The Springfield Advantage
The City of Springfield is in the midst of reinventing itself and is attracting people just like you. These are people who have good ideas, who are eager to learn, work hard, and create opportunities—for themselves and others. The Springfield Center is here to help grow economic opportunity and build the next generation of leaders.
UMass: A Pathway to Learning
As a public land-grant university, the University of Massachusetts is here to provide access to higher education to people from all walks of life. We realize getting to our Amherst campus presents challenges for many. That’s, in part, why we opened our satellite center in downtown Springfield in 2014.
UMass Amherst has been involved in the City of Springfield for a long time. During the 1970s former Chancellor Dr. Randolph Bromery used to recruit young African American Springfield residents to the Amherst campus. On a larger scale, many of the aspiring teachers in our College of Education complete their student teaching requirements in the city’s schools. Representatives from a number of academic disciplines have found meaningful ways to partner with the city. We have realized a new opportunity, true to our mission, with the opening of UMass Amherst Center in Springfield.
UMass: A Gateway to Collaborations
Once known as the City of Firsts and the City of Homes, Springfield is now known as one of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities. These are cities with economic engines formerly fueled by manufacturing. The prospects of these cities diminished as companies moved well-paying manufacturing jobs to the South and then, offshore. Societal changes saw the migration of many middle class and more affluent city residents to the suburbs. For decades, many people characterized these cities, including Springfield, as poor and unsafe.
The city has long served as the regional center for commerce and financial services. Mass Mutual, a Fortune 100 company, has called the city home since its founding in 1851. Baystate Health is a major research hospital, the western Massachusetts campus of UMass Medical School, and the region’s only level one trauma center. In and around Springfield, there are a number of colleges—two-year and four-year—as well as several universities. Recently, MGM made a $1 billion investment in the downtown, opening a casino, recreational facilities, restaurants, and more on Main Street.
UMass: A Partner for Impact
Springfield is now a hub for business startups and healthcare technology innovators. There are time-honored arts and cultural institutions like the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and the Springfield Museums. The Museums are now affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute, bringing access to many of the Smithsonian’s treasures to the city. Two of the city’s attractions bring visitors from all over the world: the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Dr. Seuss Museum. There is also growing evidence of an emerging creative class. Walk around the city and you’ll find art popping up everywhere.
Springfield’s location is a plus. You can easily get where you need to go by train from Union Station and by plane from Bradley International Airport. The city is only 90 miles from Boston and 140 miles from New York City. When you’re in downtown Springfield, you’re also connected. There’s free Wi-Fi available throughout.
These are exciting times for the city and the Springfield Center. We are making high-demand academic programs affordable and accessible so that residents can realize their full potential and contribute to the revitalization of their city. There’s a lot of work to be done and plenty of room for everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from.