Springfield is one of the partner cities in the region known as the Knowledge Corridor. The Corridor, formed in the early 2000s, is a business partnership between Springfield and Hartford, Connecticut, and the surrounding communities. The two large cities, located with 26 miles of each other, have joined forces with area businesses and educational facilities to promote the entire region’s economic progress. As a part of the corridor, Springfield has access to a collaborative community of businesses, including several Fortune 500 companies, and leaders working together to promote development. With 30 colleges and universities, the Knowledge Corridor has one of the highest concentrations of higher education institutions in the country. There are upwards of 160,000 students attending the schools in the region. Nearly 29 percent of the area’s population has a bachelor’s degree or higher –above the national average. The Knowledge Corridor lives up to its name and provides a highly educated workforce to any business wanting to locate here.
The largest school in the region is University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The flagship of the statewide university system, UMass Amherst has more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on its 1,450-acre campus and has over 1,100 faculty members and a total employment of 7,900. The state school is among the top public research universities in the country with researching activities totaling more than $195 million annually through nearly 80 specialized research centers and institutions. Within the city limits, Springfield offers many private colleges and universities, including American International College, Springfield College and Western New England University and downtown branches for Cambridge College, UMass, and Bay Path American Women’s College, which make degree programs accessible to urban students and working professionals. Other well-known state and private colleges and universities surround the city, including Elms College, Smith College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Amherst College, Bay Path University and Westfield State University. With this concentration of quality educational institutions, there’s no shortage of educated graduates to fill positions in the growing Springfield economy. Many of these schools are also the area’s major employers, with Westfield State employing more than 600, Smith College at more than 1,000, Mount Holyoke and Springfield College each employing more than 600 and Western New England University employing another 860.
The public school system and technical schools also support the many manufacturing companies located in Springfield and the region. Many of the area public schools, including Springfield, offer a Machine Tool Technology program for high school students to help them learn the skills required to operate important equipment, interpret engineering drawings, and perform inspections. Springfield Technical Community Colleges and Asnuntuck Community College offer manufacturing technology and mechanical engineering technology programs that prepare students for positions at the area’s abundant manufacturing facilities.
Private preparatory schools
The MacDuffie School, Wilbraham-Monson Academy, Suffield Academy and The Williston Northampton School all attract students from around the globe.