Home Posts tagged U.S. Rep. Richard Neal
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AGAWAM — At a press conference outside Agawam Town Hall, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, announced a $740,000 earmark to the town’s Main Street Sewer Main and Slope Stabilization project alongside Agawam Mayor William Sapelli.

The allocation was made possible through congressionally directed spending (CDS) from the Department of the Interior and the Environment. Neal submitted funding for this project in the FY 2022 spending bill that was signed into law earlier this year.

“Across our country and right here at home, our infrastructure is aging,” he said. “I fought to procure this funding for Agawam as it will have a significant impact on the environment, protect the Connecticut and Westfield rivers, and upgrade the town’s sewer and stormwater management operations.”

Agawam’s plans for this funding are twofold: to relocate the sanitary sewer interceptor main located at the top of the embankment of the Westfield River, which will ensure the sanitary sewer does not discharge into the river but flows to the nearby treatment plant instead; and to restore the embankment to an outfall adjacent to Main Street to prevent erosion from compromising Main Street/Route 159.

This project is one of ten CDS projects submitted by Neal, totaling more than $9 million in investments throughout the First Congressional District of Massachusetts.




Looking at Springfield’s Union Station today, a bustling facility with trains, buses, businesses, and people, it might be easy to forget there was a time when just about everyone in this city had given up the dream of ever revitalizing the long-dormant station.

It was 15 years or so ago. The city was in receivership, at the very early stages of climbing out of a deep and persistent funk. There was progress on some fronts, but still myriad challenges to overcome and a long list of priorities that did not include the historic but mostly forgotten station.

The suggestion from those running the city at the time was to mothball Union Station, try to protect it from the elements, move onto other, more manageable projects, and maybe get back to the train station another day.

Kevin Kennedy wasn’t buying any of that. Then an aide to U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, he wasn’t going to let the congressman’s long-held dream of revitalizing the station, which had been dormant since the early ’80s, lose whatever momentum it had.

So he kept at it, meeting with a small group of officials on a weekly basis to keep the project on some kind of roadmap and pulling the myriad details, from funding to design to logistics, into alignment. It was a monumental task, and most would have given up in frustration early on in the process.

But Kennedy never did, and today we have a revitalized Union Station, thanks to Neal — but, really, the thanks go to Kennedy. He’s the one who got it done.

And Kennedy, who passed away late last month, was able to get a lot of things done, as an aide to Neal and also as chief Development officer for the city, a job he assumed in 2011.

That lengthy list includes the new federal courthouse on State Street and the State Street Corridor project, MGM Springfield and the many components of that project, recovery from the 2011 tornado and the 2012 natural-gas explosion, and many other important initiatives.

These projects were all different, but they were similar in that they were extremely difficult and required high levels of coordination and cooperation, as well as a point person who was able to navigate whitewater and stay on track.

Kennedy was that point person.

When asked by BusinessWest why he wanted to leave the post with Neal and take the development position, Kennedy said simply, “I’ve proven I can get things done — and we have a lot of work to do in this city.”

He was right on both accounts. Looking back, Kennedy was the right person in the right position at the right time, and Springfield is now in a much better place because he was.


Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 111: May 9, 2022

Editor George O’Brien talks with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal about the prospects for momentum on east-west rail in the Commonwealth

Editor George O’Brien talks with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal about the prospects for momentum on east-west rail in the Commonwealth. The congressman believes the stars are aligned on this matter, and explains why Gov. Charlie Baker’s endorsement of the project is just another of many pieces now falling into place. It’s all must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local and sponsored by PeoplesBank.


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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the House Committee on Ways and Means, announced Massachusetts added 11,600 manufacturing jobs last year, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Through his work successfully advocating for the passage of the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Neal said he is committed to helping local manufacturers create and restore jobs. The House also recently passed the America COMPETES Act, which includes important provisions from the Ways and Means Committee that will help Massachusetts create even more jobs, strengthen its supply chains, and encourage the manufacturing of more critical domestic products in the U.S.

“The manufacturing jobs report from last week shows that our economic plan is working, and we are getting Massachusetts residents back to work,” Neal said. “As we continue to implement the bipartisan infrastructure law and encourage Senate passage of the America COMPETES Act, we will be able to create millions more good-paying jobs. Investment in our infrastructure and manufacturing is an important component to our overall success.”

Under President Biden, the U.S. has created 375,000 manufacturing jobs and a total of 6.6 million jobs nationwide.

Daily News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal was awarded the 2022 National Education Service Award during the Assoc. of Community College Trustees’ (ACCT) Community College National Legislative Summit. Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal was on hand to make the presentation.

This award honors a national leader who has made extraordinary contributions to national public policies and resources that support education, training, and post-secondary learning.

According to the ACCT, “as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Neal was instrumental in the inclusion of the Tax-Free Pell Grant Act, which would prevent students from being taxed on the portion of their Pell award which exceeds tuition costs, in the Build Back Better Act passed by the House this fall. He was also instrumental in securing $1.2 billion in funding for a potential successor to the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training Grants (TAACCT) in proposed legislation.”

“The community-college system in America plays a critical role in preparing individuals for the workforce,” Neal said. “I have been a longtime supporter of our community colleges because they are successful. They provide technical career training, serve as a stepping stone, and welcome individuals looking to retrain or refresh their skillset. Western and Central Massachusetts is lucky to have many of these types of educational options right outside their doors and at their fingertips. I am thankful to the Association of Community College Trustees for this recognition, and I am committed to continuing to provide for the community-college system so that all students have a path to higher education.”

Royal added that “it was an honor to present Congressman Neal with the National Education Service Award on behalf of ACCT. He has long been an advocate for progressive programs and federal funding for community colleges and our students, particularly workforce-training programs. He recognizes that investments in our community colleges support regional growth, job creation, and economic mobility for individuals and families. I know this was a proud moment for him as it also was for me and should be for all the communities in Massachusetts that he represents.”