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Veterans Committee 1/12/10January 12, 2010:
MJC Veterans Committee minutes 1/12/10
Present; Ed Clift, Bill Libby, Jon Guay, Dave Klein, Jerry Smith, Cindy Swanney, Steve Wallace, Don Foster, Lee Fournier, David Keaton, John Dorrer, Marty McMahon
Committee Chair Ed Clift opened the meeting with welcomes and introductions and a review of the 10/13/09 meeting minutes.
First up was John Dorrer, Director of the Center for Workforce Research and Information. John gave a presentation about the Unemployment rate for Veterans in Maine. John said this was the worst economy since the Depression of the 1930’s, and has effected all groups of the population – young, old, men, women and veterans. Biggest loses have been in construction, manufacturing and retail trades, which are among the highest paying jobs for skilled workers. John spoke of a new tool called Wanted Analytics that tracks job posting activity for specific occupations, that will help give us better signals as to what is happening with jobs. John have a few stats about different groups of Veterans UI rates, which are not quite as bad as the general population rate, but there is a discouragement factor. John feels that replacement – not growth – could be the best bet, and we should keep an eye on attrition rates. When asked about which sectors have promise john identified Energy transmission and distribution, and health services (including Health Information Technology).
Jerry Smith was next on the agenda and spoke about Veterans services in Maine. Jerry pointed out some best practices currently in place as well as other opportunities. Jerry noted that the GI Bill was transferable to spouses and children and that Pell Grants were calculated differently for Veterans. The idea of a single point of contact for all Veteran services was discussed, and is something the committee would like to look into. For he next meeting we will ask someone to present information about the 211 system in Maine.
Garret Oswald gave a brief overview of Industry Partnerships and what it could mean to the workforce Development system in Maine. Currently Maine does not have any industry partnership training programs in place but we are working on it. Along the same lines, the United States Army Reserve Ambassadors program has a similar goal of connecting Vets to Employers in targeted sectors and businesses. Ed Clift serves as the USAR Ambassador in Maine.
For the next meeting (4/13/10) - the committee would like more information about the 211 system - Steve Wallace will present the Florida model (“Maine Loves it’s Veterans”)
Respectfully submitted by Garret Oswald.