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February Theme for Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary: Business and Community Partnerships with High Schools

Partnership Puzzle Concept 150x150 1This month’s #FCCC100 theme explores the ways we can partner with Franklin County public and private high schools. We will host a special breakfast panel with school representatives and businesses, hold a workshop on specific related opportunities available, feature a school – community resource page on our website, along with other activities.

Breakfast Panel
The February 22nd breakfast will feature a panel of education and business representatives from the public and private sector, who will highlight school-business partnerships that are vital to the cultural health and economic diversity of our region.

The panel, moderated by Shannon Doran, the Connecting Activities School-to-Career Coordinator from MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, will include:
Yogesh Malik, Premier Banker & Infinex Investment Executive at Greenfield Savings Bank
Jocelyn Croft, Coordinator of Vocational and Technical Education at Franklin County Technical School (FCTS)
Stephanie Luebbers, Head of School at Stoneleigh-Burnham School
Colleen Moynihan, New England Business Association (NEBA)
• Rebecca Bannasch, the Employer Partnership Specialist Community Action Youth Programs

In particular, professionals will gain insight into how they can collaborate with schools and community partners to co-create a workforce that has the employability and technical skills needed in today's workplace. As important as employer engagement is for the growth and success of in-school youth, it has a correlating impact on the growth and success of the local and state economy. Whether you are or are not hiring youth or collaborating with schools on career development education, please come be a part of this conversation and the solution. This topic is chock full of hope and potential for our region.

Thanks to our breakfast sponsor - MassHire Franklin Hampshire Regional Workforce Board and Greenfield Savings Bank.


Stay After Workshop - How to Create a Win-Win Youth Internship (or Job)
Happening directly after the breakfast, this workshop is designed to serve as a practical "nuts and bolts" follow-up to the breakfast panel for professionals who are interested in creating win-win internships for youth - short or long-term, paid or unpaid. Please join us if you would like to identify next steps, learn about useful tools, and get direct support in developing internships.

During this workshop, professionals will learn about services available to employers working with youth. They will also be introduced to a number of time saving and quality increasing tools. This includes the easy-to-use MA Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP), which has been used to design and evaluate thousands of youth internships and jobs across the state. Participants will also get some examples of highly teachable, easy-to-delegate entry-level technical skills that can be included in internship/job descriptions. Furthermore, employers will get a quick introduction to employer resources at www.fhyouth.org as well as other useful online resources.

At the end of the workshop, Shannon will be available to provide assistance with next steps and/or scheduling a (free) youth internship consultation. RSVP for this workshop here.

2019 is the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary year and we are dedicating each month to a theme of importance for Franklin County. We kicked off the celebration with a breakfast featuring veteran Greenfield Recorder reporter, Richie Davis, who discussed the history of Greenfield Board of Trade, which became incorporated in 1919 as Greenfield Chamber of Commerce. He included some relative info about circumstances locally and globally and share highlights of news items over his past forty years reporting for The Recorder. We also honored members who have been with us for 100 years including Eversource Energy, Berkshire Gas, Wilson’s Department Store, WHAI, and the Greenfield Recorder.

Below are the themes for the year which we will be celebrating at our breakfasts, Business After Hours, and with special events and information. Please join us in using #FCCC100 when posting about the anniversary events on social media!

January: 100th Anniversary Kick-Off
February: Business and Community Partnerships with High Schools
March: Transportation: Roads, Bridges, and Trains for Franklin County
April: Celebrating the Contribution of Today’s Immigrants
May: Celebrating Entrepreneurs
June: Breath of Fresh Air: Outdoor Recreation
July: Sense of Place & Placemaking: Historical and Cultural Organizations
August: Agriculture
September: Service & non-profit organizations
October: Manufacturing
November: Apples & Cider Days (25th Anniversary Year for Festival)
December: Media

The Berkshire Gas Company (“Berkshire” or the “Company”), in consultation with the
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (“DOER”), is making available grant funds
(“Settlement Funds”) in the aggregate amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000). The Settlement
Funds will be allocated for jobs, economic development, or alternative heating programs for
municipal owned buildings, low-income and moderate-income residential consumers, or
residences or businesses impacted by the Berkshire moratorium on new or expanded gas service
interconnections, as determined by DOER. The focus of the grant funding shall be on alternative
heating programs for municipalities, businesses and non-profit or economic development agencies
that utilize alternative heating technologies, as further described herein. The DOER shall review
all grant applications for completeness and eligibility in consultation with the Company and may,
at its sole discretion, award grants to applicants (“Applicant”) of eligible projects (“Project”) in
Berkshire’s Eastern Division (as defined below). Berkshire shall assist with publication of this
request for proposals (“RFP”), be responsible for, and make the actual grant payments to Projects
that receive grants as directed by the DOER. Projects that are awarded a grant will execute
documentation with DOER, as DOER shall have the responsibility to monitor such Projects,
determine eligibility for payment and the completion of required deliverables and the Company
shall be responsible for paying the grants, as directed by DOER. The Settlement Funds for this
grant program shall be provided by Berkshire pursuant to the Settlement Agreement.

Eligible Entities
The following entities shall be eligible for grants awarded pursuant to this RFP: (i) businesses;
(ii) municipalities and other local government entities such as regional public safety or school
districts; (iii) economic development agencies; and (iv) other non-profit agencies that provide
services to low and moderate income residents (collectively, the “Applicants”).

Eligible Projects
An Applicant must submit a proposal for Project(s) located in the eight Eastern Division
communities of the Company’s service territory and explain how it was affected by the Company’s
gas moratorium. The Eastern Division of the Company’s service territory consists of the following
municipalities: Amherst, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Montague, Sunderland, and
Whately (collectively, the “Eastern Division”). Grants shall be awarded to support Projects that
promote or use alternative heating programs. DOER has determined that eligible alternative
heating programs must utilize one or more of the following alternative heating technologies:

  • biomass heating systems (excluding biomass stoves);
  • air source and ground source heat pumps;
  • solar thermal;
  • anaerobic digesters; or
  • deep geothermal.


Project Categories
For the purposes of this RFP, eligible Projects must satisfy one of the following requirements:


1) Jobs and Economic Development – Projects shall support job retention or job creation by
allowing for the use of alternative heating technologies for:

  1. new construction:
  2. the expansion of facilities; or
  3. the replacement of inefficient building heating systems.

2) Municipal Owned Buildings – Projects include local government facilities such as those
owned by regional school or public safety districts. Projects shall provide for the
installation of alternative heating technologies for:

  1. i. new construction;
  2. the expansion of facilities; or
  3. the replacement of inefficient building heating systems.

3) Low and Moderate Income Residential Customers – Projects must provide support to low
and moderate income populations through programs that utilize alternative heating
technologies to:

  1. replace residential heating systems;
  2. allow for the construction of new residential units; ort
  3. hat provides secondary heating for residential units.

Application Procedures
To apply for a grant, applicants must submit a completed application (Appendix A) along with
Data Requirements (Appendix B) in a PDF file format to:

David Lutes
Renewable Energy Program Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020
Boston, MA 02114
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


With a copy to:
Christopher C. Farrell, Manager,
Corporate Communications and Government Relations
The Berkshire Gas Company
115 Cheshire Road
Pittsfield, MA 01201-1879
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis (“first come, first serve”) until all Settlement
Funds have been expended. DOER anticipates completing the award of funds by March 1,
2019. Applicants whose Projects provide a cost share component and which may include funds
from other governmental or non-governmental entities will be given preference. Grant moneys
shall not be used to pay for feasibility studies, decommissioning, removal of old systems, or
costs for compliance. The application and data submission requirements detailed in Appendices
A and B should be filled out with as much detail as possible when submitting an application.


Neither DOER nor Berkshire makes any promise or representation as to the availability of
Settlement Funds for any Applicant or the suitability or eligibility of any Project. Neither the
DOER nor Berkshire makes any representation, warranty or promise as to the appropriateness,
quality, suitability, or efficacy of any eligible technology or its suitability or effectiveness for use
or installation in Applicants’ premises or facilities. DOER and Berkshire reserve the right to
provide grant funding for all or any portion of a project submitted in connection with this RFP.

Questions concerning the RFP should be directed to: David Lutes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
617-626-7314

Applicants Responsibilities


A selected applicant will be responsible for:

  • Completing the Project according to a timeline specified in the bid and grant
    documentation. No Settlement Funds will be disbursed to a successful Applicant
    until such Applicant certifies to the DOER that its eligible Project is complete and
    operational or has met other milestones as agreed to in its grant documentation. A
    Project awarded a grant must be completed within 18 months from the date of
    award.
  • Allowing representatives from the DOER and Berkshire access to the Project site or sites
    upon reasonable request including in order to confirm completion of all eligible
    deliverables associated with the Project.
  • Promptly informing the DOER of any changes to the Project scope or timeline.
    • Filing quarterly progress reports with the DOER.
  • Such other deliverables and responsibilities as shall be provided in any grant
    documentation.
Download application here

2018 image

Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are now available for the Northwest New England Home Show March 16-17 at Franklin County Tech School.  Franklin County Chamber of Commerce members get 10% off booth fee. More info at the links below.  Contact Alison at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

Exhibitor Packages

Registration Form

Sponsor Packages

 

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