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FY 2023 Community Project Funding Requests

Community Project Funding Requests for Massachusetts' First Congressional District

Congressman Richard E. Neal has submitted funding requests for important community projects in Massachusetts' First Congressional District to the House Appropriations Committee.

Under guidelines issued by the Appropriations Committee, each Representative may request funding for up to 10 projects in their community for fiscal year 2023 – although only a handful may actually be funded. Projects are restricted to a limited number of federal funding streams, and only state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities are permitted to receive funding. Additional information on the reforms governing Community Project Funding is available HERE.

In compliance with House Rules and Committee requirements, Congressman Neal has certified that he, his spouse, and his immediate family have no financial interest in any of the projects he has requested.

Western Mass Cyber Security Center of Excellence at Springfield’s Union Station

Springfield Technical Community College

One Armory Square

Springfield, MA 01105


This request is generated with great enthusiasm to establish a Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCE) within the City of Springfield’s Union Station complex that would serve as a regional CCE for Western Mass and beyond.  The proposal brings together a consortia of area higher education institutions, business and civic leaders and facility professionals, with the lead designation provided by Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), in addition to clearly establishing STCC as the Employer-of-Record for employees at the CCE.  STCC will serve as a clearinghouse for admissions, registration, billing and credentialing for students and workforce members using the cyber range.  The CCE will be developed and operated in collaboration with the MassCyberCenter and will be an integral part of the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Consortium. At core to this proposal, and with supportive funding from the Mass Cyber Center and City of Springfield, is a commitment to staff and operate the Western Mass Cyber Center of Excellence by Springfield Technical Community College, (STCC) in partnership with a consortia of area higher education institutions, a Cyber Range Service Provider, and a SOC Managed Service Provider as selected by the Cybersecurity Consortium.

Signed disclosure HERE

Hoosic River Basin Flood Control System

City of North Adams

10 Main Street

North Adams, MA 01247


The Hoosic River Basin Flood Control System was constructed in the 1940s and 1950s by the US Army Corps of Engineers to prevent the destruction and loss of life in North Adams, MA. The cement panels that bound the river were shorted on rebar and after nearly 70 years, have passed their useful life and begun to fail and collapse into the river. The collapsing panels allow the river to flow behind the flood control system further undermining the structure.  The city has requested the US Army Corps to conduct a Feasibility Study on this system.

Signed disclosure HERE

Renovation of the Girls Inc of the Valley Headquarters and Program Center

Girls Inc of the Valley

6 Open Square Way

Holyoke, MA 01040


Girls Inc. of the Valley has purchased and is renovating the 16,000SF O’Connell building at 480 Hampden St. in Holyoke as a permanent headquarters and program center. The total project cost is $3.7 million. Once completed, we will serve 1,000+ girls from under-resourced communities annually – the vast majority from Holyoke, Springfield, and Chicopee. Funds from this request will be used for renovation and construction (hard) costs. Funds will be used to make the building handicap accessible, to bring it fully up to code, and for modernization of HVAC, safety, and other systems to make the building as green and energy efficient as possible.

Signed disclosure HERE

Worthington Senior Center

Hilltown Community Development Corporation

387 Main Rd

Chesterfield, MA 01012


The town of Worthington, in partnership with Hilltown CDC, seeks to fill the unversed need of the aging and lower income population of seniors in Worthington, MA by constructing a senior to provide a center for community engagement, programing and health.

Signed disclosure HERE

Historic Lenox Town Hall Roof and Rotunda Restoration Project

Lenox Town Hall

6 Walker Street

Lenox, MA 01240


This project consists of repairs/restoration to the deteriorating dome, re-shingling of the roof and exterior painting of the Town Hall building. The rotunda has suffered extensive water damage, including walls and floors, and needs repairing. More modern, energy efficient lighting fixtures are incorporated into this project, as well as flooring and a sound system for the auditorium. Ceiling painting and patching should also be able to be included in these improvements. Finally, if possible, the handicapped accessible ramp should be improved.

Signed disclosure HERE

MHA’s BestLife Center for Emotional Health and Wellness

Mental Health Association, Inc.

995 Worthington Street

Springfield, MA 01109


MHA’s BestLife Center for Emotional Health and Wellness, a licensed outpatient behavioral health clinic, is an integral part of our operations, providing high-quality, person-centered, evidence-based treatment and psychiatric services. Holding licenses by both the Department of Public Health and the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services, BestLife has Master’s prepared and independently licensed clinicians to provide an array of specialty services for individuals of all ages. We provide psychiatric prescription services, referrals, case management and care coordination in order to improve the overall health and wellbeing of those served, thereby increasing opportunities for sustained pathways for those in recovery. The requested support will be used to increase the capacity of MHA’s clinical operations while simultaneously expanding services to address the critical and ever-growing need for mental health services. The requested support will permit the technological preparation and office-outfitting of a larger, more accessible new facility (not construction) and rent for one year to meet demand for programming; more immediate access to mental health services which are un-reimbursable for individuals of all ages, such as through our sliding scale and “free care” pool will allow for the hiring of new clinical staff; capacity development; additional equipment to enhance access to telehealth which will address lengthy client waitlists; and improvements to our electronic health record platforms. 

Signed disclosure HERE.


Historic Wahconah Park Grandstand Improvement Project

City of Pittsfield

70 Allen Street

Pittsfield, MA  01201


The renovation of the Wahconah Park grandstand is a priority for the City of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A recent structural evaluation of this National Register listed baseball park grandstand revealed significant concerns with the structural steel system under the grandstand, making it unusable in its current condition for fan seating. The project that is being proposed will rebuild the grandstand and bring it into compliance with modern building codes, enhance the fan and operator experience and preserve the character- defining elements that have made this historic park a beloved sports and entertainment venue for nearly 75 years.

Signed disclosure HERE

Elms College Center for Equity in Urban Education

Elms College

291 Springfield Street

Chicopee, MA 01013


Elms College seeks funds for program expansion to address community workforce development, including their Center for Equity in Urban Education (CEUE) was created to bolster educator talent and diversity through innovative programs targeting existing and aspiring educators, and the Masters program in Social Work. The greater Springfield area is in great need of both diversity in education, and faces a gap in social workers. Elms College in Chicopee, MA is well position to address these issues through expanding programming.

Signed disclosure HERE.

Westfield State University's training capacity for nursing and health science students

Westfield State University

577 Western Avenue

Westfield, MA 01086


The purpose of this project is to enhance Westfield State University's training capacity for nursing and health science students, as well as, to provide a space for healthcare practitioners from both academia and practice sectors to explore, design, and prototype solutions to current healthcare gaps. Funding will be used to 1. double our simulation space that is utilized to develop healthcare student application to practice and confidence in skill 2. provide a new Easy Street simulation space that will allow healthcare students to apply concepts of home-based and community care in their learning, and 3. provide new spaces for the practice of healthcare innovation.  

Signed disclosure HERE.

MCLA’s creation of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

375 Church Street

North Adams, MA 01247


MCLA's BSN program is a direct response to the regional economy's demands and needs of the largest and most fast- growing field, healthcare (Berkshire Regional Planning Blueprint). The healthcare and social assistance fields are clustered as the most prioritized industry, collectively accounting for 13,500 jobs in the county. Unlike all industries combined, healthcare and social assistance individually are projected to grow by 6% or about 800 jobs by 2022. As the only BSN program, I the region, MCLA directly responds to the needs of the rural healthcare industry in Berkshire County and beyond.

Signed disclosure HERE


Nichols College Center for Emerging Technology- Digital Skills for a Future Focused Workplace

Nichols College

123 Center Road

Dudley, MA  01571


At Nichols College, we are committed to ensuring every student graduates with digital literacy and skills for future work. We seek funding to launch a degree program to focus on digital literacy, digital ethics, digital learning, and digital collaboration. Digital skills are becoming a requirement for many existing roles that were not once a priority. To digitally transform, business analyst and automation developer roles are in high demand. It is critical we meet the demand in the workforce and provide opportunities to attract and retain talent in Central Massachusetts. Business schools within higher education are currently not serving this growing need within industry, leading to unprepared students, stalled transformation attempts, and significant industry training costs. Without these skills, students risk getting lost or stuck early in their careers. Our responsibility to our community and students is to provide them with the skills needed to succeed in a technologically transforming industrial landscape. The Intelligent Automation major, minor, and general business concentration provides the following: 1. A pathway for students to prepare for a career as a business analyst or automation developer 2. Career future-proofing for students who are uncertain of their path but want to make sure they have valuable skills for Industry 4.0 3. Career enhancement for students focused on a profession (accounting, HR, Marketing, Criminal Justice, etc.) and looking for skills that will provide an advantage in their job search. 4. An opportunity for students to have an experiential technological opportunity to learn business by creating and solving problems with emerging technology Nichols is seeking $470,000 to create this degree program. We intend to launch this degree with Open Education Resource (OER) content that can be accessed by students and our community at no cost. The funding will be used to develop open content, purchase virtual reality equipment, pay for course development, pay for software used by students, pay for faculty to deliver the program during the launch phase, and create materials used to showcase the program.

Signed disclosure HERE

Chicopee Water Pollution Control Facility Nitrogen and Energy Optimization Project

City of Chicopee

17 Springfield Street

Chicopee, MA  01013


The Chicopee Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) discharges 15.5 million gallons per day to the Connecticut River, which is tributary to Long Island Sound, an Estuary of National Significance impaired by nitrogen pollution. The Plant will require a $60M upgrade to comply with new Nitrogen removal requirements set by EPA and the State. This stand-alone project can be accomplished within one year and will improve existing process tanks and equipment at the WPCF necessary to implement the larger upgrade. The project will provide immediate measurable nitrogen reductions at the plant to benefit the community environs, the Connecticut River, and the Long Island Sound. The project will also improve energy efficiency at the facility, stabilizing operating costs and taxpayer burden.

Signed disclosure HERE

BECMA Back Office Support Services (BOSS) program

Black Economic Council of Massachusetts

One Beacon Street, 15th Floor

Boston, MA 02108


BECMA’s Back Office Support Services (BOSS) program has a proven history of providing essential business infrastructure through services, tools, and technical assistance to ensure small business owners can effectively operate their firms in a compliant manner.

BECMA continues to establish its position as the centralized “hub” for Black business empowerment throughout the Commonwealth, we aim to create new and long overdue opportunities for sustainable change throughout the region that will bolster the economic potential, social capital, and wellness outcomes of communities of color. Our organization would use federal dollars to support and expand community organizing and education around BECMA's 4 Foundational pillars of Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Ownership, and Placement. This proposal aims to create opportunities for inclusive procurement through the replication and expansion of our Vendor Advisory Council pilot program to Western Mass. Currently, the program aims to promote transparency in contracting practices and lower barriers for under-represented providers of goods and services, by connecting municipalities with suppliers and community.

Signed disclosure HERE.

Bay Path University Student Success Center

Bay Path University

588 Longmeadow Street

Longmeadow, MA 01106


This project will complete the work to launch a new Student Success Center that will deliver holistic, coordinated, wraparound academic, financial, advising and career development support services that are easily accessible 24/7 both online and on-ground to accommodate the needs of the diverse student populations the University serves, and integrated into a student’s academic program through systematic communications and touchpoints throughout the undergraduate experience.

Signed disclosure HERE.

429 Morgan Road West Springfield Capital Improvement Project

Town of West Springfield

26 Central Street

West Springfield, MA 01089


We are requesting funding for a project to significantly improve the athletic playing fields on the grounds of 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The project is part of a five-year endeavor to tackle restoration of an abandoned, 1,100 square foot building, which is surrounded by 24 acres of protected land. The property is owned by the Town of West Springfield. Extensive upgrading and renovation of the outside fields will advance restoration of the site for full use by the public.

Signed disclosure HERE.

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