Manufacturing Today
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Dedicated to Strengthening the Region's Economy
Chamber Promoting Workforce Board’s Hiring, Training Programs
>>> by Lynn Ward, President & CEO, Waterbury Regional Chamber

Promoting economic development in Greater Waterbury is an important part of the Waterbury Regional Chamber’s mission.

The Chamber’s mission states that we are “dedicated to strengthening the regional economy by serving our members as a network, resource, and advocate.” That can mean anything from putting our members in contact with local and state officials who can help them cut through the red tape, to advocating for economic development projects that will benefit the Greater Waterbury community.

Recently, the Chamber added to our economic development efforts by agreeing to assist local businesses in accessing resources that can help them hire new workers or train existing staff. We’ve received a grant from the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, or NRWIB, that enables us to connect businesses in the region to the varied grant and tax credit programs the board administers. The grant is provided under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

The NRWIB programs we are promoting include On the Job Training, the Apprenticeship Program, Manufacturing Innovation Fund Incumbent Worker Training, and a program to hire veterans.

In addition, we will make businesses in the region that are looking to hire aware of the state’s job-search website, CTHires.com. This powerful site is operated by the state and is free for businesses to use. It is a resource not only for job seekers and employers, but also provides labor market analysis, training support and other resources and services.

And with the help of NRWIB staff, businesses can use this site as a virtual recruiter, automatically searching it on a regular basis for resumes that fit the posted job. Employers can also set up recruitment events at the NRWIB’s American Job Center on Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury.

Michelle Caffe, a business services specialist with the NRWIB, says the intent of the grant is to get information to employers that are hiring or training workers. With the Chamber’s help, she said, the NRWIB can “set up a meeting for the Business Services team to visit, and we provide a detailed overview on all of the programs.”

Dave Krechevsky, director of public policy and economic development, is the Chamber contact and will help companies arrange for a visit from the Business Services team.

Neil Tramaglio, CEO of Waterbury Swiss Automatics, which manufactures precision screw machine parts, says his company benefited from working with the NRWIB, receiving a $10,000 grant from the Manufacturing Innovation Fund for Incumbent Worker Training last November.

“We are upgrading our quality management system to ISO 9001-2015,” he said. ”Part of the transition is you have to go through a pretty diverse upgrade of your system, and they have to train us all. The grant paid for half of the training.”

Tremaglio said 24 employees were trained on the new standards, and that would not have happened without the grant. “A lot of our customers would not do business with us if we didn’t have this certification,” he added.

If your business is looking to hire new workers or to train existing staff, we can help. Visit www.waterburychamber.com/employers-and-job-seekers or call Dave Krechevsky at 203-757-0701