News from our members

Mount Wachusett Community College will host the 10th Anniversary New England Workforce Network Conference

October 11, 2019 at Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner MA from 8am-3:30pm

The New England Workforce Network (NEWN) Conference is a collaborative effort with workforce professionals from all over New England. This year’s theme is Twistin’ and Turnin’: Riding the Roller Coaster of Workforce Development, reflecting the tremendous synergistic value of planning and acting in concert with the various stakeholders in workforce areas. NEWN was conceived in 2001 in response to the desire among workforce development providers to share best practices and network in a larger context that goes beyond state boundaries. Since 2002, NEWN has held a number of day-long conferences that focus on a range of topics that resonate among professionals who are involved in workforce development within community colleges, workforce development boards, economic development agencies and other settings. We hope that you will be able to join us for our exciting 10th NEWN Conference.

This year’s Keynote Speaker is Jane Oates, President, WorkingNation.

Jane is on the Executive Committee of WorkingNation, a non-profit organization that works through film and live events to tell the stories of successful training programs. An education and policy expert, Jane became a national leader in education and workforce programs during her ten years with Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the US Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP). She oversaw the Workforce Investment Act and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program while serving as the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training under Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis during the Obama administration.

For more information:

To Register:

Oktoberfest “Party in the Street” 2019 at the Gardner Ale House

Gardner’s own Moon Hill Brewing Co. at the Gardner Ale House, along with the City of Gardner, present their 14th Annual Oktoberfest “Party in the Street”. Admission for this event is free and open to all ages. Parker Street will be closed to traffic.

The party begins at 11:00 AM with the ceremonial Tapping of the Keg in front of the Gardner Ale House. Gardner closes Parker Street for the day and a New Orleans Street Party atmosphere ensues, featuring craft beer brewed locally by Moon Hill Brewing Co. and authentic German fare. Also at 11:00 AM begins the Chair City Community Workshop’s steamrolling print project Gardner Makes! The Gardner Chair Luge, powered by the Acadien Social Club, begins at 2:00 PM. Race teams convert their armchairs, sofas, and barstools into soapbox derby-style racers. They will be competing for the coveted Chair Luge Trophy and $200 in one dollar bills. Teams compete in costume and the event has become a legend in Central Massachusetts. “Human Bumpers” keep everyone safe. And revered Acadien Club mascot Brad Gallant clowns around dressed in this year’s theme: “The Muppets”. Mr. Gallant simply replied “No comment” to our query regarding this year’s costume. Then, relenting, he added: “I’m certainly not going to be Miss Piggy”. Knowing his proclivity for dressing in female garb, one wonders if Miss Piggy just might be making a showing in spite of denials.

According to Gardner Ale House and Moon Hill Brewing Co. owner Rick Walton, “Each year we keep shooting for the stars, which means we aim to make it twice as big as the previous year. Last year we accomplished just that and had our biggest party ever. The weather helps! This years major attraction, in addition to the luge is our Totally Local line up of musical acts.

This year’s musical lineup begins at 3:30 PM, just after the Chair Luge with:
3:30 PM Safehill Taking it back to the decade they were born in, these guys are solid 90s Rock.
5:15 PM The Green Sisters A Bluegrass/Newgrass quartet from Worcester County. The four local sisters sing tight harmonies while switching instruments from upright bass to fiddle to acoustic guitar to banjo. They deliver authentic Kentucky Soul while being totally original.
7:00 PM Electric Green Co. A local groove based Blues, Rock, Jazz fusion Funk band.
8:45 PM The Sufferin’ Bastards Local classic Rock band playing all your classics and favorites.

Oktoberfest “Party in the Street” is located at the Gardner Ale House, 74 Parker St., Downtown Gardner, MA. Admission: Free, Open to All Ages

Event: Saturday, September 28, starts at 11:00 AM. Live Music is 3:30 – 10:00 PM.
For more information visit or call (978) 669-0122.


Davis Mega Maze is the largest of over 50 fun attractions at Davis Mega Farm Festival. Co-owner Larry Davis Says, “This year’s 8-acre maze will challenge your mind, body and imagination.” But don’t worry, according to Einstein, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

Davis Mega Farm Festival opens September 14th and features… – Award-winning, Kansas City BBQ and “foodie” foods, – Craft beer, wine, seltzers, and adult slushies, – Live music, and – 50+ fun attractions, from the Zip Zone Zip Line, to Cannon Blasters, and much more.

Info at

Fitchburg Public Library presents Woodstock: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

Join percussionist/storyteller/educator/author/music historian/and radio host Craig Harris on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm in the Fitchburg Public Library Garden Room for an action-packed 50th anniversary celebration of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival that includes archival audio/video, behind-the-scenes stories, joyful singing, guided music-making, and a half-century of memories.

About the presenter: Craig Harris’ latest book, Bluegrass, Newgrass, Old-time and Americana Music, was published in 2018. He’s also the author of The Band: Pioneers of Americana Music (2014), Heartbeat, Warble and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music (2016), and The New Folk Music (1993). His reviews, articles, and photographs have appeared in countless newspapers, magazines and websites. The written word, however, is only one outlet for his passion for music. As a percussionist/drummer, Harris has accompanied C.J. Chenier & His Red Hot Zydeco Band, Greg Brown, Jonathan Edwards, Rod MacDonald, and Woodstock veterans Melanie, and the late Rick Danko (The Band). He currently plays with an Americana group (Two Days Jeans), a jazz fusion trio (Fuse), and a global-spirit ensemble, the Gaea Star Band, with whom he’s co-hosted a syndicated live music radio show since 2014. After teaching music in public/charter schools for more than a quarter of a century, Harris launched the all-ages program, Drum Away the Blues in 2009. He’s also presented multimedia programs on Amerindian music, America’s musical roots, and Woodstock’s 50th anniversary in libraries in MA, CT, RI, NH, NY, NJ, PA, and FL. His radio show airs on WAMU-FM/

This is a free program. Free parking is available in the lot at the corner of Boulder Drive and Newton Place. For information about this or other Library programs call 978-829-1780 or visit our website:


Building on the success of their Nauti hard seltzer line, Wachusett Brewing Company is now stepping into the hard cider ring with their latest platform, Fifty Trees Hard Cider. Fifty Trees Hard Cider will be launched with two styles, both featuring local apples from farms in North Central Massachusetts. The first style, Fifty Trees Original, is blended with a touch of European Bittersweets for a semi-dry character that features a flavorful apple taste with a crisp, clean finish. The second style, Fifty Trees Cranberry, features the tart, refreshing flavor of locally sourced cranberries.

“We have been making hard cider pretty consistently over the last two years” saidWachusett President Christian McMahan. “Craft cider shares all the same values ascraft beer. It has an incredible history, it’s handcrafted, and it allows for incredible diversity and creativity. We have done a ton of experimentation over that time and are proud to finally be able to launch Fifty Trees to a wider audience.” McMahanconcluded.

Fifty Trees Hard Cider is handcrafted in Westminster, Massachusetts, in the heart ofthe state’s apple growing region, aka “Johnny Appleseed Country.” It pays tribute to the legendary orchardist and nurseryman who was born right down the road. In theearly 1800’s, he helped frontier settlers establish land rights by planting fifty apple trees on their land to establish permanent residency as required by Congress at the time, taking advantage of the Northwest Ordinance. Interestingly, the fruits born from these trees were not culinary apples for eating but instead were destined for producing hard cider. Fifty Trees represents a nod to this pioneering spirit and is also exploring other cider styles using ingredients indigenous to the New England agricultural region.

For more information about Wachusett Brewing Company, visit www.wachusettbrew.comFor more information about Fifty Trees Hard Cider, visit

Wachusett Business Incubator Finds First Candidate for Leadership Program

The Wachusett Business Incubator, a business environment dedicated to fostering economic growth in the North Central Massachusetts region is pleased to announce the addition of our first Candidate for our Leadership Candidate Program.

We welcome Justin and Kate Robichaud to the WBI family. The up and coming business is known as ‘Wood You Build It’. The company is growing exponentially since its start in 2018. Wood You Build It provides custom cabinet products to clients regionally, blending personal service and craftsmanship while engaging clients in the online realm.

Working with WBI, Justin and Kate intend to scale their business nationally while building a portfolio of commercial real estate all while providing meaningful work opportunities for others.

“We are absolutely thrilled to engage Justin and Kate in our unique Leadership Candidate Program” said WBI executive director Scott M. Graves. “The projected growth of their company is significant and a clear example of their steadfast belief in themselves as entrepreneurs. Their company’s mix of leveraging modern tech with the traditions of Gardner’s craftsmanship past makes for the perfect early candidacy in our program.”

Rep. Jon Zlotnik, a tireless advocate for the WBI said, “I’m very pleased at the progress at the business incubator. It’s exciting to see more and more business activity and it’s a testament to the work and perseverance our group has put into this idea. I look forward to its continued success as well as the success of the businesses being formed and grown with the incubators support.”

The Leadership Candidacy Program of Wachusett Business Incubator, the first known of its kind in the United States is fast becoming a premier alternative to the ‘Hollywood’ model of incubator and accelerator programs. To find out more about our exciting opportunities write to Scott Graves or 978-410-9250.

Wachusett Business Incubator is also engaging additional clients and intellectual property. The organization is developing several event series and is actively fielding candidates.

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All Other Inquiries
Scott M. Graves Wachusett Business Incubator 35 Sanborn St. Gardner, MA 01440