Regional Hiring Event Connects Job Seekers with Employers in North Central Massachusetts

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is partnering with other regional organizations to host the Work North Central Hiring Event scheduled for Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, 499 Mountain Road, Princeton, MA. The event is free of charge to attend and open to the public. The regional organizations involved include Fitchburg State University, the MassHire North Central Massachusetts Career Center, the MassHire North Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board, and Mount Wachusett Community College.

The event will connect potential applicants with local employers of all sizes and industries to discuss employment and career opportunities available in the region. Employers from diverse industries will be seeking candidates with all levels of skill and backgrounds, including entry level, and professional and technical positions in such industries as construction, distribution, education, financial services, government, healthcare, hospitality, non-profit, manufacturing, restaurants and other industries. Additionally, some employers will be hiring on-site and may provide signing bonuses and other incentives. Job seekers attending the event will also be eligible to enter a drawing for a $500 Gift Local eGift card from the Chamber. The Gift Local eGift Card is redeemable at a variety of local businesses throughout the region, including restaurants, coffee shops, retail shops, inns, farms and attractions.

In addition to networking and learning about available positions across the region, attendees can also take advantage of complimentary professional headshots, free career counseling, individual resume review and sessions on how to improve your interview skills. Mount Wachusett Community College will also be offering informational sessions on free training programs available for individuals interested in pursuing careers in health care and manufacturing. Other special sessions planned during the hiring event includes a panel presentation hosted by the Young Professionals of North Central Massachusetts. This panel of successful young professionals will discuss topics such as finding the balance of work and family, best ways to search for a job, dressing for the right job, talking about benefits, why networking is important and more.

“As a leader in helping North Central Massachusetts compete for talent and advance the region’s economic prosperity, we realize there is a critical need to help our local businesses find qualified and skilled talent in order to grow and succeed,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “This event is aimed to create economic opportunity, and a strong and diversified workforce for our employers, while providing the unemployed and underemployed the opportunity to meet with a number of employers in one location.”

The Work North Central Hiring Event is a complement to the Chamber’s WorkNorthCentral.com Jobs Board, which serves as an online resource to connect job seekers and local employers while also improving the talent pipeline and better connect employers to local schools.

Adult job seekers, high school graduates, college students in the community, retired individuals interested in returning to the workforce or anyone interested in learning about full and part-time employment opportunities in North Central Massachusetts are invited to attend to connect with participating employers. Pre-registration is not required, walk-ins are welcome.

Free parking for job seekers and attendees is available at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. Public transportation is also available via the Montachusett Regional Transit Authority (MART) for anyone who may require it. MART will be offering complimentary round-trip shuttle service from the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Station, located at 100 Main Street, between 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to the Hiring Event with a stop at the Wachusett Commuter Rail Station. Job seekers should look for the shuttle van labeled with the Hiring Event sign. This special shuttle service can be accessed by job seekers from MART’s fixed bus route or at the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Station via MART’s intercity/MWCC bus for those located in Leominster, Gardner, Athol and other communities outside Fitchburg that connect there. Check MART’s website for more information, www.mrta.us.

For more information on the Work North Central Hiring Event, please visit www.northcenralmass.com. Employers interested in participating and reserving a table at the Work North Central Hiring Event should contact Lauren Goulet at 978.353.7600, ext. 222, or Kat Deal at 978.353.7600, ext. 235, to inquire about availability.

Chamber Updates

MASS-TECH PROJECT: The Chamber’s economic development arm – The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation – has received a small grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to help strengthen the environment for start-ups in the region. This project builds off of the work of the One North Central Regional Economic Development Plan, which prioritizes efforts to grow the region from within through small business support programs and initiatives. The Chamber has formed a small advisory committee of members and hired economic development consulting firm RKG Associates to assist with the project. The project scope will entail reviewing the current entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region including inventorying existing practitioners, policies, programs and resources available to start-up and early stage companies, and looking at what gaps exist in the region.

Gift LocalGIFT CARD PROGRAM: The Chamber has revamped the Gift Local Gift Card program to make it easier for members to process the gift cards, and for the public to redeem them. We transitioned over the Summer to a new technology platform called Yiftee that is very user friendly and allows the new gift cards to be issued electronically and processed as a Mastercard. To accept the new e-Gift Cards a participating merchant just needs to accept Mastercard and process it via a key-entry. There will no longer be any need for a separate web terminal for processing, dual entries into the terminal and POS system, or any costly POS integration. Most importantly when consumers use the gift card, dollars stay local and benefit our shops and restaurants and our communities. We are planning an advertising campaign starting in the Fall running through the holidays to promote the new e-Gift Local Gift Cards. Because it is an opt-in program, members interested in being able to accept the gift cards need to contact the Chamber to receive an activation card to participate. Visit Giftlocal.net for more information or contact the Chamber.

CHAMBER FOUNDATION: The Chamber Board approved a contribution of $9,600 to the North Central Massachusetts Chamber Foundation. The contribution represents the proceeds from the Chamber’s Scholars Breakfast in the Spring and will help to strengthen the foundation’s scholarship and education efforts. The Foundation is the Chamber’s charitable affiliate. Thank you to all the members that supported the foundation!

NEW LOANS: The Chamber’s economic development arm – the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation – has closed 25 micro-loans for a total of $1,277,500 since October 1, 2021. The loans were made to a mix of existing and start-up businesses and ranged from $7,500 to $206,000. There are another three loans totaling $300,500 that have been approved but have not yet closed.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE: During the last quarter, our team provided over 310 hours of direct technical assistance to small businesses. Our 2-day in-person Quickbooks seminar was a big success, with sold-out attendance. We also connected several of our borrowers and small business clients to professionals for technical assistance, such as bookkeeping, marketing, website design and legal services.

JOBS BOARD: The Chamber continues to offer the WorkNorthCentral.com online jobs board as a resource to connect employers and job seekers in North Central Massachusetts. The jobs board has had over 8,600 jobs posted and more than 80,000 views by job seekers since being launched. As a reminder, the jobs board is free for members to utilize. We encourage members to post any employment opportunities they offer or send them to us and we will post them for you.

Equitable Credentialing IniatiativeEQUITABLE CREDENTIAL ATTAINMENT PROJECT: A North Central Massachusetts team comprised of the Chamber, Mount Wachusett Community College and the Spanish American Center have been meeting monthly as part of the Equitable Credential Attainment initiative offered through the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). North Central Massachusetts was one of seven regions selected in the Spring from throughout the country to participate in this 18-month competitive program. This initiative is focused on growing credential and degree program participation among minority workers with the goal of helping to place these workers in well-paying jobs with career advancement. Our team has already seen some early successes in building partnerships and engaging the Latinx community around micro-credentialing in the health care and manufacturing industries.

WORKFORCE STUDY: In related news, the UMass Donahue has completed the workforce study commissioned by the Chamber to assess and recommend ways to enhance the labor pool in the region. The results will be unveiled at the September edition of the Chamber’s Good Morning North Central Massachusetts breakfast program and shared online. We hope the study will be a useful resource to help develop new strategies and advocate for solutions to the workforce challenges faced by employers.

ENERGY PROGRAM: From its inception in August 2014 through July 2022 the solar field on Pleasant St. has produced 11,473,106 KwH of Net Metering Credits to the manufacturers participating in the program. Total value of these credits is $2,551,981.14 and the collective savings to participants totals $2,169,184.

DIGITAL MARKETING: Traffic to our websites averaged approximately 12,122 unique page views each month in FY2022 which ended in June. In FY22 we also garnered over 2.3 million google impressions. We continue to be very active on social media, populating our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter platforms with our content. Our social media platforms have a combined 23,139 total followers. In CY2021, our social media platforms garnered an average of 217,000 impressions monthly and a total of nearly 2.4 million impressions for the year.

Visit North Central Massachusetts Update

We wanted to provide an update on the work of our destination marketing arm, Visit North Central Massachusetts (VNCM), to promote the region to visitors and groups over the late Spring and Summer.

The Spring/Summer edition of the Guide to North Central Massachusetts was published in April. The magazine is the primary travel publication promoting the communities of North Central Massachusetts and includes information on our local communities, a calendar of events, stories about the region and much more. The guide was distributed through AAA offices throughout New England and through CTM Media Group to hundreds of locations including hotels, visitor centers, attractions and airports, including Logan and Worcester. The magazine was also posted on our website. The Fall/Winter edition is currently at the printer and expected to hit the stands by early September. Members interested in advertising in the 2023 Spring/Summer edition should contact the Chamber to reserve an ad in this popular publication. We also published our 2022 edition of the Venue Guide to North Central Massachusetts. This publication is a resource for event and meeting planners and helps promote the region as a unique destination for events, conferences, corporate events, and weddings. The Venue Guide is posted on the website and shared via social media and at trade shows.

In addition to these publications, we continued to invest in creating an assorted mix of strong content for our travel website – Visitnorthcentral.com – highlighting seasonal activities and attractions. Stories posted during the Spring/Summer season included “Raise a Glass” which promoted the region as a destination for craft beer lovers; “Hook, Line & Sinker!” which highlighted the region as a fresh water fishing destination; and “The Sweetest Season” which focused on sugar houses located in the region.

Our paid advertising efforts during the Spring/Summer primarily focused on utilizing digital strategies. We ran a sponsored content campaign with MassLive promoting breweries, wineries and cideries in the region to day trippers and overnight visitors. We also ran geofenced digital advertising campaigns with MassLive and LocalIQ on their websites to build brand awareness and promote activities in the region. The LocalIQ digital ads have garnered 306,148 impressions and 155 clicks so far and will run through the end of September. The MassLive campaigns garnered 465,768 impressions and 898 clicks with a .19% CTR through June 30.

While we mainly invested in digital, we also secured some print advertisements to promote the region, including ads in Yankee Magazine; a full panel ad in a tourism map published by CTM Media Group and distributed throughout the state; and an ad in the Dream Destinations Guide targeted towards the Western Massachusetts and Connecticut market. We also ran several ads in Baystate Parent Magazine targeted towards families with young kids centered around the family-friendly experience our region provides.

For FY2022 which ended on June 30, VisitNorthCentral.com saw a 25% increase in traffic with 43,034 visitors and 94,992 pageviews. We also had 1,408,054 google impressions. Our Visit North Central Facebook following grew in FY22 by 5.5% to 12,172 followers. We published 338 Facebook posts during the year, which was down 13% over the previous year. Our posts had a reach of 366,952 people, down about 5% over the previous year, and 23,000 engagements which was up modestly by .3% over the previous year. Our Instagram page saw a 10.8% increase in followers to 1,163. We published 71 posts on Instagram, up 12.7%, which reached 20,726 people. Our engagement rate increased to 7.7%.

Lodging data continues to show signs that the region is experiencing some recovery from the pandemic. Although occupancy still trails pre-pandemic levels slightly, both RevPAR and ADR exceed 2019 levels which indicates that demand is driving up prices. Hotel occupancy for YTD through July was 70.3%, a 25.5% increase over the previous year, ADR was up through the year by 57.5%. RevPar and total room revenue was up 97.6% and rooms sold was up 25.5% for YTD through July.

We have also started to resume some trade show participation. In the Spring, we hosted a booth at the Dream Destinations Travel Show in Springfield and we will be helping to staff the Massachusetts booth at the Big E scheduled for the Fall. Our public relations efforts also resulted in the region being highlighted in a recent edition of Sports Events Magazine, an industry publication for sports events planners.

In other news, our Johnny Appleseed Visitor Center in Lancaster has completed some renovations and upgrades to help improve the experience and better showcase the region to the more than 165,000 visitors that stop there each year. Renovations included adding handicap doors, new security cameras, a dog walking station, a water refilling station, shading for the picnic tables and new signage on the grounds. Inside the center we also added new floors, rustic paneling on the walls, new rugs, new signage for the exhibits and new office furniture. We are also in the process of upgrading the electronic screens inside the center, adding new seasonal banners on the lampposts and having the popular “Big Apple of New England” sculpture repaired. We hope to host a special event in the Fall to showcase the improvements.

We were challenged in the Spring with the loss of our marketing manager as well as increased costs for paid advertising and printing costs for our publications. But in July we welcomed a new marketing manager, and we are currently in the process of updating our marketing plan and implementing promotional efforts for the busy Fall season.

 

Government Affairs Update

While the legislative session has wound down, election season is in full swing, and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber continues to remain engaged on both fronts. Earlier this Summer, the Chamber partnered with a number of community partners and local media outlets as part of the Elect North Central Coalition for a series of forums with the state’s gubernatorial candidates. The forums with the candidates that chose to participate can be viewed online. The Chamber also continues to interview candidates running for statewide seats as part of the Inside North Central Massachusetts Podcast: Election Series which can be streamed on the Chamber’s website as well as Apple and Spotify.

The Chamber is in the process of reaching out to our elected officials as well as candidates that will appear on the ballot in our local and statewide races for our Annual Legislative and Candidates Reception. The Legislative and Candidates Reception is one of the most exciting events of the year, providing members of the business community the opportunity to engage the region’s elected officials and those looking to hold office. This year’s event, sponsored by Mount Wachusett Community College, will be held at the Chocksett Inn in Sterling on Thursday September 22 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

At the end of July, Governor Charlie Baker signed his eighth and final budget as Governor to the tune of $52.7 billion, a 10.7 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. The State’s budget for the new fiscal year saw crucial funding to a number of priority areas including local aid, K-12 education, career pathway programs and other workforce development programs as well as economic development initiatives which will benefit the region.

Although formal sessions have wrapped up, the Chamber continues to monitor Beacon Hill as they continue their final push on a number of pieces of legislation. In the middle of August, Governor Charlie Baker signed off on a new climate bill that will boost offshore wind and solar despite his voiced concerns over a provision allowing a group of ten cities and towns to ban the use of fossil fuels in new construction and major renovations. The Chamber will continue to monitor this development and its potential impact on the North Central Massachusetts business community. Earlier in the same week, Governor Baker signed off on a bill legalizing sports betting, setting Massachusetts up to better compete with neighboring states who have already been capitalizing on the industry. We are also closely monitoring the proposed economic development bill which, as of this writing, has yet to make it across the finish line. We continued to advocate for the region as the House and Senate put together their priorities for that bill. At the end of July, state budget officials announced a preliminary surplus of $1.9 billion following the approximately $3 billion in tax refunds to Commonwealth taxpayers. Despite ongoing talks of tax relief for Commonwealth residents, nothing has been set in stone yet.

Down in Washington D.C. the House came together to approve what has been come to be known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, sending the bill to the President’s desk. Major components of the bill fit the President’s build back better pledges that he campaigned on during the 2020 election. The bill includes $370 billion in climate investment, proposes changes aimed at saving consumers money on prescription drugs, and according to the administrations, it also upholds President Biden’s commitment to ensure families earning less than $400,000 per year do not see any tax increase. The bill contains a major provision imposing a 15% Corporate Minimum Tax, additionally it would impose a 15% domestic tax on the approximately 200 largest corporations that currently pay less than that corporate tax rate.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Travis Condon, the Chamber’s public affairs manager, at 978.353.7600, ext. 224; or via email at tcondon@northcentralmass.com.

Pictured is Senate Clerk Michael Hurley carrying the clean energy bill and its amendments during the final hours of the legislature’s formal 2022 session. Photo courtesy of the State House News Service.

 

North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce to host Legislative and Candidates Reception

Premier event connects elected officials, candidates for office, with local business and community leaders

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce today announced the 2022 Legislative and Candidates Reception will be held on September 22, 2022, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Chocksett Inn, 59 Laurelwood Road in Sterling. Mount Wachusett Community College is the premier sponsor for the event.

The Legislative and Candidates Reception, held every fall, is one of the region’s premier events intended to offer local business and community leaders the opportunity to connect with the region’s elected officials, as well as those seeking public office.

“Government affairs and public policy advocacy are key components in our efforts to promote a healthy, active business climate throughout the region,” said Roy Nascimento, President and CEO, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “This reception offers direct access to our legislators and candidates running for office in a casual environment where our members can ask questions and learn more about the issues and opportunities for businesses in our region.”

“At Mount Wachusett Community College, we understand the importance of engaging with the region’s business and legislative communities. These connections and insights help guide the college in various areas such as programming and outreach,” said MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “It is vital for our region’s business leaders, legislators, and policy-makers to meet and network so that they can engage and learn from each other. I am delighted that we will be gathering in person again this year for this important event.”

All legislators representing, and candidates running for office, in the Chamber’s 27 communities are encouraged to attend.

As of September 13th, the following elected officials have confirmed their attendance:

Confirmed Officials:
Senator Jo Comerford, Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester District
Senator John Cronin, Worcester and Middlesex District
Senator Diana DiZoglio, 1st Essex District
Senator Anne Gobi, Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex District
Representative Natalie Higgins, 4th Worcester District
Representative Meg Kilcoyne, 12th Worcester District
Representative Michael Kushmerek, 3rd Worcester District
Representative Dan Sena, 37th Middlesex District
Sheriff Lew Evangelidis., Worcester County
Adam Costa, Assistant Register of Deeds, Worcester Northern District
Governor’s Councillor Paul DePalo, 7th District
Mayor Stephen DiNatale, City of Fitchburg
Mayor Mike Nicholson, City of Gardner
Councilor Paul Beauchemin, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Andrew Couture, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Sally Cragin, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Andrew Couture, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Bernard Schultz, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Samantha Squailia, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Andrew Van Hazinga, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Peter Angelini, City of Leominster
Councilor Mark Bodanza, City of Leominster
Councilor William Brady, City of Leominster
Councilor Susan Chalifoux Zephir, City of Leominster
Councilor David Cormier, City of Leominster
Councilor Todd Deacon, City of Leominster
Councilor Claire Freda, City of Leominster
Town Manager Shaun Suhoski, Town of Athol
Town Manager Heather Lemieux, Town of Lunenburg
Town Administrator Bill Caldwell, Town of Sterling
Town Administrator Stephanie Lahtinen, Town of Westminster
Selectman Peter Cunningham, Town of Groton
Selectwoman Alix Turner, Town of Lancaster
Selectman Michael-Ray Jeffreys, Town of Lunenburg
Selectwoman Heather Sroka, Town of Lunenburg
Selectman John Kilcoyne, Town of Sterling
Selectman Sam Albert, Town of Westminster
Selectwoman Melissa Banks, Town of Westminster
David Quiroa, Regional Director, US Senator Ed Markey
Nyanna Slaughter, Regional Director, US Senator Elizabeth Warren

The event will feature an open bar and gourmet appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. Cost for members is $35 and non-members is $45. Registration is available online at www.northcentralmass.com. Please contact Kathleen Deal at 978.353.7600 ext. 235 or kdeal@northcentralmass.com for more details.

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North Central Massachusetts Chamber Welcomes Tippawong and Young to its Professional Staff

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition to its professional staff of Vicky Tippawong as Marketing Manager and Terry Young as Manager of Talent and Education Initiatives.

Tippawong will be responsible for the marketing and communications efforts of the Chamber and its affiliate organizations – Visit North Central Massachusetts and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation. This includes managing its multiple websites, social media, media buys, PR and our other marketing channels. Tippawong has broad experience in graphic design and marketing. She comes to the Chamber from NEWW Packaging and Display in Gardner. Earlier in her career she also worked for Checkerboard, LTD; LCI Paper; and the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. She lives in Leominster and holds an Associate degree from Mount Wachusett Community College in Graphic Design. She is also the owner and designer of her own small business which offers custom party decorations.

In the newly created position of Manager of Talent & Education Initiatives, Young will be working with employers, regional partners and education leaders on developing strategies and programs to build and strengthen the region’s current and future workforce. She comes to the Chamber with 25 years of experience in non-profit management, program development and community organizing. She joins the Chamber from Maine General Hospital, where she served as the Program Director for their Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Prior to Maine General, she worked at the Community Health Network of Connecticut Foundation, Inc. where she oversaw multiple grants, capacity building and in-kind programs as well as project development as Director of Programs. She holds a Bachelor degree in Natural Health Sciences/Nutrition and lives in Ayer.

“We are very excited to have Vicky and Terry join our growing team and help contribute to the Chamber’s work of improving the business climate and advancing the economy of North Central Massachusetts.” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

Vicky Tippawong can be reached at 978.353.7600 ext. 240 or via email at vtippawong@northcentralmass.com and Terry Young at 978.353.7600 ext. 244 or via email at tyoung@northcentralmass.com.

Chamber Welcomes New Members at The Barn Door

*The new member reception is being postponed to the rain date Tuesday, September 27, 2022

(North Central, MA) – The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will host a new member orientation and reception on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the outdoor patio area at The Barn Door located at 51 South Road, Pepperell, MA.

The Barn Door is a gourmet grocery store and a destination in the community for local gatherings and culinary experiences. The Barn Door features several beautiful outdoor patios, nestled under a pergola with an open-air pizza oven and prep kitchen. Inside the store you will find farm fresh seasonal vegetables, gourmet food items and an extensive selection of beers, wines along with coffee and tea products.

Chamber staff will explain the many benefits and programs of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce including networking events, government affairs, educational workshops and seminars, advertising opportunities and health insurance, to name just a few. The orientation is geared towards new members, but is equally valuable for current members who want to get the most value from their membership, or those interested in learning if chamber membership is right for them. The orientation will be followed by a reception for new members to connect and engage with other business and community leaders. Light refreshments and appetizers will be provided.

“This is a great opportunity for members and non-members to learn about the dynamic nature of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce,” said Roy Nascimento, president & CEO. “Attendees will learn about the important work that we do advancing the region as well as the tremendous resources we offer for businesses of all sizes and industries.”

There is no cost to attend the new member reception, but online pre-registration is encouraged. For more information or to register, please visit www.northcentralmass.com or contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235.

Business owners unable to attend but interested in learning more about chamber membership may contact Tracy Gagnon at 978.353.7600 ext. 239 or via email at tgagnon@northcentralmass.com to schedule a brief introduction to the programs and services.

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North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation provides $25,000 grant to ReImagine North of Main

Grant supports the Façade Improvement Program to revitalize the City of Fitchburg downtown area

North Central, Mass.—The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC), the economic development arm of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, today announced it has provided $25,000 in funding to ReImagine North of Main to support their Façade Improvement Program in the City of Fitchburg.

The program, which provides an opportunity for downtown property owners and businesses to upgrade their building’s exterior, aims to help the city retain and attract businesses, strengthen the downtown area, increase utilization of existing business, and enhance property values.

“Part of our Urban Revitalization Plan focuses on supporting a diverse mix of downtown businesses and the facilitation of the redevelopment for significant vacant or underutilized properties,” said Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale, City of Fitchburg. “This façade program is instrumental to the plan and also provides ReImagine North of Main, now known as InTown Fitchburg, the opportunity to take the lead on larger, more meaningful impact projects as they work with the city towards its goal of revitalizing the downtown corridor.”

“With the momentum we’re building in downtown Fitchburg, these funds could not have come at a better time,” said Joe Ferguson, Director, InTown Fitchburg, which is housed in the Fitchburg State University Theater Block on Main Street. One of the businesses benefiting from the program will be located in a storefront adjacent to the theater. “Our storefront improvement grant program is designed to incentivize commercial occupancy in redeveloped storefronts, many of which have been vacant for a long time. These funds will support a locally owned, woman-owned business that has adamantly sought a physical, brick-and-mortar business offering on Main Street.”

Formerly known as ReImagine North of Main, InTown Fitchburg is a partnership of local anchor institutions, businesses, government, nonprofits and residents focused on making a collective impact to improve the quality of life in the downtown neighborhood and commercial district.

“Our recent Economic Regional Development Plan identified one of the critical factors for our region’s growth is focusing on our downtown areas,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President and CEO, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “With this grant, the city will be able to improve and enhance the exterior of its many historic buildings while positively impacting the downtown’s revitalization.”

The funding came from a competitive regional economic development grant secured by the NCMDC from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

Property or business owners interested in applying for improvement grants should contact InTown Fitcchburg to discuss the potential project prior to applying.

 

Oak Hill Country Club to host September edition of North Central Massachusetts Chamber’s Business After Hour

(North Central Massachusetts) – Oak Hill Country Club in Fitchburg will partner with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce to host the Chamber’s September edition of the Business After Hours series. The event will take place on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the 1921 Room located at Oak Hill Country Club, 840 Oak Hill Rd, Fitchburg, MA.

Oak Hill Country Club is a prestigious, member-owned private country club located in North Central Massachusetts, with easy access directly off Route 2. Established in 1921, Oak Hill is best known for its panoramic views of the golf course and its elegant club house which offers wonderful culinary experiences to members and their guests.

Complimentary appetizers and a cash bar will be provided by Oak Hill Country Club as guests connect with old friends and meet new contacts.

“Oak Hill Country Club is pleased to host the Chamber and welcome business and community leaders to our club,” said Jeremy Jarvis, General Manager. “We are very proud of our roots here in Fitchburg and North Central Massachusetts, and look forward to showcasing our clubhouse. We hope you’ll join us for this fun business event.”

“We are excited to partner with the Oak Hill Country Club to offer members and their guests the opportunity to network in this engaging and beautiful venue,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “One of the goals of the Chamber is to offer these types of programs that offer members the opportunity to network with their peers and that also showcase the unique attractions that call North Central Massachusetts home.”

The cost to attend is $15 for chamber members and $25 for non-members, with registration available online at www.northcentralmass.com.

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September Edition of Good Morning North Central Features State Senator John Cronin and Dr. Mark Melnik of the UMass Donahue Institute

The breakfast will focus on talent and workforce efforts in the region.

(North Central, Mass.) –The next edition of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce’s popular Good Morning North Central breakfast program is scheduled for Thursday, September 15, 2022, from 6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and will take place at Great Wolf Lodge, 150 Great Wolf Way, Fitchburg, MA. The September edition is sponsored by bankHometown.

The Good Morning North Central breakfast series is the Chamber’s longest running program. The breakfast series started in 1984 and has evolved into a high-profile, fast-paced and educational morning program geared towards executives, senior managers, professionals and business owners from throughout North Central Massachusetts. Over the years, speakers have included governors, senators, prominent business and civic leaders, authors and celebrities.

The featured speakers for the month of September are State Senator John J. Cronin and Dr. Mark Melnik, Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the UMass Donahue Institute. Dr. Melnik will present initial findings of a workforce study commissioned by the Chamber to assess and recommend ways to enhance the available labor pool in the region. Senator Cronin will highlight regional workforce efforts and announce funding for the North Central Massachusetts Education Compact.

Dr. Mark Melnik is the Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at the UMass Donahue Institute. Dr. Melnik specializes in demographic, socio-economic, and labor market issues and leads an over 20-person team working on variety of economic and public policy research projects informing clients in government, private industry, and the non-profit sectors. In his time at the Institute, Dr. Melnik has served as the principle-in-charge on projects with such clients as the Boston Foundation, the City of Boston, the City of Cambridge, MassDOT, the New England Foundation for the Arts, MassEcon, MassDevelopment, the Boston Private Industry Council, and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber. In addition, Dr. Melnik serves as the Senior Managing Editor of MassBenchmarks, the journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the Institute in cooperation with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He holds a doctorate in sociology from Northeastern University. He received his master of arts from Northeastern University and his bachelor of arts from Youngstown State University, both in sociology.

State Senator John J. Cronin is a former Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army and combat veteran and has spent his entire career in public service to the country. He was born in Leominster and raised in Fitchburg and Lunenburg. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and commissioned as an Army Officer in 2013. After being honorably discharged from the Army as a Captain, Cronin began work at the Harvard Law School Legal Services Center working with professors and students to provide legal advocacy to indigent veterans. Earlier this year Cronin completed his Juris Doctor at Suffolk Law. Senator Cronin has represented the Worcester and Middlesex districts since taking office in 2021.

The cost to attend the event is just $30 for Chamber members/$45 non-members and includes breakfast. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Kathleen Deal at 978.353.7600 ext. 235, kdeal@northcentralmass.com or visit www.northcentralmass.com.

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