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Meetings & Minutes
Older Workers CommitteeJune 29, 2010:
MAINE JOBS COUNCIL 45 COMMERCE DRIVE AUGUSTA, MAINE 04330
OLDER WORKERS COMMITTEE Maine Jobs Council June 29, 2010 MINUTES
Sharon Barker Women’s Resource Center, Univ of Maine and the Women’s Employment Issues Committee Bob Traill Bonney Staffing Garret Oswald Maine Jobs Council Esther Clenott Goodwill Industries Dan Muth National Able Network Cynthia Dowd Goodwill Industries: SCSEP program and Aging Worker Initiative Sean McKenna Maine Dept of Labor Sydney Perkins Maine Dept of labor Sarah Standiford Maine Women’s Lobby and the Women’s Employment Issues Committee Maggie Vishneau USM Muskie School Larry Ullian USM Muskie School Jim McGrath Retiree Jane Black Eastern Maine Development: Corporation Aging Worker Initiative Debbie Kelly Coastal Counties Workforce Inc: Aging Worker Initiative Rosemary Winslow Representative Mike Michaud’s Office Renee Goodwin Senator Olympia Snowe’s Office Erin McGuire Representative Chellie Pingree’s Office Peter Reilly Retiree Jim Pierce Retiree Peaches Bass Maine Department of Labor Amy Blackstone University of Maine, Department of Sociology
Welcome and Introductions Bob Traill welcomed all to the meeting. Introductions were made around the table.
Approval of Minutes Esther Clenott moved and Jane Black seconded approval of the minutes from the April 29, 2010 meeting. There was unanimous approval.
Presentation by Amy Blackstone, Ph.D. Dr. Blackstone, a professor of sociology at the University of Maine, presented her research and findings on the workplace harassment of older workers. She provided some hard copy materials showing the various types of harassing behaviors by percentage reported. Under 3% of the respondents reported any form of sexual harassment. The most often reported forms of harassment were related to respect and dignity in the workplace: being talked down to by coworkers or bosses, having work contributions
ignored, being isolated or left out of decisions affecting one’s work. Other offensive behaviors, such as invasion of personal space, offensive age related jokes about one’s self or others, and subtle or obvious threats to one’s safety were also reported.
Dr Blackstone noted that she would like to conduct further research on this topic but currently has no funding to do so.
Maine’s Aging Workforce Report Sean McKenna, the intern working on the Maine’s Aging Workforce Report, distributed hard copies of the draft. He gave a brief description of his work to date. There was discussion of his including policy recommendations and information on the Aging Worker Initiative, and presenting the status of Maine’s aging workforce in a positive light. If others have more suggestions for Sean, they can be emailed to him as well as Garret Oswald, John Christie, Bob Traill, or Peaches Bass.
Update on Aging Worker Initiative (AWI) and Discussion Debbie Kelly provided an over view of the Aging Worker Initiative (AWI). She submitted a grant modification in order to have a more inclusive list of occupations. She noted that the workforce Investment Act’s (WIA) common measures don’t mesh with the employment objectives of older workers. Suggestions included having a discussion with the US Department of Labor when Maine negotiates its WIA common measures and that the Older Workers Committee and the AWI formulate a policy recommendation that can be integrated into the Maine’s Aging Workforce Report.
Maggie Vishneau and Larry Ullian discussed the Employer component of the AWI. They described a pilot meeting sponsored by the Presque Isle chapter of the Society of Human Resources Managers. The employers/human resources professionals actively participated and offered helpful ideas. Maggie and Larry distributed an “Employers Dialogue” version of the AWI pamphlet and a tool kit for employers.
Silver Collar Award Jim McGrath expressed concern because no nomination for the Silver Collars Award had been received. He briefly restated the eligibility guidelines and he appealed to the Committee to nominate employers. The deadline is July 21.
Preview of the 2010 OWC Work Plan The group discussed how to revive/continue the Adult Basic Computer (ABC) program. Garret will investigate the feasibility of doing so.
Adjournment There being no other business before the OWC, the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 PM.
August 31, 2010 1:30 -3:30 PM Maine Department of Labor Frances Perkins Room B Central Maine Conference Center Augusta