A Message from our Chairman

Dear Chamber Member,


It was wonderful to see so many of you late last month as we honored Attorney Edward G. Fitzpatrick during our 102nd Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble, Sr. Dinner. You can see some photos from the event here.


The Chamber is kicking off its annual membership campaign on March 1. I urge you to continue spreading the word about the benefits of being a Naugatuck Chamber member and encourage colleagues or acquaintances you know to consider joining our organization. Businesses can easily join online at naugatuckchamber.com


The 19th Annual Duck Race and Festival is only a few months away! The Chamber is now accepting applications from non-profit organizations who are interested in selling Duck Race tickets as a fundraiser for their organization. To learn more about the June 2 event, visit www.duckday.com


Save the Date for Thursday, March 7at 4 p.m. The Chamber will be hosting a ribbon cutting to mark the grand opening of Haven Wellness Center, located at 305 Church Street.


It has been my honor to serve as the Naugatuck Chamber Board of Directors Chairman over the last four years with a dedicated, hardworking board. Our Chamber President, Lynn Ward and her staff assisted the Board and myself to grow the Naugatuck Chamber, create a positive atmosphere for business and provide resources for business issues locally, statewide, and nationally. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me to help carry on the mission of our robust organization. We have an incredibly dedicated and passionate business community. I know that Chet Doheny of We Do Life Together, A Division of ICES, Inc. will do a great job in his new leadership role as the new Chairman.


I look forward to continue seeing all of you out and about in the Borough and at upcoming Chamber events.

Thank you for your continued membership,

Kevin H. McSherry

McSherry Law Office

Naugatuck Chamber, Chairman of the Board

In This Issue
  • Chairman's Note
  • Upcoming Events
  • Submit Your Content
  • Upcoming Events
  • Hiring & Training Programs Available
  • HR Corner Corner by Carmody, Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP

A Look Back: 102nd Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Award Dinner presented by Develomark

Honoring Attorney Edward G. Fiztpatrick

The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce presented its 2023 Lewis A. Dibble Sr. Award on January 24 to Attorney Edward G. Fitzpatrick, Partner of Fitzpatrick, Santos, Sousa, Perugini P.C.

The award, presented annually by the Chamber, recognizes an individual’s outstanding contributions to the business and the socioeconomic well-being of Naugatuck. Fitzpatrick received the award during the Naugatuck Chamber’s 102nd Annual Meeting and Lewis A. Dibble Award Dinner presented by Develomark at Aria Wedding and Banquet Facility in Prospect.

A lifelong Naugatuck native, Fitzpatrick has been practicing law since 1978. In 1987, he opened his own law office in downtown Naugatuck, where he continues to practice today with partners Carlos Santos, Cesar Sousa, Danielle Perugini, Timothy Fitzpatrick, and Antonio Nunes. The firm concentrates its practice in the areas of personal injury, real estate, family, municipal, and probate law. In addition to his professional life, Fitzpatrick has enjoyed coaching, with the assistance of others, many local youth sports teams from the Naugatuck YMCA and Naugatuck Youth Soccer Leagues. He is also a former member of the Naugatuck Chamber Board of Directors and the Borough of Naugatuck Finance Board, and currently serves on the Board of Corporators of Ion Bank. Recently, Fitzpatrick has been recognized by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence for his efforts to combat domestic violence.

Photo Gallery

June 2, 2024: Duck Day

If your nonprofit organization is looking for an easy way to raise money for your cause, the Naugatuck Chamber has two words for you: Duck Race.


The Chamber is seeking local area nonprofit organizations to benefit from its 19th annual Duck Race & Festival, being held on Sunday, June 2, 2024, rain or shine, in historic downtown Naugatuck. 


Created in 2006 by the Naugatuck Chamber, the Duck Race features the release of over 15,000 rubber ducks from the Whittemore Bridge to race down the Naugatuck River. Each duck is vying to be among the first 20 to cross the finish line to win prizes donated by local businesses, including the first prize of $5,000 for one lucky ticket purchaser.


During the annual Duck Race & Festival, Maple and Water Streets in downtown Naugatuck are filled with food and craft vendors, live music, games, circus talent and much more. Businesses also exhibit their products and services to the more than 5,000 people who attend each year.


The Naugatuck Chamber is seeking local area nonprofit organizations to sell raffle tickets to the general public as a fundraising activity for their organization. “By selling tickets, each organization has the opportunity to raise money specifically to support their individual group’s mission and cause, at no cost to them,” said Lynn Ward, President and CEO of the Naugatuck Chamber. Tickets may be sold online at www.duckday.com and in person.


There is no fee for an organization to participate; instead, the Naugatuck Chamber will donate $2.50 back to the nonprofit organization for each $5 ticket sold by volunteers of that organization. Over the past 18 years, more than 375 organizations have received over $476,000 by participating in the Duck Race fundraising activities. Organizations can begin selling tickets online in early April; ticket distribution will also begin at that time. Each organization will have a landing page created for them.


 To reserve raffle tickets for organizations to sell to the general public for the June 2, 2024, Duck Race & Festival, organizations are asked to submit their information via an online form at www.duckday.com, or by calling the Chamber at 203-757-0701 or via email at [email protected]. Completed application forms can be faxed to 203-756-3507 or mailed to the Naugatuck Chamber at 270 Church Street, Naugatuck, CT 06770.


To learn more about the 2024 Naugatuck Chamber Duck Race & Festival, including sponsorship and vending opportunities, visit www.duckday.com, call 203-757-0701.

Upcoming Chamber Events

Register Now
Submit Your News and Social Media Content
Do you have upcoming events, company news, specials, or other-related information you'd like the Chamber to promote in our next Chamber Member newsletter or on one of our many social media platforms? You can submit your content by emailing Communications Director David Huck. Leverage the Chamber and allow us to spread your message to thousands of individuals.
Hiring & Training Programs Available

The Northwest Construction Careers Initiative

NCCI — The Northwest Construction Careers Initiative — offers Northwest Connecticut residents the opportunity to pursue a career in the construction and building trades. Job training and employment possibilities include: 

  • OSHA 10, OSHA 30, and Hazwoper certifications
  • CORE Curriculum, which includes HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical

Orientation sessions are held each Thursday at 249 Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury, CT beginning at 10AM. You do not need to RSVP to attend, but you will need to be on time to participate. 

Healthcare training program

The NRWIB is currently offering training opportunities in the following fields:

  • Patient Care Technician
  • Central Sterile Processing
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Certified Nurse’s Aide
  • Community Health Worker

CT WHISP Program

Connecticut Workforce & High-Tech Industry Skills Partnership (CTWhisp) Program offers a variety of IT career training at schools such as Naugatuck Valley Community College and Patrick’s Academy.

Naugatuck Valley Community College in partnership with the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board is offering grant-funded, short-term (15 weeks), IT course clusters aligned with industry certifications and supportive services. Clusters include Networking, Programming, Systems, Software and Project Management. Each IT cluster has been mapped to Microsoft and/or CompTIA certifications. The course clusters are offered free of charge to eligible CTWHISP participants. Additional services include enrollment assistance, academic advising, and employment services. In addition to gaining skills and stackable credentials, participants at NVCC will earn between 9-12 college credits that may be used towards a degree.

More Information

HR Corner: U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Independent Contractor Rule

This HR Corner is brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Written by Attorneys Vincent Farisello and Maggie Smith

The appropriate classification of workers continues to be a controversial topic and source of confusion for employers.


When a worker is classified as an employee, the worker is entitled to statutory employment protections and may be eligible for employer-provided benefits such as health insurance, retirement, and paid time off. Independent contractors, on the other hand, are not entitled to such protections and benefits. While engaging a worker as a contractor may impose less costs and obligations on an employer, classification is a matter of law, not the agreement of the parties. It is important for employers to get this right because misclassifying a worker can lead to costly corrective action (such as the payment of back pay or back taxes) and steep penalties.

However, compliance can be difficult as federal and state agencies with an interest in ensuring appropriate classification have different tests for making this determination. Further complicating things, some tests have flip flopped from administration to administration.


One recent example involves the U.S. Department of Labor (“US DOL”). The US DOL enforces the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which provides minimum wage and overtime protections for non-exempt employees.


On January 10, 2024, the US DOL issued a new rule for determining employment status under the FLSA. The prior rule – issued at the end of the Trump Administration – emphasized five “economic reality factors” relevant to the analysis, with more weight given to two factors: (1) the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss, and (2) the nature and degree of control exercised by the putative employer over the worker.


The new rule has six factors and emphasizes the “totality-of-the-circumstances,” meaning that none of the factors take precedence, and should all be considered in determining the appropriate classification. The six-factors include:


1.     A worker’s opportunity for profit or loss depending on managerial skill;

2.     The financial stake/investments by the worker;

3.     The degree of permanence of the work relationship;

4.     The nature and degree of control a potential employer has over the work;

5.     The extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the potential employer’s business; and

6.     The worker’s skill and whether those skills contribute to business-like initiative.


The DOL has indicated that the purpose of the rule is to “reduce the risk that employees are misclassified as independent contractors.” It is anticipated that the new rule will require millions of current independent contractors to be reclassified as employees.

The new rule will be effective March 11, 2024. In the meantime, employers should review their workers’ classifications. When reviewing classifications, employers should consider the tests under other applicable statutes, including, e.g., the Internal Revenue Code, the National Labor Relations Act, Title VII, and state laws.


Issuance of the new DOL rule will provide employers with a good opportunity to conduct this review and make any changes necessary to comply with applicable 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.

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