Inbox [May 15]: Worcester economy gains Q1 steam, WPI prez trumpets new scholarship, SWIP gains another business, Music Worcester taps winners

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Worcester economy picks up steam in first quarter

According to the Worcester Economic Index (WEI), a quarterly economic analysis created by Assumption College Professor Thomas White, the Worcester-area economy showed signs of progress in the first quarter of 2016 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The WEI is estimated using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on employment and unemployment for the Worcester metropolitan area, each of which moved in a promising direction during the first three months of the year.

Worcester economic index

Courtesy Assumption College

The Worcester economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent, according to the Worcester Economic Index.

The WEI is expected to continue to grow at a modest rate in the near future. The forecast predicts growth of about 1.8 percent over the next six months. The WEI forecast relies on four national leading indicators: consumer expectations, S&P 500 stock index, interest rate spread, and the Leading Credit IndexTM as well as past values of the WEI.

Read the entire story on the Assumption College website

WPI logoWPI president announces groundbreaking $500K scholarship program with Girls Who Code

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is partnering with Girls Who Code to offer a new scholarship program aimed at closing the gender gap in computer science and technology.

WPI has pledged $100,000 per year for five Girls Who Code program graduates to attend WPI and continue their computer science–related studies. WPI President Laurie A. Leshin made the announcement during 2016 commencement exercises on Saturday, which featured Girls Who Code founder and CEO, Reshma Saujani, as the keynote speaker.

Read the entire story on the WPI website

Armory Business Center signing

Courtesy Steven Rothschild

Steve Rothschild, seated, signs Terms of Conveyance at a South Worcester Industrial Park Task Force meeting. Standing, left to right, are William T. Breault, Main South Alliance for Public Safety; Tom Purdy; Patricia Reardon; District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera; and Ronald Charette, executive director of the South Worcester Neighborhood Improvement Corporation.

Rothschild to develop Armory Business Center in South Worcester Industrial Park

Serial entrepreneur and developer Steven Rothschild has just announced his latest project, a 16,800-square-foot working hub called Armory Business Center. Located in the South Worcester Industrial Park, the facility will contain three 5,600-square-foot buildings, each divided into three 1,876-square-foot workspaces. Each section of the building will a provide modern, attractive and versatile space for manufacturing, research and development, and value-added reseller-type businesses.

“Securing a second development at SWIP is a huge step forward for the city and the neighborhood,” City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said. “This development will bring jobs to the area, and act as a catalyst for even more activity in the future. This is just more evidence of the mounting economic development momentum throughout the city, which has seen more than a half billion in private investment over the past several years.”

“This is about developing businesses in Worcester and creating jobs. There are 7,000 manufacturers in Massachusetts and 91 percent have a payroll of fewer than 40 employees. There is significant demand for facilities that support small manufacturing businesses,” Rothschild said. “These buildings will offer virtually everything tenants are seeking. Native plantings irrigated by roof runoff will surround the property. Energy-efficient LED lighting will light building exteriors. The parking lot will be made of a permeable material that will help replenish groundwater. Interiors will be open, power will be ample and occupancy costs will be low.”

Read the entire story on

Grace Betry

Courtesy Music Worcester

Grace Betry of Fitchburg tied for first place in the senior division of Music Worcester’s Young Artists Competition.

Music Worcester announces winners of Young Artist Competition

Music Worcester announced the results of its Young Artist Competition 2016, which was held on May 4-5 at Alden Hall on the WPI campus.

The Young Artist Competition is held each spring and is open to Worcester County student musicians in middle and high school. Performance is of classical repertoire on symphonic or band instruments. Cash prizes are awarded as well as performance opportunities during the following year. The Music Guild Prize is awarded at their annual luncheon and student performance in May.

Justin Wang

Courtesy Music Worcester

Justin Wang of Northborough won the junior division of Music Worcester’s Young Artists Competition.

Read the entire story and see the list of winners on the Music Worcester website

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