Company Notebook Departments

Company Notebook October 3, 2016

HCC Awarded $127,741 for EMT Training Program

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been awarded a $127,741 Workforce Skills Capital Grant to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for its EMT Training Program. The grant, announced this week by the governor’s office, will allow HCC to expand the number of students served in its non-credit EMT classes and offer new training equipment and materials at the college’s new Center for Health Education, adjacent to the main campus on Jarvis Avenue. HCC was one of seven community colleges, vocational high schools, and educational collaboratives chosen to share in a total funding package worth $2.6 million. “This was a great opportunity for us to get some needed funding to replace outdated materials and equipment, which, because of the cost, is difficult to keep up to date,” said Ken White, dean of HCC Community Services. The grant will allow HCC to expand the number of students served in the non-credit certificate EMT classes, which are geared for firefighters and other emergency workers who need certification or continuing education, individuals interested in beginning careers as EMTs, and nurses or other heath professionals. “Students at all levels will have access to state-of-the-art technologies, including simulators that respond to student actions,” White said. Instructors for the enhanced program will be supplied by Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), White said. Together, HCC and STCC, through Training and Workforce Options, their collaborative workforce program, will work with area employers to provide customized EMT training opportunies at HCC’s Center for Health Education. “The goal of these grants is to expand the capacity of programs that build skills for Massachusetts residents,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “We already see the impact these grants are having at educational programs around the state, and we know these investments will strengthen the state’s economy for all residents.”

Springfield Museums Named Smithsonian Affiliate

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums have been formally accepted as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term, high-quality partnerships with museums and educational organizations in order to share collections, exhibitions, learning opportunities, and research expertise. The partnership  has been made possible through the support of the MassMutual Foundation, which is providing a three-year, $145,000-plus grant to bring a wealth of resources and programming to Springfield. “For us to continue to develop a culturally rich community, it is important that all of us — especially our children — have access to some of the world’s most treasured art collections, artifacts, and perspectives of the most renowned experts in the country,” said Roger Crandall, chairman, president, and CEO of MassMutual.  “The MassMutual Foundation’s support of the partnership between the Springfield Museums and the Smithsonian helps strengthen the cultural fabric of our community, and we are proud to do our share to provide opportunities that inspire people to never stop learning and growing.” Joining Crandall at an announcement ceremony hosted by the museums was Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations; Springfield Museums President Kay Simpson; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; U.S. Rep. Richard Neal; and state Sen. Eric Lesser. The day also included a presentation titled “Driving Around Mars” by planetary scientist John Grant from the National Air and Space Museum. There are currently more than 200 institutions nationwide that have been selected to be Smithsonian affiliates. In identifying possible candidates for affiliation, the Smithsonian seeks out organizations that share a common mission, a commitment to education and public service, and the capability of bringing Smithsonian artifacts, exhibits, and programs to their venues. Candidates are subject to a rigorous application process involving all aspects of their organization, from their leadership and financial structure to a review of their collections-management and programming protocols. Those selected to be affiliates enjoy a range of benefits, from facilitated object and exhibit loans and discounted Smithsonian memberships for their patrons to custom-developed education, performing-arts, and public programs. Staff at the Smithsonian and the Springfield Museums have already commenced discussions of potential collaborative projects for the first three years of the affiliation, including object loans and additional visits from Smithsonian experts.

Johnson & Hill Launches Accounting, Finance Division

SPRINGFIELD — Johnson & Hill Staffing Services Inc. recently enhanced its service offerings to include a specialized Accounting & Finance Division. While Johnson & Hill has always placed accounting and finance professionals, this move signals an increased commitment to this area of expertise. The agency sees a growing demand for this skill set and an opportunity to assist clients more proactively. Tiffany Appleton has been appointed director, Accounting & Finance Division. Boasting more than a decade of recruiting experience in accounting and finance, she will provide direct-hire, contract-to-hire, and contract staffing, assisting clients in filling critical accounting and finance needs within their organizations. Roles range from clerk level up to CFO with a concentration on middle-management positions, including senior accountant, accounting manager, controller, financial analyst, manager of FP&A, internal audit, and public audit and tax. Her staffing experience crosses many industry sectors, spanning manufacturing, technology, nonprofit, professional service, and life science, with companies ranging from startup to publicly traded. Appleton will focus on developing and nurturing long-term relationships with both clients and job seekers, which are built on mutual trust, sincerity, and confidentiality. She is sought after by clients for her progressive ideas on acquiring talent and consistent ability to deliver quality candidates. Job seekers appreciate her willingness to provide career coaching, interview preparation, and résumé assistance. Prior to Johnson & Hill, her professional career included serving as client relations director for a large, regional CPA firm and principal and talent advisor for a boutique staffing firm specializing in accounting and finance placement. Johnson & Hill is an independent, regional, woman-owned staffing service offering temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire employment opportunities, serving Western Mass. and Northern Conn. Johnson & Hill specializes in administrative, accounting, legal, and professional staffing services.

Springfield College Rises Again in U.S. News Rankings

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College has again moved up the list of highest-ranked colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s latest edition of “Best Colleges.” In the 2017 report, Springfield College is ranked 27th in the first tier in the category of Best Regional Universities – North. This marks the sixth consecutive year that Springfield College has moved up in the U.S. News rankings. This year’s ranking of the college is up two spots from 2016 and 40 spots from 2011. “I am extremely proud that Springfield College is being recognized for our outstanding academic offerings and a rich co-curricular life outside of the classroom,” said President Mary-Beth Cooper. “The rise in our ranking over the past six years demonstrates that the value proposition for a school like Springfield College, grounded in the Humanics philosophy, is well-regarded.” The college also ranked 12th in Best Value Schools for Regional Universities – North, the first year it has been listed in the Best Values category, which takes into account a college’s academic quality and net cost of attendance. According to U.S. News, the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Springfield College’s rise in the rankings is spurred by improved graduation rates and improved retention of first-year students. The college’s traditional, undergraduate enrollment for the fall of 2016 remained steady, with 550 first-year students enrolling again this year. The ratings are based on such variables as peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student selectivity, class size, alumni giving, and student-faculty ratio. The college was ranked in a third category by U.S. News for 2017. It is ranked 14th in the North region in Best Colleges for Veterans.

CARF Accredits West Central Family and Counseling

WEST SPRINGFIELD — CARF International announced that West Central Family and Counseling has been accredited for a period of three years for its Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Adults) and Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Children and Adolescents) programs. This is the first accreditation CARF has awarded to West Central Family and Counseling. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer-review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. West Central Family and Counseling has been providing outpatient mental-health programs in the Greater Springfield area since 2008. CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served.

Berkshire Bank Named One of  Top Charitable Contributors

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank announced it was named by Boston Business Journal as one of Massachusetts’ Most Charitable Companies at the publication’s annual Corporate Citizenship Summit in Boston on Sept. 8. The Boston Business Journal is one of the leading sources for business news, research, and events in the Greater Boston area. Each year it honors a select list of companies for their charitable work in the community. Berkshire Bank ranked 42nd for total financial contributions, with more than $1.27 million donated in Massachusetts alone and more than $2 million donated overall. Massachusetts-based bank employees also donated more than 27,000 hours of volunteer service. Berkshire Bank joined a select list of statewide, national, and international companies honored at the summit. The award recognized Berkshire Bank and Berkshire Bank Foundation’s philanthropic investments in the community through their charitable grants, corporate giving, scholarships, in-kind donations, and employee volunteerism.

Country Bank Participates in Habitat’s Operation Playhouse

WARE — A group of 14 Country Bank employees recently joined forces with Habitat for Humanity Metro West/Greater Worcester in a team-building exercise that ended with a local veteran family receiving a unique gift: a custom playhouse. Habitat’s Operation Playhouse is a program that brings groups together to create a custom playhouse in one day. The opportunity to work together and collaborate on design and construction of the house is wrapped up with the reward of seeing it turned over to a local veteran and their children. “Working with the Habitat staff was seamless, and the day couldn’t have been more rewarding,” said Deb Gagnon, the bank’s Corporate Relations officer. “Completing the playhouse gave us all a sense of accomplishment, and when the family arrived to receive their gift, there wasn’t a dry eye around.”

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