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Older Workers Committee meetingApril 26, 2011: 1:30 AM Frances Perkins Room, Central Maine Commerce Center
OLDER WORKERS COMMITTEE April 26, 2011 MEETING MINUTES
John Christie Retiree Bob Traill Bonney Staffing Center Ester Clenott Goodwill Industries Garret Oswald MJC Gail Dyer MJC Debbie Drinkwater Office of Elder Services, DHHS Ruth Graves Women, Work, and Community Dan Muth National Able Network Ruth Pease MDOL Ruth Graves WWC Barry Peaco Goodwill Industries Jim McGrath Retiree
Welcome and Introductions John requested we go around the room and introduce ourselves and our affiliation.
Approval of Minutes The minutes from the Feb. 24th meeting did not go out to all that were present so some hard copies were passed out and the minutes were approved as written.
WIA Funds Report Garret provided an update to the members on what information he had to this date. The 10% that funds the MJC is non-existent at this point. MJC has been under review per the direction of the new Governor. Garret stated that 321 million dollars was cut from the Workforce Investment budget and that there is talk of the money being turned into an “Innovation Fund.” There are still many uncertainties both for the MJC and the OWC. There are some committees required under statue but the OWC is not one of them. There is a potential to reorganize and combine committees to eliminate redundancy according to the new administration. Garret suggested we continue on as always until such time that we receive some definitive information. The Career Center funding allocation comes from the Workforce Investment Act so they are also at risk due to the budgets cuts.
AWI Update Debbie Kelly gave an update on the AWI grant.
• At this point there have been no proposed funding cuts • The process for compiling the information for the last quarters is under way. Deb feels they will have met their goals. • The US DOL has indicated they will allow part-time employment under this grant. There was much discussion around the need for part-time employment both for the older workers as well as the employers. As an employer they don’t have to pay benefits to part-time employees, and many older workers are no longer interested in working full time. There was general agreement that part time employment is more realistic for older workers. • The Muskie school has surpassed their goal of reaching 200 employers through the Employer Dialogues, with a final count of 235. Their contract ended at the end of March. Surveys have been sent out. • There was some discussion around duplication of efforts. Deb felt that this may be a detriment to employers to be inundated by a variety of sources.
CAEL Policy Summit • There could potentially be a role for the OWC – There is still work to be done
Skills in Demand by Maine Employers At our last meeting Bob Traill shared information he gathered on what skills are most in demand with employers in Maine. These were composed through sampling of selected Maine staffing companies.
• Legal secretaries – needed primarily by smaller law firms, on their way out • Computer jobs – Younger workers have the skills, although many older workers do not. • Machinists • Technical Assemblers with soldering skills • Welders • Medical billers and coders • Nurses – All levels, Caregivers, Home health Aides • Hospitality workers
Ruth P. passed out graphs with statistics on private employment and new hires by age and jobs. The graphs are very informative and she has stated she would send the graphs to committee members via e-mail. They indicate a growing need for caregivers of all types. Garret suggested that it would be helpful to receive additional information such as how many are being hired and for what jobs,
Ruth G. talked about the barriers for older workers when applying for jobs online. Many of them do not trust this method due to privacy issues. Many companies do not verify receipt of applications or resumes so the applicant is not always sure the application was received. There are also challenges for the older worker who receives some basic computer instruction but needs more advanced skills to be qualified for many of the jobs that are available and even filling out the online applications..
The 65+ grant includes an exercise to determine how much has changed within a 30 day time frame.
Garrett suggested we needed additional information such as more details of the job descriptions and what industries are hiring older workers. We need to know from the employers what their needs are.
Barry P. said they had just replaced a SCSEP coordinator position with a Navigator. He and Dan Muth also shared that there has been a cut to the SCSEP budget which is a 25% reduction over last year. Clearly this will be a reduction in the number of participants that can be served in the program.
There were some concerns expressed that the older workers are not using the job bank. There are a variety of reasons for this. It is not necessarily user friendly or updated frequently. There is some attention going into this to ensure it is updated regularly and easily navigated.
Summer Interns/OWC Report/Status
Garret said that due to the uncertainty with the MJC and OWC he has not solicited an intern to compose our annual report as has been done in the past and was planned for this year.
Silver Collar Winners • There is still an interest in inviting Silver Collar winners to our OWC meetings but this will be on hold at least until our next meeting. Hopefully by then we will have a more definitive idea of the existence and direction of the MJC and the OWC.
Adjournment There being no other business before the OWC, the meeting was adjourned at 3:40 PM.
Next Meeting; June 14, 2011 1:30 -3:30 PM Maine Department of Labor Frances Perkins Room A