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Women's Employment Issues minutes 8/19/05August 19, 2005:
WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT ISSUES COMMITTEE of the Maine Jobs Council
August 19, 2005
Voting Members: Sharon Barker, Sarah Standiford, Lib Jamison, Kathy Coogan, Chris Hastedt, Gilda Nardone, Denise Nemeth-Greenleaf, Non-voting Members: Steve Duval, Garret Oswald, Leslie Manning, Jane Gilbert, Jessica Childs, Penny Plourde, Suzanne Thivierge Staff: Debbie Reitchel, Peaches Bass
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS/MEMBER NEWS
Sharon welcomed the members to the meeting and introductions were made.
The minutes from the 6/17/05 meeting were amended and accepted.
Leslie Manning gave an update on the Performance Benchmarks project, handing out a list of possible statistical indicators for consideration. A small subcommittee was recruited to refine the list and start designing the “product.” Lisa Pohlmann, Leslie Manning, Peaches Bass, Jane Gilbert, Susanne Thivierge, and Sarah Standiford volunteered for the subcommittee.
The Committee expressed an interest in learning more about LED—Local Employment Dynamics. It is an online data base combining employment, industry, and wage data with Census demographics that include breakdowns by age, gender, county, Workforce Investment Area, and metropolitan areas. Peaches will look into scheduling a short training session on LED for interested Committee members.
Sharon Barker announced the release of a new video produced by University of Maine Women’s Resource Center and other partners, “Girls Will Be Girls.” The video addresses body image, aggression and sexuality among girls.
Chris Hastedt and Peaches both reported that Mary Anne Turowski had regretfully tendered her resignation from the Committee. After brief updates from around the table, the Committee attended to three items:
• Drafting a Statement of Purpose • Discussion on a Training Fund for Low-Income Workers • Discussion of Prior Learning Assessments and how to move this initiative forward
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Steve Duval and Garret Oswald gave us an idea of what the Maine Jobs Council (MJC) Policy Committee is looking for in terms of a Statement Of Purpose from each MJC Committee. They also presented “The Four A’s”—a framework for testing policy initiatives: Does the Policy: • relate to Advocacy? • raise Awareness? • create Alignment with programs/services? • create Accountability for programs/services? And then they included a fifth “A”: • open Access to programs/services?
While this was not specifically related to the Statement of Purpose, it was suggested that the Four/Five A’s were a good way for the Committees to assess their policy initiatives.
Peaches led a brainstorming session on the points and concepts the Committee wanted in its Statement of Purpose. She took the information and agreed to draft the statement and send it to Committee members for approval before presenting it to the Maine Jobs Council.
NOTE: The Statement was completed, sent to Committee members, and finalized in time for the September 16 Maine Jobs Council Policy Committee meeting. This is the statement as it was delivered to the MJC:
Maine Jobs Council Women’s Employment Issues Committee Statement of Purpose September 2005
The Women’s Employment Issues Committee fosters action on current factors affecting women’s participation in the workforce.
The Committee highlights employment issues, develops recommendations to the Maine Jobs Council, and supports initiatives that remove barriers preventing women in Maine from attaining complete economic success and security.
The Committee proposes and promotes policies, programs, and legislation that provide full economic opportunity for all Maine women. Through 2010, the Committee will establish quantifiable benchmarks to measure, monitor, and annually evaluate Maine’s progress in achieving that economic opportunity and security for all Maine women.
When Maine women are economically secure, their families, their communities and the state as a whole benefit.
TRAINING FUND FOR LOW WAGE WORKERS
This fund is being put forward as a legislative bill The current plan is to set aside a small percentage of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund or some other revenue source that would not increase taxes. Chris suggested some strategies/actions: • Draft a rationale in the form of bullets • Look at what Maine Dept of Labor has developed for the training as it was contained in the bill that extended the sunset on unemployment benefits for part time workers • Coordinate with Commissioner Fortman and meet with the Governor • Build support for through the Policy Committee and the full MJC
PRIOR LEARNING ASSESSMENTS
Garret filled in for Larinda Meade and presented some background on Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs). He distributed a draft proposal prepared by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and submitted to Commissioner Fortman and Larinda. Garret mentioned that the state of Vermont has implemented a system wide PLA process that cuts across all the public institutions of higher education, with a centralized PLA center. Sharon Barker mentioned that Penn State has a well developed PLA program. It was observed that the University of Maine at Augusta probably has the most cogent PLA system in Maine.
Penny Plourde pointed out that there is a special university program for people with disabilities that is housed at University of Southern Maine, yet students in that program cannot automatically transfer their credits to USM. This is just one example of the need for PLAs for learners with disabilities. Several Committee members expressed a sense of urgency on developing PLAs in Maine.
It was decided that Peaches would contact Larinda and ask her to set up a meeting with Commissioner Fortman and any interested members of the MJC and its Committees to flesh out strategies on advancing this initiative.
We will have updates on the above discussions and Lifelong Learning Accounts at the next meeting, along with a presentation on the Interdepartmental Women’s Health Committee.
Friday October 21 1-4 PM Commissioner’s Conference Room Maine Department of Labor 19 Union Street Augusta