Community Health Center Marks 40 Years With New Building

The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce celebrates the Community Health Center, highlights the chamber's Career EXPO and announces the inception of a new office training program.

As April comes to a close and we look toward May, we need to honor one of the great jewels of Middletown and the state of Connecticut, the . This week, CHC celebrates its 40th anniversary and I want to recognize the fine work of Mark Masselli and his team throughout all of these years. 

Mark founded the organization in 1972 and he continues to be a community leader that I am proud to call my friend. CHC has grown into a patient-centered health home for 130,000 Connecticut residents offering a range of medical, dental and behavioral health services.  In celebration of the 40th anniversary, CHC will be unveiling its new 50,000 square feet “green” primary health care facility at 675 Main Street May 5 at noon. 

This state-of-the-art facility reflects four decades of innovation, hard work and dedication and is a great addition to Main Street. Congratulations to the Community Health Center on 40 years and we look forward to many more years of success in the new building.

Last week was another busy one for the Chamber. Last Thursday, our Business and Education Partnership Program, the Middlesex Consortium of Schools, and Wesleyan University hosted the seventh Annual High School Career Fair Expo for Middlesex County High School students, at the Spurrier-Snyder Ice Rink, Freeman Athletic Center, Wesleyan University. 

More than 100 business and career professionals, many from the chamber’s membership, were on hand to discuss and share their career experiences with close to 1,200 students from Middletown, Portland, Coginchaug, Cromwell, East Hampton, Vinal Tech, Haddam-Killingworth and Valley Regional high schools. 

We were also joined by some students from the Meriden and New London areas.  This event provides our high school students with an excellent opportunity to explore potential careers so that they may better plan their educational goals.  The expertise of business and community leaders is invaluable in connecting academics with the skills required in the workplace, and I want to thank them both personally, and on behalf of the chamber for their support of this event. 

I also want to thank Chairman Tom Serra and all the volunteers from our Business and Education Partnership Program, the Middlesex Consortium of Schools, Wesleyan University, and Jennifer De Kine from the chamber office for putting on another outstanding event. 

I want to especially thank the major sponsors of this event, Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas Services, Pratt & Whitney and Wesleyan University, and event supporters, American Eagle Federal Credit Union, Lyman Farm Inc., Triple Springs Spring Water Company, Meriden, students from Vinal Technical High School Skills USA Program, and for providing student transportation to the event, .

Speaking of developing our workforce, I am thrilled to announce the inception of an all new training program geared towards the workforce in Middlesex County.  The 21st-Century Office Training and Advanced Office Training Program, which is free to the public, is designed to provide individuals with the necessary skills to compete in today's highly competitive workforce. 

The program’s comprehensive and challenging course schedule will improve the student’s technical proficiencies with software applications and the internet and will provide strategies to strengthen written communication. The 21st-Century Office Training and Advanced Office Training Program will begin with a mandatory orientation session on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the chamber office. 

We look forward to administering this program for the members of Middlesex County’s workforce. Any questions or concerns regarding this program can be directed to Johanna Bond at Johanna@middlesexchamber.com.

Last Thursday, I attended the kickoff of the Middlesex County Community Foundation's 15th Anniversary Celebrations with a tour of their new offices in Middletown. MCCF has moved to the top floor of 211 South Main Street. I was very impressed with the new set up and I want to publicly thank President and CEO Cynthia Clegg and her team for their great work throughout Middlesex County.

Finally, the Chamber's 29th Annual Golf Tournament will be held Friday at the Portland Golf Course. The tournament, one of our signature events, is sold out again this year. We are looking forward to another great year of sunshine, golf, food and friends. This year’s Robert Briggs “Good Guy” award will be presented to Paul F. Pendergast. 

This award is given annually to an individual in recognition of contributions made to the community and also to the chamber’s golf tournament. Paul is as the director of Institutional Advancement at the University of Connecticut — a role he assumed on March 17.  He previously served as the president of the St. Francis Foundation and the senior vice president of Development for Saint Francis Hospital and acting Director of Athletics for the University of Connecticut from October 2011 through March 2012. 

I want to personally thank my friend Paul for his great contributions to the Middlesex Chamber, Middlesex County and the state of Connecticut. 

For information, contact Jeff Pugliese at jpugliese@middlesexchamber.com.

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