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Maine Jobs Council 12/13/11 MeetingDecember 13, 2011: 9:00 AM Frances Perkins Room, Central Maine Commerce Center
Maine Jobs Council/Statewide Workforce Investment Board December 13, 2011 Minutes
Members Present: Governor Paul R. LePage, Senator Thomas Martin Jr., Senator Garrett Mason, Representative Amy Volk, Council Chair Frederick Webber, Program Policy Committee Representative Peter Pare, Wayne Holmquist, Scott Good, Leo Roche, Joanne Harris, Susan Corbett, Kevin Healey, Steve Pound, Mark Adams, Tom Davis, Gary McGrane, Don Berry, John Leavitt, Tracey Cooley, Gerard Salvo, Mel Clarrage, Gail Senese, Carolyn Lockwood, Liz Ray, Dan Muth, Barbara Woodlee, William Burney, Laura Boyett, Renee Kelly, Meg Harvey Members Absent: Edward McKersie, Deb Neuman, Representative Peter Johnson Attending as Proxy: Mel Arsenault for Craig Larrabee Guests: Michael Bourret, Joanna Russell, Jeffrey Sneddon, Ryan Pelletier, Antoinette Mancusi, Tom Nickerson, Bob Traill, Lisa Martin, Heather Stott, Denise Griffin, Carmen Rodriguez, Phillip Bombedier, Commissioner Robert Winglass, Deputy Commissioner Jeanne Paquette, John Butera, Adrienne Bennett, Esther Clenott Staff: Director Garret Oswald, Peaches Bass
Governor’s Vision for Workforce Development The meeting was called to order with the arrival at 9:00 AM of Governor Paul LePage. The Governor gave welcoming remarks highlighting the role of the revitalized Statewide Workforce Investment Board (SWIB). The SWIB members introduced themselves and told the Governor their professional affiliations.
Alluding to plans to restructure the state’s workforce investment system, the Governor directed the SWIB to collaborate with the Maine Department of Labor to develop models for his review at January 27 SWIB meeting. The Governor emphasized that industry partnerships will be the cornerstone of Maine’s workforce development activity and the need to increase the funds available for training.
Governor LePage thanked the members for their service, and emphasized several points, including the challenge to reduce the skills match in the state’s labor force and the imminent loss of unemployment insurance benefits for thousands of Mainers and the charge to the SWIB to ensure that these individuals are given the occupational skills they need for a career, not just a job. The Governor concluded with this: “Your charge is to make sure people have the skill sets they can use to earn a living, not just get a job.”
Workforce Investment Act 101 Garret Oswald, Director of the Maine Jobs Council/SWIB, welcomed everyone. He walked the group through the packet of materials for the meeting and asked the members to read and sign the Conflict of Interest statement.
Garret then presented an overview of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the federal statute that authorizes the SWIB, with a focus on Title I of the Act. He explained the history of the Maine Jobs Council and informed the group that the Governor is submitting a bill in the next legislative session that will reflect the restructured organization and a name change from Maine Jobs Council to Statewide Workforce Investment Board. Garret then went through the nine functions of SWIBs under section III of the WIA.
Garret briefly explained the CareerCenters and their locations. Member Steve Pound added that there are satellite and itinerant CareerCenter offices not shown on the map in the packet. Garret described the three funding streams under Title I for services directed at adults, dislocated workers, and youth. He also described the three levels of service provided in CareerCenters: Core, Intensive, and Training.
Garret also pointed out that WIA is considered an asset to support the states’ overall economic development, particularly through labor exchange, data driven workforce information, demand driven and business led job training, and industry partnerships to meet the needs of new business and business growth. He added that WIA funding has steadily declined since fiscal year 2002. Garret mentioned other current workforce related legislation before Congress.
Member Tracey Cooley asked Garret what performance measures the state has to meet and report on. Garret responded that there are seventeen measures and he will provide the details as a follow-up to the members. Member Gerard Salvo brought up the “10% Funds.” Garret elaborated on that subject, explaining that each state is allowed to use five percent of its WIA funding for administration and that each Governor may use up to an additional ten percent for discretionary uses. Garret also mentioned that in addition to the WIA funding, which is based on a set formula, the state receives funds from competitive grant awards on occasion. He gave the examples of the WIRED funds for the North Star Alliance, Health Care Sector Partnership Grant, and the Health Workforce Development Strategic Planning Grant. Garret emphasized that we don’t want to base our workforce development strategies on competitive grant awards.
Member Gary McGrane added that the state receives National Emergency Grants (NEGs) when a community is affected by a large layoff of workers, and he gave a few examples of plant closures and layoffs that were mitigated by NEGs.
Maine’s Workforce Development System 101 After a break, Garret resumed the orientation by explaining the structure of the state’s workforce development system with an organizational chart and an overview of the SWIB’s four standing committees and its two ad hoc committee. He also described the new Program Policy Committee, composed of SWIB members but represented by a single vote through Member Peter Paré.
Garret referred to the industry partnership proposal presented to the Governor by the Manufacturing Association of Maine and he indicated that he will send it to the members
Member Steve Pound advocated the use of social security numbers to track progress and outcomes in education and training, including in K-12 public schools.
Garret announced that Governor LePage has appointed Frederick Webber as Chair of the Maine Jobs Council/State Workforce Investment Board. He said he is honored and humbled to be named Chair and he wants “to hear those things I need to know and if I do something wrong, stop me.” Chairman Webber provided his email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and his phone number (892-9528).
He then distributed a list of the 2012 SWIB meeting dates. Member Peter Paré will contact the Program Policy Committee members to set up their meeting dates and locations for next year.
Brief questions and comments before the meeting ended included:
• Member Bill Burney: How many jobs are out there? What’s the level of payroll for those jobs? Bureau of Unemployment Compensation Director will get that info for him.
• Member Steve Pound: Asked for clarification of the Conflict of Interest Policy, affirming that in any vote that might affect the Local Workforce Investment Board (LWIB) on which he serves, he should recuse himself. This was validated by Garret and others. *At the 1.27.12 SWIB meeting, Steve Pound asked that the 12.13.11 SWIB meeting minutes be changed to clarify his comment; " I offered to recuse myself when I stated I was on the TCWIB and the Chair. No one said that I should, but I did say I would."
• Guest Ryan Pelletier asked what the communication flow to LWIBs will be. Labor Commissioner Robert Winglass responded that some decisions will be made in January and communicated to the LWIBs. He added that up until now, the Governor has been focusing on the SWIB. • Member Joanne Harris mentioned the recently released Fortune magazine story that ranked Maine last among states friendly to business. She pointed out that instead of operating in a silo, the actions and decisions of the Maine Jobs Council/SWIB are in concert with efforts to improve the state’s business climate.
Chairman Webber adjourned the meeting at 11:20 AM.
Next meeting January 27, 2012.
Respectfully submitted by Peaches Bass.