WESTFIELD – Eric Oulette of South Hadley began work as the new executive director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce on April 12.
Westfield residents involved in scouting may know Oulette as a former assistant scout executive/COO of the Western Mass Council of Boys Scouts of America (BSA) from 2016 to 2019.
Originally from Rhode Island, Oulette graduated from Norwich University in 2008,and then took a job for the BSA in E. Providence, before coming to Westfield. While here, he also served as Westfield Rotary president from 2019 to 2020.
Oulette then took a job in New Hampshire with the Daniel Webster Council of the BSA for a year. He said his wife and 5-year-old son had stayed home while he worked in New Hampshire, before the family made the decision to remain in western Massachusetts.
“We love it here. It’s a great place to be,” Oulette said. He said he was very excited to accept the position at the Chamber of Commerce, adding that he knows he has big shoes to fill following Kate Phelon, who retired in 2020.
“With the reopening here, and everyone getting their shots, the Chamber will be looking to be a shot in the arm to local businesses. This is a critical time to help businesses in any way that we can,” Oulette said.
One of the first events Oulette and the Chamber have planned towards that end is co-hosting an outdoor job fair with Mestek on the lawn at 214 North Elm St. on May 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
All area businesses are invited to set up a table and showcase their job offerings. A spot at the job fair is free for Chamber members and $25 for non-members. Businesses are responsible for bringing their own tables and chairs and a pop-up tent if desired. To register for the job fair, email Oulette ([email protected]) or Fran Zampini ([email protected]) at the Chamber of Commerce, call 413 568-1618. The deadline to register is May 17. No rain date is scheduled.
Oulette said the job fair is an opportunity for businesses in need of employees, for residents looking for job opportunities, and for young people looking for summer positions. “We’re opening this up to all businesses in the greater Westfield area, from Mestek to local pizza places looking for help,” he said.
Meanwhile, Oulette is busy meeting with board members from the Chamber. He said the board voted last week to start doing in-person After 5 and Coffee Hour events in May.
“Now that more and more people are getting vaccines, it’s important for people to get out from behind the computer screen and start networking,” Oulette said.