Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
The East Bay Chamber of Commerce is preparing for our Annual Awards Recognition Dinner in October, 2016. The award recipients will be announced and honored during the recognition dinner and your participation in the selection of award recipients is crucial. Please send us your nominations,(name and reasons for your choice with as much information as possible) for the following awards:
Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award
Any individual who is a citizen of the East Bay area and who has contributed significantly through their volunteer efforts to make their community a better place to live.
Business of the Year Award
A member of the East Bay Chamber, established locally for at least three years and has demonstrated staying power and positive response to adversity in a changing business environment. They have had at least one internal practice or program of merit demonstrating innovation, sound business practices, visionary approach and dedication. The business has shown exemplary success within their industry, and has displayed a high level of community involvement.
Outstanding Chamber Member Award
The Chamber Member Award is bestowed upon any active, current member, who has worked diligently over the past year to further the mission of the East Bay Chamber.
Please click the link below to download a nomination form. You may email the form, or mail it to 16 Cutler St., Ste. 102, Warren, 02885. You DO NOT need to be a Chamber member to submit a nomination. Email Suzanne with questions or comments.
Representatives from BankNewport’s Human Resources department were presented with an “Exemplary” award at the 2016 Annual Worksite Health Awards ceremony held on June 2 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island and the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the annual event recognizes Rhode Island organizations that go above and beyond to improve their employees’ health and wellness. It is the fifth consecutive year that BankNewport has been recognized as “Exemplary,” the highest level of Worksite Health Award given to an organization.
With over 90% employee participation in 2015, BankNewport’s Vitality Wellness Program comprises annual physical and personal health assessments, nutrition and weight management series, flu clinics, stress workshops, yoga classes, ergonomics and injury prevention sessions, a “Fit Camp” lunch program, and an onsite wellness center at the Bank’s Administration and Operations Center in Middletown.
In addition, a special ‘paint by numbers’ art project, coordinated by the Bank’s employee wellness committee, offered employees a fun, stress-relieving activity that now adorns the hallway walls of the Middletown facility, enriching the overall work environment.
Over the past decade, BankNewport has also received “Superior” and “Outstanding” recognition for worksite wellness.
Founded in 1819 and headquartered in Newport, BankNewport offers a full suite of loan and deposit products and services for families and businesses throughout Rhode Island. In addition, OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of BankNewport, offers a broad range of property casualty insurance products and a full array of financial services. With 15 banking offices and $1.4 billion in assets, BankNewport is one of the oldest community banks in the United States and, as a mutual organization, is committed to the financial success of its customers, employees and communities.
The “white collar” exemption is a complete minimum wage and overtime exemption for bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees. Review the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Power Point presentation on the Department of Labor's final new rule on overtime. Features: A quick review; the new rule; and preparing for change.
BRISTOL – Heading off to Webb Institute in New York this fall, Renee Tremblay plans to study naval architecture and marine engineering. While her four years at Mt. Hope High School fostered her interest in engineering, it wasn’t until Renee participated in a pilot program, gaining hands-on experience in the field, that she fully understood her chosen career field.
“I wouldn’t have been ready to study engineering without knowing how machines work,” she said.
Renee was one of seven Mt. Hope students who were chosen to participate in a pilot internship program this spring, assembled by the East Bay Chamber of Commerce, local business owners and the Bristol-Warren Regional School District. The students gave a presentation on their progress to program participants on Wednesday, June 1, at the high school.
“Things went really well. I felt like year one was a solid year,” said Wayne Lima, head of the STEM Department at Mt. Hope. “Our big picture goal is to not be just a small sampling of the population, but to grow to as many students.”
Planning for the program took about a year, said Dr. Mario Andrade, superintendent of the Bristol-Warren Regional School District. Many meetings were held between the school administration and the business owners, and between the administration and the students, to fully form a mutually beneficial internship program. Businesses that participated included Tri-Mack Plastics, Jade Engineered Plastics, East Bay Manufacturing, and WaterRower.
The students started their internships this past February in areas such as engineering machining and marketing; and finishing up the first week of June. Time spent at each site varied, averaging about four hours each week after school.
“I can remember back when I was in school that at an internship you were filing papers, or sweeping the floors,” Dr. Andrade said. “We wanted this to be much than that.”
“This (program) takes the theory they learn in school and makes it understandable in practical applications,” said Don Rebello, Mt. Hope High School principal.
That rang true for senior Nick Silva, who went to work for Jade Engineered Plastics. As he told the audience, his course schedule shifted “unexpectedly” and he found himself taking an advanced graphing course at the high school.
“I had no previous knowledge about graphing at all,” Nick said. “But working at Jade helped a lot. I got more experience and time to practice so I could better grasp the concepts in class. It wasn’t just the one or two hours at school.”
Teagan Jones learned how to start a business from the ground up.
“When I first toured East Bay Manufacturing, I was told that there are endless opportunities in manufacturing, and that really resonated with me,” Teagan said. “I learned so much – not just marketing, but how to communicate with different people.”
Teagan helped found Goods4Good, an online shopping cart that sells locally made goods, and donating 100-percent of the profits to charity.
“These students are learning things we can’t simulate in a classroom, like how to start and run a business,” Mr. Lima said. “(This program) can actually make that happen. It’s what the whole internship program is about.”
Feedback given by the students and business owners will help not only shape the future of the program, but course offerings at the high school. Senior Dan Brogran stressed the importance of teaching more about Microsoft Excel, as it was an integral part of his internship at Tri-Mack Plastics.
“It was really important and a huge part of the process at TriMack,” he said.
Not only did the students gain valuable experience, but the businesses did as well. Dan McDonough set up Google Analytics for Tri-Mack’s website, which “taught them a lot about their website they didn’t know,” said Marcie Williams, human resources administrator at Tri-Mack.
“Renee helped us find ways to be more efficient and reduce waste,” said Adam Benoit, an engineer at WaterRower. “And when you’re producing 300 machines a day, that’s important.”
Dr. Andrade is hopeful to grow the program for the upcoming school year, expanding the number of participating businesses, and to also allow for the students to work during school hours.
“Learning goes on 24-7,” he said. “We want to design a high school to expand the students learning opportunities. This is really a community effort, a community program.”