor shortages, and the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Headquartered in Northampton and founded by husband and wife duo Siyana and Andy Huszar, Marcella’s edgy, affordable women’s minimalist basics are designed in New York and handcrafted in Europe. Core to the brand’s DNA is a commitment to benefiting women and girls around the world: for every design Marcella sells, the company supports three days of school for a marginalized girl around the world, with the goal of supporting 8.5 million school days by the end of 2024. In pursuit of this mission, Marcella partners with CAMFED, the global NGO revolutionizing how girls’ education is delivered. Since April 2021, Marcella has already supported more than 600,000 school days for girls in need. Marcella takes a holistic approach to sustainability that respects both people and the planet. Its original designer apparel and accessories are priced accessibly. Every individual involved in the production of any Marcella product enjoys a truly living wage, generous benefits, and free healthcare. Additionally, the brand’s innovative ‘just in time’ production cycle minimizes the global fashion industry’s typical inventory overproduction and waste, enabling Marcella to sell more than 99% of what it makes and dramatically reducing its ecological footprint. “Marcella began as an Etsy shop and quickly transformed into a successful global e-commerce business fueled by our ‘design that matters’ philosophy of accessible prices, ethical production, sustainability, and social impact,” added Andy Huszar, co-founder and CEO of Marcella. “We moved Marcella’s headquarters from New York City to Western Massachusetts in 2017 because we saw unlimited potential in the region for supporting the growth of a global e-commerce brand. We’re honored to be recognized by Inc. and excited to continue to deliver on our mission to create sustainable fashion that reflects our brand values.”
Community Action Pioneer Valley Receives Workforce-training Funds for Formerly Incarcerated Citizens
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced $1.68 million in Re-Entry Workforce Development Demonstration Program grants awarded to 14 organizations, including one in Western Mass., Community Action Pioneer Valley in Greenfield. Funds will place formerly incarcerated citizens re-entering the workforce into new occupations, where they will receive on-the-job training. “The efforts of these community organizations, which includes their ability to locally connect individuals and employers, helps improve workforce readiness for those re-entering society,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “These re-entry grants are focused on evidence-based outcomes that best prepare those who have served their time to find employment that helps support themselves and their families.” Community Action Pioneer Valley will receive $160,000 to work with both the Franklin and Hampshire county sheriff’s offices to implement a training program focused on the manufacturing industry. Successful program graduates will be placed into production-occupation roles at Deerfield Packaging, Hillside Plastics, Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center, or Quabbin Wire & Cable Company Inc. The Re-Entry Workforce Development Demonstration Program is an outcome of the Baker-Polito administration’s Task Force on Economic Opportunity for Populations Facing Chronically High Rates of Unemployment, chaired by Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta. The Task Force found that individuals within prison populations experienced complex needs that require intensive interventions for them to be successful in securing and maintaining employment. Access to adequate re-entry services was identified as a barrier to employment that disproportionally impacts the target populations and leads to greater recidivism. “Providing the formerly incarcerated with opportunities for on-the-job-training is an important way to address inequities in the Commonwealth’s workforce,” Acosta said. “Partnering with community organizations through these grants helps those with chronic high rates of unemployment find meaningful career pathways in Massachusetts.”
Chicopee Cupboard Food Pantry Moves to New Location
SPRINGFIELD — United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) hosted a ‘new home’ celebration for the Chicopee Cupboard Food Pantry on Aug. 16 at 226 Exchange St. in Chicopee. The Chicopee Cupboard, powered by the United Way of Pioneer Valley, provides shelf-stable food, fresh produce and dairy items, and frozen food to anyone in need. These items are available thanks to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, grants, and donations. “We are honored to be able to battle any and all food insecurity in the great city of Chicopee,” said Paul Mina, president and CEO of the United Way of Pioneer Valley. “Our team is eager to provide our clients the best services possible.” To make an appointment, call Lee Drewitz at (413) 693-0213.
Joe Andruzzi Foundation Marks One-Year Anniversary of Food Security Assistance Program
NORTH ATTLEBORO — The Joe Andruzzi Foundation (JAF), providing help and hope to New England cancer patients and their families through financial support when it is needed most, announced that its Food Security Assistance Program is entering its second year of helping cancer patients across New England access healthy and nutritious foods to sustain them during treatment. Since its inception in 2021, the program has raised $436,850 for 1,867 cancer patients across New England. In December 2020, JAF conducted a pilot Food Security Program, which provided aid outside the financial-assistance grants already provided to cancer patients throughout New England, with the support of a $50,000 grant from Stop & Shop. The program pilot funded 199 households to support 478 patients from December 2020 through March 2021. Overall, nearly half (47%) of the grants distributed during the pilot program helped families who reported annual household income losses between 50% to 100% due to a cancer diagnosis. After a successful pilot, JAF formally launched its Food Security Assistance support for patients on August 11, 2021, with ROI Communications as its presenting sponsor. Additional support was received from Oncopeptides, Bearingstar Insurance, and the Dunkin’ Joy Foundation. Through the program, JAF sends grocery-store gift cards directly to the patient to be redeemed at Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Big Y, Hannaford, or Market Basket. Donations to assist New England cancer patients and their families can be made online at joeandruzzifoundation.org/ways-to-give/donate.