Michael Vedovelli, Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Chicopee, joined me to discuss what’s happening in the City. We chat-up the Downtown Business Assistance Program providing up to $150,000 in funding to retail entrepreneurs, the new Mercedes Benz dealership, and tons of other Economic Development initiatives moving the City forward. If you own a business in Chicopee, or are considering relocating to the City, you’ll be interested in what Michael has to say.
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Samalid Hogan is the recently appointed Regional Director of the MSBDC (Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Western Regional Office). She has been helping to grow the WesternMA economy for years, and in her new role she is all set to take small business growth to the next level. Samalid joined me on The Engine to discuss how the SBDC helps small business owners and entrepreneurs with counseling and resources. If you’re interested in growing your business, you’ll want to hear what she has to say!
Timothy Brennan, Executive Director of The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) joined me to talk about all the Valley’s economic activity. The PVPC works with the 43 cities and town comprising WesternMA to implement strategies encouraging momentum. Tim and I discuss many of the strategies moving the needle, including rail, higher education, entertainment, and clean energy.
Dane Stangler, Vice President of Research and Policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, joined me recently to discuss the future of entrepreneurship. Dane leads a staff of more than twenty economic research analysts and senior scholars who are conducting or funding hundreds of studies on entrepreneurship and youth education. With this knowledge, he and his team report on what drives economic growth in an entrepreneurial economy. Dane and I chat about Accelerators, the startup deficit, and other topics relating to the new era of entrepreneurship.
Tech Foundry’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Jonathan Edwards, joined me on The Engine to discuss the organization’s mission to turn WesternMA into the Northeast’s technology capital. Jonathan leads Tech Foundry’s efforts to build partnerships with area employers, economic development stakeholders, government officials and the funding community, both regionally and across the country. We discuss how Tech Foundry goes above and beyond in preparing people for Information Technology jobs.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Brian Nicks joined me on The Engine to discuss ‘brain-drain’ and local entrepreneurial resources. Brain is the Owner of Brian Nicks Productions, and The Blue Spotlight Project. He is also a supporter of Valley Venture Mentors. Learn more about The Blue Spotlight Project.
Don Humason is the State Senator for the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District, representing the communities of Agawam, Southwick, Granville, Tolland, Russell, Montgomery, Southampton, Easthampton, Chicopee (7, 8A, 9A), Westfield, and Holyoke in the Massachusetts State Senate. The Senator stopped by the program to discuss the manufacturing industry, economic development, and President Roosevelt.
Jennifer Higgins, PHD is a workforce development specialist who Joined me to discuss her new book, The Cognitive Ethnography of Workers in Massachusetts. In this Engine interview, Jennifer describes her research on problem solving, shares how to empower employees, and provides advice as to what makes workers tick.
Hartford, Connecticut is one of only three cities in the United States selected to be part of a competitive process to encourage entrepreneurship. The Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative calls upon members of community to form teams and develop transformative economic development plans. Teams developing winning plans will be awarded from a pool of $800,000 in prize money! Wow!!! Stephen Cole, the senior project manager for economic development in the city of Hartford, and Nancy Urbschat of TSM Design recently joined me to discuss his innovative initiative. The registration deadline is July 24, 2014, so be sure to listen to this episode and visit https://hartford.sc2prize.com/to throw your name in the hat.