Home → Meetings and Minutes
Meetings & Minutes
Maine Jobs Council MeetingMay 29, 2009: 9:00 AM Frances Perkins room at the Central Maine Commerce Center
Maine Job’s Council Meeting May 29, 2009
Present; Phil Dionne, Mike Roland, Commissioner Laura Fortman, Sharon Barker, Melvin Clarrage, Craig Larrabee, Anne Beebe Center, Mike Bourret, Ester Clenott, Greg Dugal, John Evans, Susan Giguere, Joanne Harris, Chris Hastedt, Bryant Hoffman, John Levitt, Barry Martin, Steven Pound, Joanna Russell, Gerard Salvo, Jenne Shorey Paquette, Linda Smith, Sarah Standiford, Susan Swanton, Richelle Wallace, Dena Winslow, Garret Oswald, Peaches Bass, Steve Duval, Gene Ellis, Paul Luce, David Klein, Ginny Carroll, Ned McCann, Jeff Fantaine, Meg Harvey, Sallie Chandler, Arnold Chandler, Carol Donnell, Marissa Garnett, Emily Quinton, Ben Adams.
Introduction at 9:15AM
Phil Opened the meeting with welcomes and introductions.
First up on the agenda was Committee uupdates;
Mel Clarrage - focusing on youth with disabilities, continue to work, plan and gather new members. His council is spending too much time meeting and not enough doing.
Sharon Barker commented that the membership of the women's committee provides lots of opportunities for collaboration, including participation in the Maine Girls Collaborative Project. The next report on women workers in Maine is close to completion. The WEIC continues to discuss ways to work more closely with other MJC committees.
Craig Larrabee thinks it is important that they get better data to track youth after they graduate. He would like to see communication and education meld together.
Question: Do you have a gender based breakdown? Answer: Yes, they can find that data.
Joanna Russell - passed out a meeting advisory along with supportive information. The LWIBs put services out to bid, they then accepted proposals for adult dislocated workers, the proposals were reviewed and they decided to award WIA services to a national organization. They have a new president & CEO; this gave them opportunity to further investigate options available. They looked at these options in terms of what to do with their services. They came up with four options to do with services and chose options 3. She states that everyone was excited and ready to participate in this process. She said they need to break down silos and open up communications. She suggests that service providers come together to increase percentage of the Maine Job Council’s funding. She stated that it would be tough for them to get 30%.
Gene Ellis - said that the apprenticeship program was continuing to grow. They have a presence in all 16 counties. They have $98 ROI for every dollar spent Tourism/Hospitality are a goal for the program.
Deana Winslow - stated that Aroostook County was being hit hard with lots of layoffs. The recovery act is keeping them busy. They are working on WIA contracts.
Bryant Hoffman - said that they had spent all but $2,000 of Summer Youth Funds. He was looking for suggestions as what to do with the money.
Mike Bourret - had handouts focusing on coastal county regions and ARRA. The press has been asking questions of him. They consolidated their service providers, regretfully so. This in turn gave them more training locations and money.
Peaches Bass - got up and introduced the interns, Marissa, Emily, and Ben. She discussed the projects that they are working on and their backgrounds.
Gene Ellis asked about past apprentices whom are laid off potentially continuing their apprenticeship.
Meg Harvey - talked about Perkins grant coming in to start the year. She mentioned how they aren’t getting many people who are receiving ARRA benefits yet. They have 2 new consultants, one working with technical skills and one with the green program. High school seniors are coming out of schools with more skills than some adults have. They are also working on graduation requirements which are a hot button issue.
Jeff Fantaine - is the state director of adult education and this was his first meeting, he is new to Maine. They were faced with a significant cut, which was then restored. They are faced in the coming year with a federal cut, but he is fighting the federal reduction of 10%. He is working closely with LWIB to connect adult education programs.
Dave Klein - is testing online learning as an option where reaching college facilities is a challenge. It pays up to $3,000; it’s just getting kicked off and has 26-27 months left. They are looking to serve 125-250 people with it. They want to help people obtain certificates/credentials. 75% of the coursework in these programs should be online.
Question: How are you screening providers? Answer: Using industry to help validate, MOLLI.
Paul Luce - representing the veteran’s program mentioned the trouble they were having due to the economy sliding. HR has to decide between servicing 25 year veterans or veterans who are just coming back from Iraq. They are currently embarking on a 5 year plan in which they will receive $5,000,000. They are working on their outreach.
Next on the agenda was Governor Baldacci and his vision for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Governor John Baldacci stated that he was grateful for Phil and the commissioner of the DOL. He mentioned T-Mobil talking about coming to Maine. T-Mobil had concerns regarding to our ability to fill the 800 jobs this would create. They also had concerns as to if Maine workers had the skill sets. He said that people are the resource and the economic engine of the state. He mentioned energy education, weatherization and winterization. He stated how gas prices hurt our economy and mentioned renewable energy. He discussed the Maine Job Bank and how it was connecting employees with employers. He also talked about a $750,000,000 green jobs grants that will be available in the near future.
Commissioner Laura Fortman mentioned that the Governor was the first person to put the lists online. However there was no paper order, only a verbal one so therefore the Governor does not get his deserved credit.
Governor John Baldacci mentions the excellently staffed call centers.
Sue asked where the money from the feds for weatherization is.
Governor John Baldacci responded by saying that the legislature must first approve the plan before we see the money. Maine has roughly $80,000,000 coming into the state. They must pass the plan and then hand it off to the secretary of energy.
He spoke about the goal of 80% of the funds on direct service to participants, and the specific focus on four key sectors; Green Jobs, Energy, Health Care and Information Technology. The Governor also mentioned expanding the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program with the 10% Admin from ARRA.
The Governor leaves at 10:30 AM
The meeting goes on break at 10:30 AM
The meeting returns at 10:45 AM
Next on the agenda was the WIA Strategic Plan Modification;
Garret Oswald handed out a packet and summarized the 24 questions related to the WIA plan modification, with an added comment section in the back.
Joanna Russell stated that the LWIBs are not trying to take a stance with the 30% goals; they just want to bring attention to the need to educate and orient women. They want to bring all the “big players” together in one room.
Garret Oswald mentioned that the response to Joanna question was to bring the Service Delivery Committee together to work on this request. In the past, the SDC has had 100% attendance, and no one has complained that they were not heard. This is not just throwing all the work at the LWIBs they’re setting a basic goal. Is it high? Yes. Is it achievable? We’ll see.
Sarah Standiford stated that she respects the strategic thinking around the women’s lobby table.
Sharon Barker - said that we have the potential to be a national leader. With a segregated workforce, women often do not make living wages. All men have women in their lives. How many single women are their raising families on their own? If we are going to innovate with this new money we need to do it now. She asked which populations are being left out if this funding is for women.
Anne Beebe Center - mentioned that a performance standard for a single organization isn’t the best idea. She said that we should make it a goal, that way me even end up with a higher percentage.
Ester Clenott - said that she could not vote for this issue. She said we need to earn this ourselves. By setting these standards it may do more bad than good. She stated that this is Inappropriate and unjust. She wants to see the money continue adult education in the summer. She thought it should be a 12 month course and said she would vote against the amendment.
Joanna Russell - thinks that women are misinformed. She is speaking to the process that we need to all come together.
Phil Dionne - said this is not an amendment to be voted on.
Ester Clenott asked what it was if not an amendment.
Phil Dionne stated that it was a plan that goes to the governor to pass on or turn down. He mentioned that a negative vote would not stop the plan.
Ester Clenott asked if the questions in the back of the packet would go on to be part of the plan if the vote turned out to be yes at the meeting.
Phil Dionne said No, but mentioned that they may cause changes to the plan to occur.
Barry Martin - asked, since the comments are going in, is it 10% or 30%?
Garret Oswald - stated that there were no specifics.
Phil Dionne - said that everything in this plan was strictly regarding to recovery dollars. He mentioned that the accountability of these dollars was critical.
Meg Harvey - asked if we were voting on what’s in the old plan.
Garret Oswald - answered her with no.
Steve Pound - said that if it was going to penalize us, then he doesn’t approve. He said that it should be a goal.
Linda Smith - stated that there was not much disagreement in the room, just process and pain points.
Mike Bourrret - said that this wasn’t a “we don’t care” thing. There are concerns that need to be on the table. We can’t control the incoming people and what they want to do with it.
Steve Duval - mentioned that the incentive process hasn’t changed.
Phil Dionne - stated that the numbers were not in the plan, only in the comments.
Sharon Barker - asked, aren’t their women immigrants, elders, youth, etc?
Phil Dionne - said that the women are not going for the jobs; it’s not that they’re being denied.
Sarah Standiford - said that the agencies need to have specific training and resources to help better inform.
Peaches Bass - said that having visited every career center and spoken with every staff, you can’t just change a cultural norm overnight. Over 5 years she has not seen progress, but back sliding. Career Center’s didn’t help more women get into construction even when there was a construction shortage. This is a challenge for staff where there are examples from downright sexism to people who are in the middle. It’s not, “don’t help women”, but it’s not adequate enough to properly get to where we should be. If you don’t document it, it doesn’t happen. We’ve been talking to NTOs and workforce boards for years. There are no surprises.
Ester Clenott - said, “It’s not that I’m discriminating against women, I just don’t want to discriminate for women.”
Steve Pound - stated that business and education must work together in order to make a difference. He said we need equal access for everyone.
Ester Clenott - was concerned that the percent is not indicated in this document outside of the comments. The concern is that the governor may choose to use 30% as the standard.
Ned McCann - said that it’s not about performance standard. It’s about the money which they will receive.
Anne Beebe Center - asked, is it a standard with a penalty, or is it a goal?
Steve Duval - said that ARRA money is not related to the performance standard, it is unrelated to the WIA dollars.
Phil Dionne - stated that it is up to the LWIBs to determine if they adopt the standard percent or not.
Motion made “to approve the document Maine’s Workforce Investment Act Strategic Plan Modification, July1, 2009 – June 30, 2010 as presented, and recommend it for submission by the Governor.”
Motion - Mike Roland Second – Ester Clenott 27 Voting members present and 3 Proxy Votes = 30 total votes
26 Votes to Approve and recommend for submission 1 Vote not to approve 3 Abstaining from voting.
Motion to Approve and recommend for submission by the Governor, 26 – 1.
The meeting is adjourned at 12:00 PM
Minutes submitted by Ben Adams, MDOL Intern