A Note from our President, Lynn Ward

Dear Chamber Member,

One of the many things celebrated during the month of October is manufacturing. Keep your eyes peeled to our social media pages over the next few weeks as we spotlight what our area manufacturers are up to. Be sure to pick up the Republican-American on Thursday, October 19, as the next issue of Manufacturing Today will be distributed. Inside you'll find feature stories on many of our manufacturers, along with member listings, company updates, and much more. The popular supplement will also be posted on our website.

The Chamber is seeking manufacturers who are interested in participating in our STEM Expo on November 17 at Naugatuck Valley. Hundreds of area students will be visiting throughout the day and it's a great way to showcase the rewarding career options in the world of manufacturing. Contact Steve DelVecchio to learn more.

Circle your calendar for October 18, as it's National Support Your Local Chamber Day. We encourage you to spread the word about how the Chamber has helped your business. Also that day, the Waterbury Regional Chamber will host our Mayoral Debate and Luncheon from noon until 2 p.m. at La Bella Vista. For more information, visit the event page.

Come help us celebrate this year's Harold Webster Smith Award honorees during a breakfast event on Tuesday, October 24 at Aria. Register here. Our keynote speaker will be State Treasurer Erick Russell.

Our next Out for Business networking event will be held on Wednesday, November 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Shoppes in Middlebury. We hope to see you there!

You can reach me, as always, at (203) 757-0701 or [email protected]. Keep scrolling for this month’s updates and events to take full advantage of what our Chamber has to offer.

Thank you, more than ever, for your continued membership,
Lynn Signature

In This Issue:

  • President's Note
  • Welcome New Members
  • Upcoming Events
  • Leadership Greater Waterbury Applications Now Being Accepted
  • Chamber Member Survey
  • HR Corner
  • Message From Our Newsletter Sponsor
  • Naugatuck Chamber
  • Watertown Oakville Chamber
  • Southbury Chamber News
  • Hiring and Training Programs Available
Welcome to Our Newest Members
A warm welcome to our newest members!* We encourage you to connect with them soon and see where your next partnership can be!

3-21 No Kiddin Sober Playground

Chef K. Products

Clean Suites, LLC

ClockTown Brewing Company

Connecticut State Marshal Vincent Dwyer

Maja Diner

Naugatuck Glass, LLC

Oasis Senior Advisors

Pink Artistry

Redeeming Life Nutrition

Scoopin Ice Cream Shop

Senor Pancho's Mexican Restaurants



W.F. Kaynor Technical High School

*Joined 9/9/23 to 10/13/23

Join Us! - Upcoming Chamber Events

Waterbury Mayoral Debate & Luncheon

Wednesday, October 18

noon to 2 p.m.

La Bella Vista

380 Farmwood Road


Register Now

Wake Up Your Business

Friday, October 20

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Calvary Southbury

354 Kettletown Road


Register Now

Harold Webster Smith Awards

Tuesday, October 24

7:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Aria Wedding and Banquet Facility

45 Murphy Road


Register Now

Wake Up Your Business

Friday, October 27

8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Ion Bank Community Room

270 Church Street


Register Now

Save the date for these other upcoming Chamber events:

  • Wednesday, November 15 - Advanced Social Media Bootcamp
  • Wednesday, November 15 - Out for Business at The Shoppes in Middlebury
  • Thursday, November 30 - Young Professionals Happy Hour @ Clocktown Brewing Company
  • Wednesday, December 6 - Festival of Wreaths, Southbury
  • Thursday, December 14 - Holiday Gathering
Leadership Greater Waterbury
Application Deadline: October 13, 2023

Area professionals who are interested in developing their careers and becoming better leaders within their organization should consider applying for the Chamber's Leadership Greater Waterbury program, which kicks off its 2023-24 class with the first of a day-two orientation on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

The program got its start in 1985 and over the last few decades, more than 500 area workers have participated in Leadership Greater Waterbury, gaining new insights, skills, and lifelong connections that have repeated benefits not only to their personal growth, but also for their company or organization.

During the interactive program, participants have the opportunity to hear from regional leaders and facilitators from public, private, and nonprofit businesses, as well as more than 500 alumni, to learn about the resources and challenges that affect Greater Waterbury. Through in-person visits, training opportunities, and hearing firsthand from speakers, the participants learn about local and state government, arts and entertainment, history, the local business community, health and human services, education, and communication.

Employers interested in joining the large list of local companies committed to developing leaders within their organizations and the community should consider this rewarding training program. Business owners and CEOs say that employees who graduate from Leadership Greater Waterbury stand out among their colleagues and excel in their work and abilities, bringing a greater return on investment for the company. Classes start November 15 and run once a month until June 12, 2024. A graduation will be held on June 18, 2024. The deadline to apply is Oct. 13, 2023. For more information, contact LGW Program Director Chris Caulfield at [email protected] or call 203-757-0701.

Register Now
Chamber Information Update: Response Requested

From time to time, the Chamber is made aware of opportunities for women-owned, veteran-owned, and diverse business enterprises, and we want to be sure we are getting that information to the relevant members.


To help us ensure we are reaching you with the best possible information, we are asking interested members to fill out the demographics form at the following link: https://web.waterburychamber.com/atlas/forms/general/4


Sharing this data is completely voluntary on your part and will be used for informational purposes only. If you so choose, there is a section on this form that will allow us to share your self-identified categories on our website. This will add your listing to a new page designed to encourage members and visitors to support your business.


Thank you for being a valued member of the Waterbury Regional Chamber and our affiliates. We appreciate those members who have already provided a response.

HR Corner: Employers Take Note: EEOC Releases Its Strategic Enforcement Plan

This HR Corner is brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Written by Attorney Nick Zaino

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate, harass and retaliate against job applicants or employees based on a protected class, such as race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and related conditions, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

On September 21, 2023, the EEOC released its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for fiscal years 2024—2028. The SEP establishes the agency’s top priorities for the coming years. The EEOC identified six subject matter priorities that they will scrutinize to determine if individuals are being discriminated against based on a protected category:


1.     Recruitment and hiring practices including employer use of artificial intelligence (AI) to target job advertisements, recruit applicants or make or assist in hiring decisions; channeling individuals into certain jobs; policies that limit on-the-job training, advancement opportunities and temp-to-hire positions; policies that limit employees exclusively to temporary work when permanent positions are available; and reliance on restrictive application processes, such as online systems, that are difficult for certain individuals to access. The EEOC will also focus on the underrepresentation of women and workers of color in certain industries and sectors, such as construction, manufacturing, high tech, STEM, finance, and industries that benefit from substantial federal investment.


2.     Discrimination of vulnerable workers including claims of unequal pay and disparate working conditions. Such workers include immigrants and migrants, people with developmental or intellectual disabilities, individuals with criminal records, LGBTQI+ individuals, temporary workers, older workers, low wage earners, survivors of gender-based violence, Native Americans, and persons with limited literacy or English proficiency.


3.     Addressing emerging and developing issues including policies and practices that discriminate against workers with disabilities; protecting workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth and related conditions; addressing discrimination influenced by or arising as backlash in response to news events such as bias that stems from recurring historical prejudices; COVID-19 discrimination; and the use of technology, including AI, in making employment decisions.


4.     Pay discrimination based on gender or any other protected category. The EEOC will focus on policies and practices that may impede equal pay or contribute to pay disparities such as pay secrecy policies, discouraging or prohibiting workers from asking about pay or sharing their pay with coworkers, and reliance on past salary history or an applicants’ salary expectations to set pay.


5.     Preserving access to the legal system including focusing on overly broad waivers, releases, non-disclosure agreements, non-disparagement agreements, mandatory arbitration provisions, employers’ failure to keep required applicant and employee data, and retaliatory practices that could dissuade employees from exercising their rights under employment discrimination laws.


6.     Preventing and remedying systemic harassment on any protected basis. The EEOC will give priority to complaints filed by an individual or a small group that claim a widespread pattern or practice of harassment. The EEOC also will continue to focus not only on securing appropriate monetary relief, but also targeted equitable equitable relief to prevent future harassment such as promoting comprehensive anti-harassment programs and practices, including training tailored to the employer’s workplace and workforce.


Employers should be cognizant of these enforcement priorities and proactively address any policies and procedures that the EEOC may scrutinize based on its Strategic Enforcement Plan. Our Labor & Employment team is available to assist and answer your questions. 

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.

From Our Newsletter Sponsor: Post University

Affinity Esports, a trailblazer in esports in the state, today was awarded the prestigious ‘Partner of the Year’ from The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University at a reception held at the Waterbury Country Club. The business school selected Affinity Esports, located in Newtown, Conn., because of their transformative impact on the industry and University students.

“’The ‘Partner of the Year’ award recognizes the pivotal role that Mark and Emily Kilpatrick, co-founders of Affinity Esports, have played in not only creating access but in removing the stigmas with video gaming. The partnership with Affinity has also offered opportunities for Post students to pursue internships and careers in the esports industry within a local, grass roots, organization. Mark and Emily’s unwavering commitment to fostering a thriving, inclusive esports community has propelled Affinity to the forefront of this rapidly evolving field,” said Dr. Roger Caramanica, program chair of the Gaming and Esports Management Program at the University.

The Kilpatricks launched Affinity Esports in 2021 to offer gaming for all generations, but with a focus on the young to help parents navigate their children’s passion for gaming within a structured and safe environment. At the studio, Affinity Esports offers after-school classes, themed game nights, club teams, and camps focused on game creation and coding, content creation and streaming, and competitive game play. This spring they expanded their reach by launching a mobile esports solution that has allowed them to take their programming on the road to impact more communities across Connecticut.

In their travels around the state, the Kilpatricks have established alliances with parks departments, community organizations, and school districts with the goal of providing information to students and parents on the rapidly evolving esports industry and workforce.

Naugatuck Chamber News

Join us on Friday, October 27 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for our free Wake Up Your Business event at the Ion Bank Community Building at 270 Church Street in Naugatuck. Get a chance to chat with other members, learn more about chamber membership, make new connections, and bring visibility to your business.

Register Now
Southbury Chamber News
Register Now

December 6: Festival of Wreaths: The Heritage Hotel, Golf, Spa & Conference Center

Promote your business as a sponsor of this family-friendly community event

Sponsorship Opportunities
Watertown Oakville Chamber News

Join us on Friday, November 3 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for our free Wake Up Your Business event at The Local Sixty-Three Bar & Restaurant at 465 Main Street. Get a chance to chat with other members, learn more about chamber membership, make new connections, and bring visibility to your business.

Register Now

Three business leaders will be honored at the 57th Annual Watertown Oakville Chamber Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on Thursday, November 9, 2023 as we celebrate our Chamber's accomplishments and supporters. 

  • Community Leader of the Year: Justin Golden, Golden Technology Services, Inc.
  • Unsung Hero: Christina Montambault, United Methodist Church
  • Beautification Award: Regency Real Estate
Sponsorship Opportunities
Hiring & Training Programs Available
Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board: Connecticut Workforce High tech Industries Partnership Grant (CTWHISP)/Incumbent Worker Training Program 

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) is a type of work-based, employer-driven training for employees who need training to upgrade their skills to
  • secure full-time employment,
  • advance in their careers, or
  • retain their current employment in H-1B occupations and industries.

IWT is developed in collaboration with the employer. It requires long term planning and commitment on the part of the employer's CEO, CFO, HR, supervisors and employees.

The Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board (NRWIB) reimburses contracted training costs up to $2,000 per employee for IT training, and up to $3,000 per employee for manufacturing training. To get the proposal and contract process started please contact Jeffrey Chorches - [email protected].

The workforce board contracts with the employer to arrange the training. The employer chooses the job training course, the training provider, training schedule, and the employees who will participate. Employers are encouraged to backfill open positions that result from incumbent worker training with unemployed and underemployed individuals. One of the goals of U. S. Dept. of Labor Hl-b grants is to make U.S. employers less dependent upon non-citizens.
Learn More
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