With the ambition to market Waterbury, Connecticut as a remarkable place to ‘live, work, learn and play’, the Waterbury Regional Chamber, in collaboration with economic city leaders, has just released an image-building website, “WhyBeHere.com”. Spearheaded by Lynn Ward, president and CEO of the Waterbury Regional Chamber, and created in close collaboration with economic development partners including Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O’Leary and Ronald J. Pugliese, director, Economic Development, Office of the Mayor of Waterbury; the Waterbury Development Corporation (WDC); and Main Street Waterbury, the just-released www.WhyBeHere.com website features a YouTube video and theme song “Be Here”, all produced by Tom Peterson of Thynk Tank of Southbury.
“Our ambition with this branding campaign via a YouTube video and website,” explained Ward, “is that Waterbury is very much open for business. We realize that social media is the most effective and rapid method for building awareness of the exceptional opportunities that exist in Waterbury for people to work, live, learn and play.” Peterson commented, "It is an enormous ambition for a city to do a branding campaign which can be expensive, but with social media we can be smart, and mostly get the word out for free. By producing a video, we hope every person who lives, or does business in Waterbury, will watch the video, "like it" on YOUTUBE and then forward it on to a friend or colleague outside of Waterbury. If each person sends the link to one other person, we have the potential to reach over a half of a million people, and we all win!"
The enthusiastic, informative and engaging image-building www.WhyBeHere.com website offers insights into the richness and diversity of living, learning, working and playing in Waterbury from the perspectives of some of Waterbury most influential and dedicated political, employment, artistic, educational, retail, manufacturing, restoration and leisure activity professionals. “This is a city unlike any other in the state of Connecticut. “Waterbury is the place to be,” stated Mayor Neil O’Leary in his welcoming opening remarks.
Mayor O’Leary went on to state, “I have seen such enthusiasm, excitement, motivation, and stakeholdership, just a big wave of enthusiasm by people in the city as well as the region who are recognizing that Waterbury is the place to be.” The video highlights Waterbury’s greatest assets including colleges and universities, arts arenas, education and workforce offerings, economic development ambitions, manufacturing opportunities, clean water systems, dedication and loyalty of residents, business owners and workers alike.
The ninth largest city in New England and the fifth largest in Connecticut, Waterbury was recognized as an industrial power in the early 19th century when it became known as the “Brass Capital of the World”. Today it continues to be home to a large and diverse base of businesses. The website states, “We offer a highly-skilled workforce, a robust infrastructure, and manufacturing companies that have re-invented themselves to adapt to the new economy.” Jack E. Traver, Jr., president of Traver IDC, commented in the video, “There are over 5,000 manufacturers still in Connecticut employing over 200,000 employees. And for every manufacturing job, three to four service sector jobs are also created.” Mayor O’Leary commented, “Manufacturers are doing very well here to the point they have job openings. We are marketing the city and bringing in jobs.”
Catherine Awwad, executive director of the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board, committed, “We will be turning out hundreds of potential workers. We offer an educated workforce, plus funding for an incumbent worker training program to keep employees knowledgeable about updated technologies.” Ward commented, “Waterbury is known to have a highly-skilled workforce. We are working to keep the people employable, trainable, and knowledge-able about all of the different aspects of not only manu-facturing but also in the health care and service sectors as well.”
Mayor O’Leary stated, “Our commitment to education over the last several years has been phenomenal. Currently we are building a $60M new school, the Waterbury Career Academy to train students in the areas of allied health, human resources, technology, engineering technology, and manufacturing skills.” Educators and employers commented, “It shows a true commitment by the city and the school system. This new school will offer 21st century skills, and we’re spending over $300M on new facilities or renovating facilities throughout the region.”
“Waterbury is one of the most diverse cities in Connecticut. We are truly a melting pot,” stated O’Leary. Other com-munity leaders commented, “The city is revitalized, it’s growing. People are fantastic. There’s a sense of com-munity like you’ll feel nowhere else. Descriptions on the website and video include, “Our neighborhoods are thriving with new schools, and businesses are being motivated to come to town. But our real gift to the region is the cultural flavor which gives Waterbury its diverse personality, rich traditions, and highly engaged people. We have wonderful neighborhoods, a wonderful sense of community. This area has a soul to it.”
Easily accessed off Interstate highway Route 84 in north central Connecticut, Waterbury has become “a destination place.” Commentators stated, “Waterbury has great houses. We still have all the houses brass barons had, solidly-built houses. Plus we have great historic buildings waiting to be developed. This city is clean, safe and friendly. We have a very strong religious community here that adds to the quality of life. This area is rich with talent, and professionals who give of their talents to the arts here. People travel from New York City and Boston to enjoy our artistic offerings from the Palace Theater, the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, the Seven Angels Theater and more.”
“The Waterbury Regional Chamber’s goal,” explained Ward, “in developing this new branding campaign is to re-educate and enhance people’s perception of our great city. While our chamber represents over 1,000 businesses in 13 towns, a dedicated focus has been placed on reviving the
reputation of the region’s core city. Our Chamber’s ability to collaborate with economic development partners is stronger than ever and we are proud to have been given the opportunity to lead this positive marketing effort”. To experience the nine minute “Waterbury Be Here” video, or view the short 60 second commercial, the “Mayor Fights Blight”, and the” Arts in Waterbury” videos, visit www.whybehere.com.