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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Health New England has awarded Maybury Material Handling of East Longmeadow and Community Action Pioneer Valley of Greenfield its Well Worth It Award, Gold designation, for outstanding employee-wellness programs.

Maybury Material Handling provides industrial products and services to manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing customers. Community Action Pioneer Valley is a not-for-profit that helps those with low incomes achieve economic stability and security, and works to build communities in which all people can thrive.

Both employers demonstrated their responsibility to the health and well-being of their employees by encouraging them to use Health New England’s suite of health and wellness services. These include its Healthy Choices Rewards Program that offers monetary rewards for healthy activities, such as joining a gym, nutrition counseling, smoking cessation, and more.

“Creating a culture in which employees are encouraged and empowered to use their wellness programs can be critical to improving their health, and thus the health of the business,” said Richard Swift, president and CEO of Health New England. “Maybury Material Handling and Community Action Pioneer Valley are among the best at recognizing this and taking steps to help their employees reach their best overall health. We are pleased to recognize their dedication with this Well Worth It Award Gold designation.”

Will Maybury, chief financial officer of Maybury Material Handling, added that “we are so proud to receive this award from Health New England. It is a testament to our commitment to helping our employees reach their best possible health, both mentally and physically. A healthy team is critical to offering our customers best-in-class service.”

Jess Thompson, associate director of Community Engagement at Community Action Pioneer Valley, noted that “the health of our employee team is tantamount to our ability to help others. We see the impact every day of health challenges on our communities. It is important to us to do everything we can to help our employees be as healthy as possible, and Health New England’s programs help us do that. We are honored to be recognized for this work.”

Health New England also awarded Well Worth It Awards in the Silver designation to Scantic Valley Regional Health Trust and PeoplesBank, and in the Bronze designation to Springfield Area Transit Co. Inc./Pioneer Valley Transit Authority.

Well Worth It Award winners will be honored at a luncheon on Oct. 5 at the Sheraton Springfield.

Daily News

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.”