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MassEcon, the state’s private sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, recently announced its Eighteenth Annual Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Award winners, recognizing 14 companies for their outstanding contributions to the Massachusetts economy.

The companies were selected for establishing new operations in Massachusetts or expanded existing operations. Each employer added new jobs and facility investment; pursued social impact through community involvement/philanthropic efforts; and embraced equity, diversity & inclusion practices. The winners will be honored at Gillette Stadium on April 7, with Citizens as presenting sponsor.

The winning companies were selected after site visits by teams of judges and a Finalists Showcase in November, 2021. The company expansion projects resulted in $3.9 billion in new investment, 1.375 million in additional square feet of facilities, and approximately 975 new jobs in Massachusetts.

“The commitment of these companies to innovate, invest, and grow in Massachusetts is emblematic of the broader vitality of our economy and the workforce that drives it,” said Peter Abair, Executive Director of MassEcon. “We are incredibly honored to recognize these companies and their achievements.”

The winning companies from Western Mass. are:

Gold: Big Y Foods of Springfield – Founded in 1936 by brothers Paul and Gerald D’Amour, Big Y Foods, Inc. was named after an intersection in Chicopee, where two roads converge to form a Y. Now, it is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England with almost 12,000 employees and 85 locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Since January 2020, the company added 52 new jobs and invested $50.9 million in a 232,000-square-foot expansion in Springfield for its “Fresh & Local Distribution Center.”

Silver: The White Lion Brewing Company of Springfield – The White Lion Brewing Company is a black-owned brewery that reactivated 8,000 square feet of space that sat vacant for more than 15 years and on-boarded an additional 3,000 square feet of storage, marking a total expansion of 11,000 square feet in Springfield and the first craft beer brand to go to market in Springfield. More than a brewer, White Lion intends to serve as a catalyst for Springfield’s revitalization. While still a small and growing company, White Lion added 13 new employees (69% women and 46% persons of color), donated close to $25,000 to the community, and its ownership sits on a number of local and statewide boards or commissions.

Bronze: United Aircraft Technologies of Pittsfield – United Aircraft Technologies (UAT) is a veteran, minority, and female led business that is creating a new class of smart clamps for electrical wire harness management that is designed to reduce weight, improve safety, and simplify maintenance through the use of Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence. The company currently plans on investing in around 7,000 square feet of vacant office space in Pittsfield and is looking to hire four new team members in 2021 in addition to the five already onboarded earlier this year. UAT is also providing STEM-based programs within the community, partnering with MCLA on future internship opportunities and further job creation.