Join Us! - Upcoming Chamber Events
Malcolm Baldrige Chamber Awards Evening

Thursday, February 16
5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Aqua Turf
556 Mulberry Street, Plantsville
Diamond Cuff Bracelet Raffle Provided by Onyx II Fine Jewelers
Online deadline: midnight, February 15, 2023
Tickets will be sold in-person at the Aqua Turf
Travel to Greece Fall 2023 Informational Session

Tuesday, February 21, 2023
6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury
Master Your Membership

Wednesday, February 22
8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Chamber Offices
83 Bank Street, Waterbury
Zoom option available
YP Power Player Speaker Series

Friday, February 24
8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.

Post University Downtown
140 Bank Street, 3rd Floor, Waterbury
Zoom option available
Out for Business

Tuesday, February 28
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

vyne restaurant & bar
1365 Whittemoore Road, Middlebury
Wake Up Your Business

Friday, March 3
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Itty-Bitty Cookie Company
651 Main Street, Watertown
YP 10th Anniversary Celebration
Wine, Whiskey, & Beer Tasting

Wednesday, March 8
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Courtyard by Marriott Waterbury Downtown
63 Grand Street, Waterbury
Business Women's Forum

Wednesday, March 15
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Aqua Turf Club
556 Mulberry Street, Plantsville
Mayoral Luncheon

Wednesday, March 23
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Courtyard by Marriott Waterbury Downtown
63 Grand Street, Waterbury
18th Annual Naugatuck Chamber Duck Day

Sunday, June 4
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Downtown Naugatuck
Chamber Member Benefit Highlight
Message From Newsletter Sponsor: Post University
Expand Your Career Potential with Microcredentials at Post University
Expand Your Career Potential with Microcredentials
Are you hoping to gain some skills that will set you apart from the crowded workforce? Are you lacking some soft skills or technological abilities that would make you better at your job? If the idea of going back to school feels overwhelming or is out of your budget, but you want to enjoy a new set of skills, consider microcredentials. These bite-sized credential programs allow you to gain knowledge and skills within your budget and in a timeline that will get you back to work quickly, armed with a new skill set.

What Are Microcredentials?
Microcredentialing opportunities can occur in college classes, bootcamps or in-house training sessions that help you understand and master a specific area of competency. They help you build the skill. The microcredential itself is recognition, often in the form of a digital badge, that you have proof of your mastery of the skills. Microcredentials work well for professionals who need to add an incremental skill and want to offer proof they have it.

Benefits of Higher Education Microcredentials
Microcredentials from an institute of higher education can be a great way to extend both your knowledge and your skills. They are frequently career-focused to offer skills you can apply immediately on the job. When these learning opportunities come from an institute of higher education, the learner can better demonstrate they gained legitimate skills from a solid education program.

If you have a skill set you need to add, or if you are an employer looking to provide training to team members, microcredential opportunities are a great tool to use. Here are some of the benefits of adding competencies through microcredential opportunities as you seek to make yourself more marketable in the modern workforce.

Fill in a Skill Gap with Immediately Applicable Skills
Today’s worker needs a highly specific skill set to do most jobs. This skill set can include technical capabilities as well as so-called “soft” or “people” skills. Through microcredential opportunities—and accompanying digital badges—in higher education, you could add these skills to your resume, closing the skills gap and helping you remain relevant in the modern workforce.

Microcredential Programs at Post University
Whether you are looking for micro credentials for your workforce or want to invest in your own professional development by adding these to your skill set, Post University has a program that will fit your needs.  Our microcredential programs are flexible and pertinent to the modern work environment. We have both skill-focused and human-focused credentialing programs to meet a wide range of needs. Learn more about how our microcredentials work, or browse our existing microcredential programs, and get started furthering your education to make you an effective, in-demand worker.
HR Corner: Summary of Employment Bills Pending at the Connecticut Legislature
This HR Corner is brought to you by Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP. Written by Attorney Nick Zaino
The Connecticut legislative session convened on January 4, 2023. We have summarized below various bills that are currently pending before the Labor and Public Employees Committee. While some of these bills have a much better chance of passing than others, it is important to keep a pulse on proposals that are made and considered.

SB 21: ACT PROHIBITING EMPLOYERS FROM CHARGING EMPLOYEES FOR TRAINING COSTS UPON SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT. Prevents employers from charging training costs to employees upon an employee leaving employment.

SB 91: ACT EXPANDING WORKERS' COMPENSATION COVERAGE FOR POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS INJURIES FOR ALL EMPLOYEES. Extends workers' compensation coverage for post-traumatic stress injuries to all employees. Another bill, SB 491, would allow workers’ compensation coverage to all workers for mental or emotional injuries.

SB 93: ACT CONCERNING COMPENSATION FOR CERTAIN EMPLOYEES WHOSE SCHEDULED SHIFT HAS BEEN REDUCED OR CANCELLED. Requires employers with at least 500 employees within the US or globally to pay retail and hospitality employees half of their regular rate of pay for any scheduled hours that are cancelled after the employee reports to work or with less than 7 days advance notice.

SB 228: ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYEES LOSS OF HEALTH CARE COVERAGE AS A RESULT OF A LABOR DISPUTE. Allows employees to obtain health insurance coverage through the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange should they lose coverage due to a labor dispute. 

SB 229: ACT CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT FOR STRIKING WORKERS. Allows employees participating in a labor dispute to collect unemployment benefits.

SB 486: ACT CONCERNING STATE EMPLOYEES AND THE PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT. Requires state employees to participate in the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program.

SB 489: ACT LIMITING THE DAYS AN EMPLOYER CAN MANDATE AN EMPLOYEE TO WORK. Prohibits an employer from mandating an employee to work more than six consecutive days without a day off during such six-day period.

SB 825: ACT CONCERNING TEMPORARY WORKERS AND PAID SICK LEAVE. Requires temporary employment agencies to provide temporary workers with annual paid sick leave.

HB 5243: ACT CONCERNING THE DISCLOSURE OF SALARY RANGES IN JOB POSTINGS. Requires employers to disclose salary ranges in all job postings

HB 5858: ACT ESTABLISHING A FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT PROGRAM FOR CHILD CARE EXPENSES. Requires the Labor Commissioner to establish a state-administered flexible spending account program for expenses incurred for child care. 

HB 6129: ACT ALLOWING INDIVIDUALS TO OPT OUT OF THE PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE PROGRAM. Allows individuals to choose whether to participate in the paid Family and Medical Leave program.

HB 6275: ACT CONCERNING USE OF AN EMPLOYEE'S PERSONAL VEHICLE FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES. Requires employees be reimbursed when they are required to use their personal vehicle to carry out job duties.

HB 6278: ACT EXPANDING THE PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE PROGRAM. Provides additional options to a worker under the Paid Family and Medical Leave program, such as the ability to work remotely.

HB 6363: ACT CONCERNING PAID SICK TIME AND MENTAL HEALTH. Requires employers to provide two mental health days per calendar year to eligible employees.

HB 6365: ACT CONCERNING UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS AND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. Allows undocumented individuals to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

HB 6594: ACT CONCERNING NONCOMPETE AGREEMENTS. Invalidates non-compete agreements unless numerous conditions are met. For example, a non-compete agreement would be enforceable against a non-exempt employee, could not have a duration greater than one year, and would not be enforceable if the employee terminated the employment relationship “for good cause attributable to the employer.” 

Governor’s Bill, HB 6668: AN ACT MODERNIZING THE PAID SICK DAYS STATUTES. Requires all employers with 11 or more employees to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave, and employers with 10 or fewer employers to provide 40 hours of unpaid job-protected sick leave. Also increases the rate by which sick leave is accumulated and can be used by employees. 

If you have questions, please contact a member of Carmody's Labor and Employment team.

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 1/10/23 to 2/13/23
Submit Your News and Social Media Content
Do you have upcoming events, company news, or other-related information you'd like the Chamber to promote in our February Chamber Member newsletter or on one of our many social media platforms? You can submit your content by emailing Communications Director David Huck.
Sponsorship/Event Participation Opportunities
Applications are now being accepted for the Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce Foundation's new economic investment initiative, the Central Business District Investment Program, aimed at helping central business district property owners to lease their vacant storefronts.

The program uses $1.5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds to establish a matching grant program that would support property owners within the district who were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the program, eligible property owners can receive up to $100,000 to be used for interior or exterior buildout costs for vacant ground floor-level retail space. Property owners with vacant storefronts are eligible for a grant of $50 per square foot, up to $100,000. Any grant awarded to a property owner must be matched at 100 percent by the owner of the property, the tenant, or a combination of both parties. Additionally, Waterbury businesses can be eligible for up to $10,000 to relocate to the Central Business District or to another location within the City.
Southbury Chamber News
A ribbon cutting was held on Saturday, February 11 to mark the grand opening of Michael's at Southbury Plaza.
Watertown Oakville Chamber News
The Watertown Oakville Chamber invites both business owners and representatives, as well as potential new members who would like to learn more about the benefits of a Chamber membership, to its free monthly Wake Up Your Business on Friday, March 3 at the Itty-Bitty Cookie Company, 651 Main St., in Watertown. Parking can be found just around the corner on Depot Street in the Municipal lot.  
To be held from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., Wake Up Your Business gives individuals an opportunity to make new connections, grow their business, and create more visibility. During the event, participants will be given an opportunity to introduce themselves and their business. The meeting will be hosted by Waterbury Regional Chamber Membership Director Laura Brown.
Individuals are encouraged to invite a friend or two. Registration is free. Register here. For questions, contact the Chamber at (203)-757-0701.
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 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, visit