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 firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at (203) 757-0701
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