Working Monday: ETC. 25 October 2021


ML Schmitt earns a place on the list of the best entrepreneurs

Springfield-based ML Schmitt, Inc. continues to build solar sites in our area and was recently recognized by Solar Power World as # 100 out of 426 on the 2021 list of top solar contractors.

The Best Solar Contractors List is compiled annually by Solar Power World to honor the work of solar installers in the United States. Solar companies in the utility, commercial and residential markets are ranked based on the number of kilowatts installed in the previous year. Companies are grouped and listed by specific department, market, and state.

“Despite the closures and slowdowns related to COVID-19, we have continued to work very hard,” said Pete Coppez, president of ML Schmitt. “We are honored to be recognized by Solar Power World and look forward to future work in the solar industry. “

The federal government has extended the solar investment tax credit (ITC) for two years at the end of 2020, which will further accelerate the adoption of solar energy in all market segments. After installing 19.2 GW in 2020, research firm Wood Mackenzie expects the US solar market to quadruple by 2030.


WSU Programs Achieve Top Rankings

Several Westfield State University academic programs are recognized among the best in the country for academic excellence, employment rates and graduate earnings, student debt and repayment rates, among other results, according to the statistics site. College Factual in its 2022 ranking.

Westfield State’s Graduate Programs in Social Work and History (Education) rank first in the Best Value category; and undergraduate programs in health services / allied health sciences (health sciences) and sociology are also ranked first for best value. The Undergraduate Criminal Justice Program is ranked # 10 among the “Best Schools for Criminal Justice Studies” in the country.

College Factual rankings use many quality metrics in its analysis, including student graduation rates, student debt and repayment rates, and graduate employment and earnings rates. This year, College Factual analyzed over 2,576 schools to determine the best in the country for each degree level and for over 1,700 distinct majors. Schools ranking among the highest 15% of those analyzed are recognized.

“The Top Schools Rankings were created with objective, results-based data,” said Bill Phelan, CEO of College Factual. “They were designed with student success in mind to recognize colleges like Westfield State University that offer a great education proven by student success.”

Westfield State is also ranked # 8 of 1,301 in the “Best Masters College for the Money” category, placing it among the top 1% of institutions nationwide. The university offers master’s degrees in accounting, consulting, criminal justice, education (including academic disciplines), English, medical assistant studies, psychology, public administration and social work.

College Factual is a leading source of analysis and information on college data, with a strong focus on student outcomes. College Factual provides in-depth coverage of over 2,700 colleges and universities and over 350 majors, helping students discover which of these colleges and majors are best for them.


Mass Humanities Grants Announcement

Mass Humanities announced grants to 90 organizations across Massachusetts to support the culture sector’s response and recovery from the continuing impacts of the coronavirus. Totaling nearly $ 1 million, the Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) grants were made possible through funding provided to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) by the American Rescue Plan.

As a state affiliate of NEH, Mass Humanities has sought to provide emergency funding to smaller organizations, including local museums, historical societies, and historic sites. More than half of SHARP recipients have budgets of $ 300,000 or less.

“The SHARP grants are another important step in the journey to support the humanities at the grassroots level,” said Brian Boyles, Executive Director of Mass Humanities. “As we continue to fight COVID-19, these funds will save jobs, build capacity and enable organizations to develop new programs to serve their communities. “

Mass Humanities has received funding requests from over 140 organizations. Grants of up to $ 15,000 have been awarded to retain or recruit staff, replace lost revenue and replenish audiences. The SHARP Grants concludes a year in which Mass Humanities has awarded more than $ 1.7 million to 240 organizations across the state.

Recipients from the Connecticut Valley region include The Jones Library, Inc .; Historic Holyoke in Wistariahurst; Amherst Historical Society; Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation, Inc .; the museums of Springfield; The Nolumbeka Project, Inc .; the Amelia Park Children’s Museum; and Westfield Athenaeum.

Organizations interested in learning more about future grants should follow Mass Humanities on social media @masshumanities and visit their website. For more information, contact Mass Humanities SHARP Grants Manager Meri Jenkins at [email protected]


Ocean State Job Lot Foundation Donates PPE to Schools

Ocean State Job Lot (OSJL), a discount store chain with 146 stores in the northeast, has donated nearly $ 1 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to five school districts from New England: New Haven and Waterbury in Connecticut; Lowell and Springfield in Massachusetts and Portland in Maine. Donations include face shields, antibacterial and hand sanitizer wipes, and hand sanitizer.

“As New England schools open their doors to students for in-person learning, it’s important to make sure they have the supplies they need to keep students and staff safe and healthy,” said said David Sarlitto, executive director of the Ocean State. Job Lot Charitable Foundation. “Quality PPE is necessary to protect our most vulnerable populations, including children. OSJL’s unique purchasing power and vast resources have enabled us to bolster the PPE stocks of these five school districts at no cost to them, and we are delighted to be able to assist you.

Additionally, in August, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation delivered 25 pallets of PPE with a total retail value of over $ 127,000 to the Providence Department of Public Schools in Rhode Island for the school year. 2021-2022. Donations included 100 infrared thermometers, 40,000 face masks, plexiglass screens and disinfectant wipes.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OSJL Charitable Foundation has actively invested to help the communities in which it operates, going as far as supporting the 146 communities in which it has stores with $ 25 million in donations. financials and products in 2020.


Bacon Wilson Panel to Launch CPE Forum Series

The six-week fall CPE Forum live-stream series kicks off on November 2 with a panel by Bacon Wilson. Lawyers Amanda Carpe and Lisa Halbert will discuss probate and administration of estates. Lawyer Isaac Fleisher will discuss accounting issues for cannabis companies.

Lawyer Meghan Sullivan, of Sullivan and Hayes, will provide an update on employment and labor law on November 9.

On November 16, a panel of lawyers from Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas will speak on the merger and acquisition process. Additionally, attorney Lauren Ostberg and Chris Wisnewski, CPA of Whittlesey Advising, will discuss the risks and safeguards of securing data in their cybersecurity program.

Medicare planning and succession planning will be discussed on November 23 by members of the Wealth Transition Collective.

On November 30, Kevin Quinn, JD, president of Legacy Counselors, will discuss the changes proposed by the Biden administration that could cause many average people to pay taxes on death. He will discuss the irrevocable life insurance trust as a possible solution.

The series will end on December 7 with two speakers from the Massachusetts Society of CPA offering the Annual Tax Update with a special four-hour program.

The CPE Forum was created in 1980 by Joséphine Sarnelli, CPA. She continues to offer her services by organizing 40 hours of educational programs each year. The mission of the CPE Forum is to provide high-quality, low-cost educational programs to professionals, including Certified Public Accountants and others seeking continuing professional education (CPE) credits for licensing purposes. It is also open free to the community in general.

For those looking for continuing professional education credits, the cost to participate in the entire Fall Series is $ 100, which provides 19 hours of CPE. All programs are three hours long and start at 3:00 p.m. with the exception of the four hour fiscal update, which begins at 2:00 p.m.

Tuesday afternoon online sessions can be accessed using a laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone. No camera or microphone is required to participate. Pre-registration is required and payment to the CPE Forum should be sent to 14 Mill St., Westfield, MA 01085. For more information, visit or call 413-746-9067.

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