Important Message Re: An Act Establishing Just Schedules for Employees

Dear BVCC Member, 

I would like to bring to your attention, if you are not already aware, of a new proposed bill before the legislature…


An Act Establishing Just Schedules for Employees

 – Representative Garballey

This bill addresses on-call and last-minute scheduling by mandating the provision of extra pay for employees whose schedule is changed within 24 hours of the shift. Specific mandates include 3 hours of pay at minimum wage when workers work less and are sent home early, 4 hours of pay at the regular rate of pay for work cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice, when workers are sent home early and work less than four hours, or for unworked on-call shifts, and 1 hour of extra pay for any shifts added within 24 hours. It also strengthens investigative and punitive authority for the government to incentivize compliance.
Here is a link to the actual bill


If passed, this law could cause problems for many  small business owners, and add greatly to the cost of doing business in the Commonwealth.  The Blackstone Valley Chamber is working with MACCE (Mass Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives) and AIM to reach out to our legislators with your views on how this could affect you.  Please contact your legislators and let me know your thoughts  so we can act as a liaison for you in reaching out as your voice of business.


Many thanks for your input and support!



Jeannie Hebert

President and CEO

A Manufacturing Renaissance? – By Senator Richard T. Moore

moore“The story of the factories of the Bay State is a narrative of an astonishing concentration of human endeavor.

“In quantity no less than in value do the manufactures of Massachusetts amaze. A boot, shoe, or slipper for every human foot in the United States; more cotton goods than the whole world produced when John Adams was President; enough hosiery to cover 40,000 miles of feet and legs; sufficient woolen goods to put a twenty-foot bandage around the waist of Mother Earth – these are some of the yardsticks that measure the annual activities of this beehive of industry.

“Of course, when one thinks of Massachusetts industry, the manufacture of textiles comes immediately to mind.

“Think of twelve million flying spindles converting fiber into yearn and thread, each of them dancing around its own axis at rates varying from 5,000 to 10,000 turns a minute. Placed end to end, these dancing dervishes of the textile industry would reach from Montreal, Canada to Memphis, Tennessee.

“Then, there are the looms, a quarter of a million of them. Put these cloth making machines together, end to end, with no aisles in between them, and the weaving shed required to house them would begin in Boston, Mass., and end in Wilmington, Delaware. Every third spindle and loom in the United States is humming away in the cities and towns of the Bay State.”

Excerpt from “Massachusetts – Beehive of Business,”
Published in The National Geographic Magazine, March, 1920

Nearly a century ago, Massachusetts was among the national leaders in manufacturing. As the “Birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution,” it’s not surprising that the Bay State was such a Mecca of business and industry.
Then, about fifty years ago, the effects of the Great Depression and another World War, and competition from lower wage states, and, ultimately, foreign countries took its toll. The hours were long; the labor was often hard and physical or boring piece work. Parents wanted better for their children, and children wanted better for themselves.

Massachusetts, known since colonial times as a place where education was valued, began to promote a college education and scholarly pursuits. The professions – largely service in method – became the goal of most educated young people. Technology replaced much of the traditional manufacturing, and office buildings replaced workshops. Technology also dramatically reduced the need for large numbers of workers doing repetitive functions. The economy shifted to an innovation economy where brains took over for brawn.

Manufacturing known today as “advanced manufacturing technology” needs fewer workers and more innovative thinkers. Massachusetts now boasts an innovation economy, and manufacturing of lasers, robotic, fiber-optics has replaced textiles and shoes. The jobs are usually clean – almost like laboratories – and the pay is substantially better.

Despite the growth of first-class regional vocational technical high schools like Blackstone Valley, Bay Path, and Worcester, there are not enough skilled workers to supply the new advanced manufacturing facilities. It is estimated that 190,000 skilled jobs go unfilled for lack of qualified applicants. Our educational system continues to produce, and parents continue to demand education for the professions despite the over-supply of lawyers, accountants, and others.

However, a “new industrial revolution” is beginning. Policymakers and educational leaders are finally working together with advanced manufacturing entrepreneurs to focus on the need for a skilled workforce to meet the needs of advanced manufacturing. The Legislature has established a “Manufacturing Caucus,” focused on listening to the needs of industry and on shifting public policy priorities to support this burgeoning sector. The state’s higher education leadership is developing a shared effort among community colleges, state universities, and the University of Massachusetts to develop training centers that offer college level technical courses to educate the new advanced manufacturing workforce.

Recently, a manufacturing roundtable of business, government, and education leaders held meetings in Southbridge, at the Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Upton, and at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School in Franklin. Another is planned in Sturbridge in the coming weeks. We have some catching up to do, but the will and the means are present.

Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, is the Senate President Pro Tempore of the Massachusetts Senate. He is also the Senate Chairman of the Legislature’s new Manufacturing Caucus. He represents fourteen towns in South Central Massachusetts that were the “Birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution.”


Sean Riley, Director of External Affairs Office of Senator Richard T. Moore
(W) 617-722-1420
(C) 508-572-1433

BVCC Sustainable Business Award Winner – Boston Bumper Supply, Inc.

Boston Bumper Supply won the Sustainable Business Award at the BVCC 35th Annual Meeting. Why?
Tim Lewis wins the BVCC Sustainable Business award at 35th Annual BVCC meeting.

Tim Lewis wins the BVCC Sustainable Business award at 35th Annual BVCC meeting.

We know of no other business owner who has built a company based on one hundred percent recycling, outgrew his facilities twice in four years, and saved the community two and a half acres of landfill space in the process. Today Boston Bumper is the largest independent bumper recycler in all of New England – serving wholesale distributors and body shops stretching from Maine to Maryland.

Boston Bumper’s 100 percent recycling program goes full circle and benefits the community all along the way. Damaged bumpers, collected from local body shops, are saved from landfill disposal. 30 percent are deemed repairable and placed into inventory — with customers realizing a 50 percent savings over the cost of a new bumper. The remainder are donated to the Blackstone Valley Recycling Center where they are sold for scrap to be reprocessed into other commodities; monies earned from this endeavor are given back to the community.
At last count of record, (2009-2011) the company had recycled more than 44,000 bumpers. But, it doesn’t stop there. As an auto body school graduate with 20 years in the industry, Tim also donates his time, materials, and expertise to teach advanced repair technologies at vocational schools throughout the state.

Boston Bumper Supply reconditions factory bumper covers. With skilled technicians using tried and tested procedures the end result is a quality bumper cover that is ready to be painted. They use only the highest quality products available to repair their bumpers . Their experienced professionals can quickly identify and price bumper covers using bumper identification software.

Boston Bumper Supply has thousands of bumper covers in their inventory with new bumper covers coming in every day. At Boston Bumper Supply you can view which bumper covers they have in stock. The website inventory is updated daily and they offer free daily shipping within the Boston, Metro West and Providence R.I. areas. Shipping arrangements are also available for anywhere within the U.S. thru one of their distributors.

We congratulate Tim Lewis for this wonderful achievement and his contribution to the community.

5 Credit Issues You Can Easily Avoid

Ever been in a retail establishment, perhaps an upscale boutique or a restaurant, where cash was simply no good? Especially for mature Americans who grew up believing in the atmmachinestrength of the “greenback,” that experience can be a little disconcerting. And yet that’s the way of the world. In today’s society, you need credit…and your credit rating is very much an index that important parties use to decide whether you can be trusted.
Here are five pitfalls which cause millions of people financial hardship, especially old Americans.

We use Too Much Credit!

People who build effective wealth strategies know that credit is a tool. Just like a carpenter doesn’t use a circular saw to start his car, so savvy spenders shouldn’t pile up credit card debt covering daily living expenses. A good rule is to never use more than 35 percent of your available credit and don’t rack up amounts you can’t pay off at the end of the month.

We Use Too Little Credit!

You need a credit rating to buy a car, get a mortgage, or qualify for discounts on home or auto coverage. Once again, your credit rating is used as an index by which important parties decide whether you can be trusted.

We Co-Sign!

If you co-sign for a loan and the primary borrower is tardy making payments or defaults altogether, your own credit rating will take a beating. You, the co-signer, are responsible. Do NOT co-sign for anybody.

We Drown in Student Loans!

Consider this – -Americans owe between $902 BILLION and $1 TRILLION in student loan debt. Student loans are very serious! Before you take on debt to pay for higher education, ask a professional about alternatives.

We Don’t Check Our Credit!

Identity theft is an industry, and banks make mistakes – two legitimate reasons to carefully monitor your credit report. A little vigilance can save you major headaches.

Consider this: our expertise lies in the accumulation of meaningful wealth – – using credit, investment, insurance, and tax strategies. Take a responsible step. Call us!

Girard Financial Group

7 S. Main Street
PO Box 679
Millbury, MA 01527
Fax: 508-635-6846

Sources: (1) Detweiler, Gerri. “Five Credit Mistakes Older Americans Make” Sept. 4, 2013. (2) “Student Loan Debt Statistics” American Student Assistance. September 4, 2013.

Entrepreneur of the Year – Brett Niver of Irrigation Automation Systems

Brett Niver

Brett Niver,owner of Irrigation Automation Systems, accepts the award of Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2013 Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce Breakfast.

From cranberry bogs to vineyards to citrus groves throughout the US and Canada, Irrigation Automation Systems (IAS) customers have a lot to be thankful for
this year.

These small-to-medium growers of agricultural cash crops operate on razor-thin margins based on achieving maximum crop yield per acre. The difference between success or failure often hinges on their ability to respond quickly to the forces of nature.

Brett shares, ” After our customer workshop yesterday where we helped educated cranberry growers on new diesel engine technologies and requirements, Jim reminded me that our technology actually cuts emissions and protects air-quality by reducing the total amount of fuel used for irrigation.  We’re working to improve our world one grower at a time.”

Brett Niver, an Ohio native with a background in industrial automation, purchased IAS on April 15, 2011. Brett wanted to focus his software development expertise on agrarian challenges and IAS had the beginnings of the products and services infrastructure he needed to move forward. Today, the Company leads the industry in technology innovation and “first of a kind” automation systems for agriculture. Its Early Warning and Monitoring System collects data in real time and provides growers with status alerts on soil and weather conditions. Remote pump control systems direct the release of water and fertilizer when and where they are needed.

But IAS is not just about product innovation and growth. Their concerns for the community they live and work in run equally as deep. Last year, they donated systems to Community Harvest in Grafton where they were used to produce tons of fresh fruits and vegetables for the Worcester County Food Bank.

The Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce congratulates Brett Niver for exhibiting true ‘Valley’ entrepreneurial skills and success!