Chamber Working to Help Manufacturers Succeed

Republican American

In a recent conversation with Eric Albert, presi­dent of longtime cham­ber member Albert Bros. Inc. and president of the Smaller Manufacturer’s Asso­ciation, he shared his con­cerns about the economic landscape in our state and how it affects the manufactur­ing industry.

“The main goal on behalf of the state should be to keep business here,” he said. “We need to do a better job of both helping companies stay com­petitive and keeping them here in Connecticut.”

Manufacturing remains an integral part of our economy, but Albert referenced the state’s current anti-business climate, which makes it diffi­cult for manufacturers to do business here.

“We need to continue to edu­cate our legislators about the importance of manufacturing — smaller manufacturers, specifically — and its incredi­ble multiplier effect on our economy.”

He recognized the important relationship between the SMA and the chamber, suggesting that in our respective roles we can work together so that, “col­lectively, we make sure that manufacturers have the infor­mation and access to solutions that can help their businesses.” The chamber is proud to support the SMA and provide resources for manufacturers in our region.

In order to better serve this portion of our membership, we are developing a Manufactur­er’s Advisory Committee.

Chairman Richard DuPont, president of Resource Devel­opment Associates, said our mission is “to develop a con­centrated focus, which will guide us to discover growth op­portunities in the near future related to defense, energy, medical devices, electronics and the automotive manufac­turing industries.”

We will kick off this initia­tive on Monday, Oct. 19, with a panel discussion featuring Rep. Christopher S. Murphy, D-5th District; state Depart­ment of Labor Commissioner Patricia Mayfield, and state Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Joan McDon­ald.

Each will touch on pressing issues in manufacturing today, including green technology, work force development, and funding opportunities.

In addition, the chamber can also assist members in gaining on-the-job and incumbent worker training funds to keep regional manufacturers on the cutting edge. Steve Fournier, of Gar-Kenyon Technologies, recently took advantage of this opportunity.

“The Waterbury Regional Chamber has done a great job helping the manufacturing in­dustry stay competitive in this economic downturn,” he said.

“At Gar-Kenyon, we believe training our work force is es­sential to prosper and grow into the future. The WRC was able to assist us in securing In­cumbent Worker Training dol­lars through the Northwest Regional Workforce Invest­ment Board to help train our employees in Lean Principals.

Gar-Kenyon will be using CONNSTEP as our training re­source. This training would not have happened without it.”

Do you have questions about how your company can obtain federal stimulus dollars? How Waterbury can be on the cut­ting edge of the latest manu­facturing trends?

How we can attract new business to our region? Or how to train workers for the jobs of the future?

If so, join us Oct. 19, and consider membership in the chamber to become part of this growing council. Registration is required.

Lynn Ward is president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber. Contact her by e­mail at lward@waterburychamber.comor by phone at (203) 757-0701