October 17, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 17, 2012 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009
AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Freund of Portland as the deputy commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor.
Freund brings to the position 35 years of business experience involved in leadership and management of companies ranging from small businesses to subsidiaries of large corporations. During the past three years, he has served within the Department of Labor as the manager of the York County CareerCenter in Springvale and as the senior research analyst with the State Workforce Investment Board.
Paquette welcomed Freund, saying, “Richard’s experiences from both the business community and within the department will be invaluable as we strive to improve our economy and put people back to work.”
“He understands the dual customer focus of the department. We need to educate employers to improve their understanding of our workforce system and state compliance requirements while at the same time meeting the needs of workers,” she added.
Freund will formally begin his new position on October 22, 2012.
“I am excited and energized with the prospect of being able to further the fine work of the Maine Department of Labor as we strive to become an even stronger catalyst in linking employers and job seekers,” Freund said.
A native of New York, Freund has lived in Maine for more than a decade. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and an MBA in Finance and Accounting. He began his managerial career at Citicorp—now Citigroup, where he spent 16 years and had the opportunity to manage mortgage and dealer finance businesses and acquire and manage a leasing company that was national in scope.
He later served as vice president and general manager of a U.S. subsidiary of a Swedish-owned emergency service and manufacturing company in Massachusetts. Freund later launched his own emergency service company; that was bought by a German corporation two years later. After moving to Maine and working in small business management, he undertook the challenge of managing the York County CareerCenter, where he worked to decrease the county’s unemployment rate through active job placement and customer service for both businesses and job seekers.
In Freund’s most recent work with the State Workforce Investment Board, he has sought to identify meaningful improvements to the workforce training system to increase the amount of dollars spent training workers for jobs in demand.
The department administers Maine’s unemployment insurance system, is responsible for ensuring the safety of public employees and provides workforce development leadership and vocational rehabilitation services throughout the state. Under the LePage Administration, the department has focused on connecting Mainers to jobs and helping businesses create jobs through strengthening our workforce development system, improving outreach to businesses and clarifying employment regulations.
The mission of the Maine Department of Labor is to promote the safety and economic well being of all individuals and businesses in Maine by promoting independence and lifelong learning, by fostering economic stability and by ensuring the safe and fair treatment of all people on the job.