The UMass Transportation Center (UMTC), responsible for promoting transportation research, education, and training throughout the Commonwealth, is pleased to announce the opening of a new office location in the UMass Center at Springfield. The UMass Center, located in downtown Springfield, is a partnership between the University of Massachusetts and other area institutes of higher public education. The new office, which officially opened on September 1, provides a central location accessible to students at each school.
“The high-level of transportation and economic development currently underway in Springfield, coupled with its prominence within our region, makes it a logical and ideal place for UMTC to have a presence,” commented UMTC Director Michael Knodler. “We are excited by this partnership and the opportunities that are likely to result from it.”
The UMTC headquarters will remain in Amherst on the UMass campus, while the new location will be used for educational and outreach programs, research activities, and collaborations with partner institutions and organizations.
Operating as a shared resource, The UMass Center at Springfield will provide UMTC access to both educational and technology transfer opportunities through a combination of traditional classroom learning, advanced telecommunications, and other technologies. The UMass Center not only represents UMTC’s commitment to area students and increased diversity, but also UMTC’s focus on improving transportation mobility and safety with innovative technologies and strategies.
In recent years, Springfield has been experiencing great economic growth and revitalization. Examples include Springfield’s newly renovated Union Station, MGM Resort’s $950-million casino development project, as well as the $148-million project to replace the I-91 viaduct.
The I-91 highway between Springfield and New Haven serves as the north-south axis for the so-called “Knowledge Corridor,” combining the second largest population in New England and a highly educated workforce to a large research, business, and academic community consisting of 41 public and private higher-education institutions and 64,000 businesses. According to a 2015 business survey conducted by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, the Knowledge Corridor region “consistently ranks among the nation’s top 10 in advanced degrees, science and engineering doctorates, and new patents registered per capita.”
Dan Montagna, the Director of Operations for the UMass Center at Springfield, said that “The UMass Center at Springfield prides itself on its commitments to the community and in contributing to the positive growth of the region. The addition of the UMTC brings not only a strong academic tie for the university, but also builds on both research and workforce development focus areas – areas that make the UMass Center all the more valuable as a community resource. This is a very dynamic group, and their past and future contributions to the region will have lasting, positive impacts.” (October 2017)