Chamber News

May 06, 2020 Likes Comments

Builders can build again. (R U free Aug. 3?)

Welcome to the first day of the new rules requiring the wearing of face covering in public spaces across Massachusetts.
 
Stores may now decline entry to anyone who refuses to wear a face covering (unless it is for a medical reason). Violators can be fined up to $300 at the discretion of local law enforcement.
 
Find our directory of local merchants selling PPE on our Shop Local Directory. You’ll also find directories to help you shop locally for mom now that employees are allowed inside shops to help fill phone and online orders.
 
This afternoon at 1 p.m. on Day 57 of our shut down, we’ll have a presentation by crisis management expert (and chamber member) Janey Bishoff and HR specialist Pattie Hunt Sinacole to help us as we think about the logistical and human resource issues we’ll need to once we bring our economy back.
 
New hospital boss is a neighbor
 
Errol Norwitz has come a long way. But soon he'll live close enough to walk to work.
 
Norwitz was just named president of Newton-Wellesley Hospital. He is currently chief scientific officer at Tufts Medical Center and the chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Tufts MC and Tufts University School of Medicine.
 
He's a longtime Auburndale resident who now lives a few blocks from his new gig. He grew up in South Africa where he completed his medical training at the University of Cape Town.
 
He then pursued a PhD at Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, followed by an OB/GYN residency and maternal-fetal medicine fellowship at Harvard, with clinical training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.
 
There’s more: He earned an MBA from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University and has written 14 textbooks, 90 book chapters and more than 250 original research articles and reviews.
 
Norwitz will be returning to Newton-Wellesley, where he was on the medical staff from 1997-2002.
 
“As a longstanding Newton resident and former member of the Hospital’s medical staff, I know firsthand what a special institution this is,” he said in a statement. “I’m eager to collaborate with the dedicated, talented healthcare and administrative teams at NWH, and focus on driving the continuous innovation and superb care that our community deserves and has come to rely upon,”
 
Norwitz succeeds Dr. Michael R. Jaff, a former chamber director who joined Boston Scientific in January, and Dr. Gregg Meyer, who has led the hospital for the past several months.
 
He can start walking to work on July 1.
 
Construction projects can resume in Newton
 
Construction and renovation projects that had been put on hold across Newton can now resume, as long as you follow new guidelines.
 
The rules are not surprising: physical distancing, hand hygiene, employee health protections and site risk prevention measures as detailed in state construction guidelines. Workers must wear face coverings indoors or outdoors whenever workers are unable to maintain a distance of less than 6 feet apart.
 
Before commencing work, contractors or owners must sign and send to Newton’s Inspectional Services Department this form stating that they acknowledge they understand and will follow Newton’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Construction Sites. Newton’s inspectors will do unannounced visits to job sites as well as routine inspections to ensure compliance.
 
What are your future workforce needs?
 
The chamber is a partner with the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, an advocacy group has been an important voice for business on education policy on Beacon Hill.
 
MBAE has worked to ensure that all Massachusetts’ students gain the skills to contribute to our high-skill economy. Recently, MBAE advocated for effective, equitable remote learning plans to serve students during the COVID-19 crisis and to meet the needs of parents and guardians who are supporting their children at home while working. Last year, MBAE was a key negotiator for the Student Opportunity Act, which promised to address the state’s persistent education achievement gaps for minority students.
 
MBAE is now looking input from the businesses to shape its priorities going forward. They want to know how you prioritize education as part of workforce development. As part of that process, I’d like to ask you to spend five minutes completing this survey which is designed to help them help businesses plan for their workforce needs.
 
Health care, mental care
 
If you've lost a job and need insurance, you may qualify for coverage through the Health Connector. An extended enrollment period is available through May 25, 202. Apply for coverage here.
 
Mental health, emotional support and suicide prevention programs are a call away. Call2Talk by dialing 2-1-1. Call2Talk is also available by calling 508-532-2255 or by texting C2T to 741741. Text COVIDMA to 888-777 to receive daily text updates from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
 
Looking for other support? Sen. Cindy Creem has created this list of community organizations offering a variety of assistance.
 
They will not be getting your coffee
 
If you are a nonprofit organization with back-burner projects that you haven’t had the time and/or resources to complete and now have reduced staff, chamber member InternBoston can provide remote student interns for your organization at no cost to your nonprofit. Virtual60 is a new project-based internship program designed to provide students with meaningful, unpaid remote learning and career exploration opportunities
 
Finally, what are you doing Aug. 3?
 
Massachusetts golf courses are closed. But Gov. Charlie Baker is thinking about allowing golfers back on the fairway, MassLive reports.
 
Golf associations representatives (well maybe not this guy) met with Baker’s reopening advisory board over the weekend. They proposed a number of modifications, such as managing tee time intervals and educing touch points on the golf course and golf experience.
 
Baker said the “presentation is being taken into consideration."
 
That would be great news for golfers and the chamber: Our annual Childrens Charitable Golf Tournament, (an important fundraiser for us and a local charity) is booked for Aug. 3 at Woodland.
 
Hope to see you there. In person. Not by Zoom.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
617-244-1688
Your chamber is here when you need us.

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