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Older Worker Committee Meeting MinutesMay 14, 2008:
Maine Jobs Council OLDER WORKER COMMITTEE Promoting the Value of Maine’s Older Workers Meeting Notes, May 14, 2008
Attending: Phyllis, John, Jim, Bob, Beth Lawrence, Kate Adams, Libby Stone-Sterling, Mary Fran
Facilitator: John Notes: Mary Fran
• John welcomed guests Beth Lawrence and Kate Adams, Aging Excellence, and Libby Stone-Sterling, Maine Department of Labor Lead Disability Program Navigator.
Aging Excellence’s mission is to keep adults active and independent in their own home or community. They are committed to the delivery of non-medical services and products that provide physical, social, or personal value to assist individuals and communities in aging successfully. 1-866-771-0991. MDOL’s Disability Program Navigators offer services for people with disabilities to help them "navigate" through the many work-related programs and services available at Maine CareerCenters. 1-888-457-8883 Beth, Kate and Libby will be added to the Older Worker Committee mailing list. • Silver Collar Awards: These were given out at the MJC luncheon last year and at the Blaine House Conference on Aging the year before, each during National Employ Older Workers Week. Discussion: should this Committee hold the Silver Collar awards again this year? The purpose is to promote the value of older workers, highlight some employers, and educate the community on older worker issues. (Sidebar: This year the Blaine House Conference agenda is planned to follow up on issues and items from last year’s conference.) Award options: 1. Try to connect our award with the Best Places to Work in Maine awards by getting them to add one item such as a workplace being “senior-friendly”. Mary Fran will follow up with Jeanne Paquette to find out whom to contact.
2. Have LWIBs nominate employers. 3. Try a pilot that connects an older worker award with Chamber of Commerce awards. 4. Forward older worker articles to local papers and journals on a regular basis to educate the community on older worker issues. It was noted that by this time last year much of the Silver Collar Employer award work was underway. • NGA Report Subcommittee: Met in March and identified benchmarks for the NGA Report, Goal # 3: To adopt and sustain benchmarks for engagement of older adults in employment, learning, volunteering and care giving. The OW Committee is focused on the “employment” portion of this goal. Garret reported actions taken by the Subcommittee to the MJC Policy Committee. He will provide the same information to our group at the next meeting. • National ABLE Project: Dan will report at the next meeting.
• Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Conference and AARP Workforce Assessment tool: Phyllis staffed the AARP booth. She provided information on the AARP Workforce Assessment tool. AARP is looking for 2 volunteers to be trained in Chicago this summer to approach employers in Maine.
“Unique AARP Volunteer Opportunity
AARP Maine has made a commitment to educate businesses about the upcoming labor shortage. According to a 2005 AARP survey, 58% of HR managers said that it is more difficult today than it was five years ago to find qualified job applicants. More than half of the HR managers believe that their companies are likely to face a shortage of qualified workers within the next five years.
The AARP Workforce Assessment Tool is free and confidential and asks a series of questions about an employer’s workforce composition, practices, and benefits. Upon completion of the assessment, an individualized report will automatically generate providing an overview of any potential impact the aging workforce will have on the employer. The report maps out current employment practices and identifies areas for improvement, highlighting workplace strengths that can be used to enhance an employer’s brand for recruitment and retention.
We are looking for two high level volunteers who will introduce the Tool to businesses around Maine and encourage its use. We will provide you with comprehensive, free training to educate you about the general issue of older workers and specifically about the Workforce Assessment Tool. Qualifications include: Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate effectively Ability to travel to businesses around the state (expenses paid!) Able to commit to 10-15 hours per week Desire to learn, keep active, keep engaged and contribute to Maine’s economic potential. “
If this sounds like something in which you or someone you know may be interested, please contact asap: Phyllis Cohn, Communications Director AARP Maine firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-791-3903
Some DECD and DOL staff members will be trained to use the tool and will have a plan to share it with businesses . (Note, over 20 people were trained on 5-19-08).
• Seasoned Worker Forums. Comments: The sponsor/creator, Dave Tomm, does an excellent job. These very successful sessions could be even better with representation from more businesses/employers. Employers may be requested to contribute toward advertising costs. The Augusta session this month went very well. We’d like to see these sessions held statewide.
• New ABCs report: 40 issued, 10 used, 3 cancelled, two planned to use soon, 6 reissued (lost), 19 no response to follow up.
Committee decided to issue new round of vouchers, using Adult Education locations to distribute and collect applications. 50 will be available. Mary Fran will follow up. (in progress.)
• Kerry Kenney: John read a letter of resignation from Kerry. She has been successful in obtaining a wonderful job and will no longer be able to participate on the Older Worker Committee.
We thank Kerry for her invaluable service and send her our very best wishes for continued success! Her energy and enthusiasm will be missed. Thank you, Kerry! • SCORE may be a resource for mentors for older workers interested in starting their own businesses. • Suggestion: get more older workers to volunteer in CareerCenters, they provide invaluable assistance to customers. OSHA Lifelong learning center at USM may be a good place to outreach to educate and solicit volunteers. • NEXT MEETING: • Monday June 23, 1 – 3 p.m., DHHS, 442 Civic Center Drive, Augusta.