Chamber Connection | November 2020
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Post University
Post University Streamlines Education Continuum through Articulation Agreements with Three Massachusetts Community Colleges
Post University has entered into a memorandum of understanding with three Massachusetts institutions: Bristol Community College, Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College. The articulation agreements between the three institutions will allow students completing associate degrees to continue their education at Post University.

A total of 60 credits will be applied to their undergraduate studies at the University.

“These new partnerships have been designed with the unique needs of each community college’s student population in mind,” said Post University Provost Dr. Elizabeth Johnson. “We look forward to having these students become Post Eagles through a supportive and easy transition process that allows them to keep their focus on gaining the skills and knowledge needed for their career of choice.”
 
The articulation agreements allow for 28 transfer pathways across 14 different programs, including Business, Biology, Criminal Justice and Communications.

The University’s academic calendar offers various enrollment windows throughout the year, with dedicated academic and career advisors on hand to support transfer students in navigating the transition. 

“We provide a student-friendly pathway that outlines a transfer student’s academic plan, answers questions regarding transfer qualifications and clearly defines expectations for Post students,” explained Virginia Folger, an articulation agreement specialist at Post University.

With the addition of the Massachusetts articulation agreements, Post University now offers transfer programs with 11 institutions across various states, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Georgia and Washington. Last month, Post reaffirmed its articulation agreement with Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Housatonic Community College for its criminal justice program. 

HR Corner:
Not Just Another Open Enrollment Season
This HR Corner is Brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP.
Written by: Attorney Timothy S. Klimpl.
Klimpl has extensive experience in the area of employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA. He has assisted employers and employees with equity and incentive compensation, Section 409A compliance, and executive employment and severance agreements. 

Human Resources professionals have been so busy addressing workplace shutdowns, remote operations, furloughs, return-to-work issues and a patchwork of paid sick and family leave issues, it is possible (and even understandable) that the annual year-end ritual known as “open enrollment” may have snuck up on employers. Open enrollment is an important time for employers to revisit their benefits offerings with employees, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Open enrollment provides employers a great opportunity to highlight the entire package of compensation and benefits that they offer to their workforces, including some lesser known or utilized benefits, that nonetheless bring significant value to employees and their families. While many companies this year are planning partial or completely virtual open enrollment information sessions, employers should strive as much as possible, with the assistance of their vendors, to maintain the same degree of content and opportunity for questions and answers as during “normal” open enrollment seasons. To that end, below are a few refreshers and tips for managing a successful open enrollment, including some additional thoughts in light of this year’s unique HR challenges.

1.     In addition to updating the employer and employee contributions toward premiums, employees will appreciate a careful explanation of some of the critical components of the upcoming benefits schedule(s) for the group medical plan. A few of these components include:

Ø Plan deductibles for individuals and families;
Ø Co-pays and/or co-insurance for different services, such as office visits, prescription drugs and hospitalizations;
Ø Out-of-pocket maximums for the year; and
Ø Any changes in provider networks (such as a switch in insurance providers).

2.     To promote wellness in your workforce— and the benefits offered by your plan— it is worth pointing out that depending on the specific terms of the plan, many important preventive care services may be covered before a deductible is met and without co-pays or co-insurance, including:

Ø Annual check-ups;
Ø Immunizations, such as the flu shot;
Ø Screenings for depression;
Ø Mammograms; and
Ø Colonoscopies.

The easiest source for all of this information may be your insurance provider’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), which in any event must be distributed by either the insurance provider or the employer during open enrollment before the start of each plan year. 

3.     Employers offering high deductible health plans (HDHPs) should note that, as a result of the CARES Act enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through 2021 HDHPs may cover telehealth services without requiring employees or family members to meet the normally required deductibles.    

4.     Employers should highlight their dental, vision and other ancillary benefits such as group life, disability, employee assistance programs and on-site clinics. 

5.     Many insurance providers now offer mobile apps which employees can download to access digital ID cards, benefits schedules and individual claim information.  This can be a convenient source of information for employees and their families, and hopefully reduce the volume of health insurance questions and issues presented to HR administrators throughout the year. 

6.     If an employer’s cafeteria or flex plan does not already continue benefit elections by default, this may be the year to change their plan to continue prior years’ enrollments unless the employee changes coverage for 2021.

A little bit of extra preparation for open enrollment this year will both clarify and highlight the important employee benefits provided by employers. In addition, taking some time to go “the extra mile” with your workforce will signal that you recognize the personal difficulties that many have faced, and that this year is not just another open enrollment season.         

*Attorney Klimpl is a new attorney at the law firm of Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Tim has extensive experience in the area of employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA. He has assisted employers and employees with equity and incentive compensation, Section 409A compliance, and executive employment and severance agreements. 

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 10/1/2020- 11/5/2020
Upcoming Events
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Rebuild CT
The Waterbury Regional Chamber, has signed on to support an advocacy effort launched by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association called the Rebuild CT campaign. It consists of a package of 11 policy proposals that, if enacted, will help create a more positive climate for growing jobs and driving investment in our cities and infrastructure. You can read the 11 policy proposals here.
 
The act of rebuilding our state demands a change in thinking, and a bipartisan approach. We believe these forward-thinking proposals meet those goals and are a good first step in positioning our state for economic recovery.
 
Last month, CBIA mailed a copy of these proposals to every state and local lawmaker or candidate for office, asking them to take the Rebuild CT pledge. CBIA has already received signed pledges from a bipartisan group of over 70 current legislators and legislative candidates, with more coming in each day. Its next statewide digital ad will discuss various aspects of the pledge with the public, and ask viewers to question whether their public officials have signed on. You can view the video here.
 
We want your help! We need to show broad-based support across our state for these policies. We ask you or your business to take the pledge to demonstrate that support. Organizations or individual businesses that sign the pledge will appear on the RebuildCT.com website. Together, we can hold lawmakers accountable and make sure they live up to their pledge in the coming years. We hope you will join us in this effort by supporting the pledge.
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: November 13th @ 10 AM
After that: December 11th @ 8 AM
Staples Advantage Program
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.
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