Chamber Connection | July 2020
A Message From Newsletter Sponsor,
Post University
Recognizing the 2020 Malcolm Baldrige Scholars
Congratulations to the 2020 Baldrige Scholars! The recipients of this distinction represent the top five percent of graduates from The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University. This year’s recipients consisted of 30 students in 11 degree programs (3 graduate and 8 undergraduate). While the majority of this year’s Baldrige Scholars reside within the United States, five recipients represented their home countries of Canada, Germany, and France.

“Earning the distinction of a Baldrige Scholar is relative to each graduating class, meaning the target moves each year. While grades play a role, they are only a part of the review process, which looks at the potential recipients holistically,” says Malcom Baldrige School of Business Dean Jeremi Bauer.

“The Baldrige Scholar distinction was born from the belief that those with the highest, holistic, scholastic achievement in the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business should bear the name of the School’s first major benefactor; our namesake, Malcolm ‘Mac’ Baldrige.”

Visit Post University online at www.post.edu
HR Corner: Five Things Every Employer Should Know About Cultivating an Inclusive Workplace
This HR Corner is Brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP.
Written by: Amanda C. Nugent, partner in Carmody’s Labor & Employment and Litigation practice groups. She leads Carmody’s D&I Team and regularly assists clients with developing and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and trainings.

The past few years have seen world-wide movements aimed at addressing longstanding social injustices, such as the Black Lives Matter movement, #MeToo, and the ongoing fight for equality for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Now more than ever, organizations are not only expected to be transparent about their commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace, but also are expected to demonstrate the actual, tangible things they are doing to meet this commitment. Below are five key considerations as you navigate this challenging but necessary work.

1.  Now is the Time to “Walk the Walk.”  It is no longer enough to just make statements in support of Black Lives Matter or other social movements. Your employees will be watching to see that you are backing up those words with action. That action can take any number of forms, including starting a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiative at your workplace, bringing in speakers or disseminating resources to educate and train your employees, beginning or supporting a job pipeline program for your industry, donating to non-profit organizations that support DEI, and supporting black, women and minority-owned businesses. 

2.  Lean In to Difficult Conversations. The world’s focus on these social movements may lead to an increase in complaints involving insensitive or offensive remarks made in the workplace and/or on social media. These issues should continue to be addressed according to your anti-harassment, anti-discrimination and social media policies. You may also use these instances as an opportunity to re-affirm your organization’s commitment to inclusion, and to begin thoughtful and respectful conversations about difference. Provide a safe forum for your employees to share their experiences. These conversations are often uncomfortable, but it’s better to have an uncomfortable conversation about the thing that’s on employees’ minds than to say nothing because you are worried about getting it wrong.

3.  Be Authentic and Stay Open . Whenever you start a conversation involving issues related to DEI, you must be authentic. If your organization and its leaders are just beginning to grapple with these issues, acknowledge that and be transparent about what you are doing as an organization to learn and do more. You should also enter these conversations as an active listener. Ask for input and ask how you can be helpful—and then listen and learn from the answers to those questions.

4. Y our Words Matter.  Consider your word choices carefully in any company messages discussing current events. For example, instead of using the word “protest” or “riots”, consider using the words “movement” or “uprising” to give voice to the importance of these international events. Stay away from the statement that “all lives matter”, since this can be read to undermine the dire need for social change for Black people in particular. When in doubt, workshop your message with a diverse group before disseminating it company-wide.

5.  Your Employees’ Words Are (Mostly) Protected by Connecticut Law . Tread carefully, and seek legal advice, if an employee is making statements or posting social media content that you think may require disciplinary action. Connecticut state law imposes consequences on an employer who disciplines or discharges an employee for engaging in speech that is protected by the First Amendment, except in some limited circumstances. This law may protect an employee’s speech that is offensive to many or even directly contrary to the company’s values of tolerance and equality. Good legal counsel is essential to help you navigate these issues.
This information is for educational purposes only to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any attorney-client relationship. 
Welcome New Members:
A warm welcome to our newest members!* We encourage you to connect with them soon and see where your next partnership can be.



*Joined 6/1/2020- 7/06/2020
Upcoming Virtual Events
Duck Day Virtual Fundraising Infosession
Thursday, July 9
8:30 AM
Expert Panel: COVID-19 Meeting with the Doctors
Thursday, July 23
2:00 PM
15th Annual Health Care Council Meeting and Awards Ceremony
Monday, August 3
8:30 AM
Strategic Planning Conversations to Help
Fill Your Industry’s Workforce Needs
The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board rneeds your help to reimagine how to best serve the region’s businesses and jobseekers.
                      
Purpose: The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board , which has oversight of the three American Job Centers located throughout the Northwest Connecticut Region in Waterbury, Torrington, and Danbury, is in the process of updating our strategic plan for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. In order to continuously improve this  comprehensive strategy, we are seeking input from targeted industry sectors. The updates to the strategic plan will be guided by information shared during focus groups about skill needs, workforce trends, challenges, and how businesses are currently engaged.

Please join us for industry specific discussions that will be scheduled July 13 th  through July 21 st , via Go To Meeting. Topics will include:
  • The skills/credentials your workers need
  • § Training you would like to see offered
  • § What has already been achieved through your engagement with the Northwest regional workforce system
  • § Areas that are lacking
 
It is the charge of the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board (NRWIB) to develop and sustain an effective labor market system that facilitates economic development and business growth in our region. The NRWIB holds partnerships with local businesses, government, education, labor and human services agencies which all work together to provide the delivery of workforce development services.
 
Please send all RSVPs and questions to Pam LaRosa at pam@nwctchamberofcommerce.org  or by calling 860-482-6586 or 203-574-6971 ext 457.   Once the RSVP is received, you will receive the appropriate Go To Meeting link. 
Thank You for Your Support
Our sincere thanks go out to the following members who have supported our virtual event efforts over the past month through attendance donations. We could not do what we do without your support. THANK YOU!
Maria Joy,
Above Target HR Consulting

Stephen Glick,
Chamber Insurance Trust

Kathy Rickard, CompuMail Corp.

Carmen Romeo,
Fascia's Chocolates

Justin Golden,
Golden Technology Services

Molly Kellogg, Hubbard-Hall, Inc.
Patricia Bauer,
Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments

Semina DeLaurentis,
Seven Angels Theatre

Jack Traver, Traver IDC

Pat Hayden,
UniMetal Surface Finishing

Verna Ruffin,
Waterbury Public Schools

Leadership Greater Waterbury
Recruiting for the Class of 2021
Apply to the Class of 2021 Today!
What is Leadership Greater Waterbury?
Leadership Greater Waterbury is a personal and career development program which creates lifelong partnerships and develops community awareness among future leaders in civic, professional and community organizations in the Greater Waterbury area. Its goal is to provide a creative, interactive environment for the participants to meet regional leaders and discuss the challenges that affect Greater Waterbury.

Why Leadership Greater Waterbury?
• Business participants are exposed to multiple perspectives regarding Greater Waterbury’s business & civic arena, community challenges, opportunities and assets.
• Opportunities to give back throughout the Greater Waterbury region.
• Participants are introduced to regional leaders and facilitators from public, private and nonprofit businesses as well as 400+ alumni.
• Personal and business coaching through behavioral assessments provided by Cipriano Training, LLC.
• Professional skill-building trainings from Dale Carnegie Training on topics such as Crisis Management, Communication, Project &Team Management, Presentation Skills, and more.
Digital Networking
The Chamber is committed to keeping our members connected - digitally! We are using Zoom to hold digital networking meetings. Email Courtney at cligi@waterburychamber.com to get the details for the meetings below.

These dates and times don't work for you, but you're still interested in virtual networking? Let Courtney know so she can reach out to you with more opportunities.
Wake Up Your Business
Next Meeting: July 10th @ 8 AM
After that: July 24th @ 8 AM
Young Professionals Business Connection Group
Next Meeting: July 16th @ Noon
After that: July 30th @ Noon
2020 Census
Hiring & Training Programs Available
Do you need help finding qualified workers for your business? Could you use some financial assistance to offset the cost of hiring and training new workers, or training your existing workforce?

The Waterbury Regional Chamber is working with the Northwest Regional Workforce Investments Board to help businesses in Greater Waterbury learn more about the available hiring and training programs and whether they qualify for them. This includes providing information on posting jobs on the states CThires.com website, as well as information about Manufacturing Innovation Fund Incumbent Worker Training, the apprenticeship program, hiring veterans and on-the-job training programs.

For more information, contact Dave Krechevsky, the Chamber's director of public policy and economic development, at dkrechevsky@waterburychamber.com
PLUS: Need a Job Now?

NeedAJobNow.usNLx.com  contains over 400,000 job openings and continues to grow daily. While many employers are downsizing their staff, others are significantly increasing their hiring efforts due to current demands. Through this initiative, DirectEmployers and National Association of State Workforce Agencies offers a way to bridge the gap between job supply and demand by offering an easy way for job seekers to gain access to current open positions and for employers to fill positions quickly and efficiently during these difficult times.
RECEIVE OUR TEXT ALERTS!
Text "chamber" to (203) 496-4462 to receive a few updates or reminders from the Chamber. You can respond to any text and we will receive your response!
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