Chamber Connection | October 2020
Reopening Resources & Information
A Message From Newsletter Sponsor,
Post University
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.
A Message From Newsletter Sponsor,
Post University
Lucrative Careers for MPA Graduates
Most students pursue a master’s degree in Public Administration because they feel called to public service. Working in the public sector can be both personally fulfilling and professionally rewarding, but there also are many different lucrative jobs for MPA graduates.

There are many public administration career paths available to MPA graduates, including those in government agencies and those in the non-profit sector. And there are many different types of career opportunities for MPA graduates, which is one of the reasons why this program is in high demand. Students who pursue this degree are able to forge a path forward that accounts for their personal interests as well as their professional goals.

MPA graduates quickly realize that their degree provides them with an opportunity to pursue a career in management. Many of the positions that MPA graduates obtain are managerial positions that are particularly rewarding. Not only do these positions offer a higher salary, but they also provide MPA graduates with an opportunity to use the knowledge and skills they acquired throughout their degree programs. These positions are challenging and exciting—perfect for anyone who has earned an MPA degree.

The MPA degree program at Post University provides students with an exciting opportunity to kick-start a new career or to take the next step on their current career path. This is a flexible degree that can be applied in a variety of professional settings, making it one of the most in-demand graduate-level degrees.
HR Corner:
Employers Need to Begin Preparing Now for the Implementation of Connecticut’s Paid FMLA Law
This HR Corner is Brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP.
Written by: Attorney Sarah S. Healy.
Sarah S. Healey is a partner in Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey’s litigation group and is Co-Chair of Women@Carmody

While employers continue to be consumed with addressing the many thorny employment issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, they may be caught unaware by a few rapidly approaching deadlines related to Connecticut’s Paid Family Medical Leave Act. Of particular note, on November 1, 2020 employers covered by this law may begin registering with the Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Authority (the “Authority”), and on January 1, 2021, they must begin withholding employee contributions to the Authority.

By way of background, on June 25, 2019, Governor Lamont signed into law one of the nation’s most generous paid FMLA laws that will impact nearly every Connecticut employer and employee. It is probably the most significant workplace law that Connecticut has passed in decades!

It applies to every private employer with one or more employees except private elementary and secondary schools. It also applies to certain “covered public employees”, including state employees who are not covered under a labor contract and public employees whose labor union negotiates inclusion into the program (and then all other non-union public employees of that public entity also are covered).

There are two major components of the law: (1) it creates an insurance trust fund that will be administered by a new quasi-public agency—i.e., the Authority; and (2) it amends the existing Connecticut FMLA in significant ways.
 
Employees will be eligible for benefits once they have been employed by any employer in Connecticut for at least 12 weeks and have earned at least $2,325 during the highest earning quarter in the first four out of the five recently completed quarters. The weekly benefit amount is based on a formula and is capped at 60 times the state’s minimum wage. Therefore, when Connecticut’s minimum wage increases to $13 per hour on August 1, 2021, the maximum weekly amount will be $780.

Eligible employees may take 12 weeks of paid FMLA in a 12-month period (plus an additional 2 weeks for a serious health condition related to pregnancy) for:
(1)  their own serious health condition;
(2)  the serious health condition of a covered family member;
(3)  birth, adoption or placement of a child in foster care;
(4)  service as an organ or bone marrow donor; or
(5)  a qualifying exigency when a spouse, child or parent is on active duty; to care for a covered military family member; and due to an act of family violence.
The current definition of a family member is expanded to add siblings, grandparent, grandchild, and an individual related to the employee by blood or close association to the employee as well as in-laws, adoptive, foster and step-relationships.

Many employees are likely to cheer these benefits. What they may be surprised to learn, however, is that this insurance program will be funded solely by an employee payroll tax not to exceed 0.5% of the employee’s earning up to Social Security contribution and benefits base (currently $132,900). Again, the payroll tax will be effective January 1, 2021 and paid benefits for FMLA leave will begin January 1, 2022.
Employers need to begin planning for, and communicating with their employees about the payroll tax so that they are not surprised by the additional deduction which will soon hit their paychecks.  The Authority recently launched its website www.ctpaidleave.org which further details the requirements under the Paid FMLA. All employers should review this site and continue to educate themselves on the impact of this sweeping law.

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 9/1/2020- 10/7/2020
Upcoming Events
5th District Congressional Debate
October 22nd
10:30 AM
Virtual Job Fair
October 28th
ALL DAY
Virtual Speed Networking
October 29th
8:15 AM
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!
Bob LaBonne,
LaBonnes Markets

Justin Golden,
Golden Technology Services

Corey Shaker,
Shaker Auto Group

William Palomba,
Blasius Chevrolet-Cadillac

Lori DosSantos,
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Tom Casey,
Discussion Partners Collaborative

Patrick Shaw,
Marrakech

Eric Pedersen,
Ideal Fish

Jack Birtwell,
Porter Preston

Larry Cohen,
Restaurant Depot
Business Women's Forum Goes Virtual
The BWF team will present the Forum’s first-ever Virtual Conference for women across the state and beyond during the month of November (date to come**). The Forum will provide valuable and engaging sessions to attendees online, so they can log in from the comfort of their home or office. In addition to the keynote session with Golden Globe award-winning actress and best-selling author Valerie Bertinelli, the BWF will feature sessions with award-winning speaker Amanda Gore, as well as professional trainers Debbie Fay of Bespeak Presentation Solutions and Cindy Maher and Jamie Guite of Leading Edge Coaches. The VIP All-Access Ticket gives attendees access to all training and virtual networking content, perks delivered directly to your door, and exclusive prize entries for only $99. For those who are looking solely for training content, there is also a Premier Ticket available for just $49.The virtual format of the conference will include several ways for attendees to connect and converse online with each other, as well as our speakers and sponsors, before and after the event. **This event has been postponed from October 14th due to the passing of Eddie Van Halen, Valerie Bertinelli's former husband
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: October 9th @ 8 AM
After that: October 23rd @ 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.
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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