April 26, 2013
For Immediate Release: April 26, 2013
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009
AUGUSTA—The State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) announced Friday that its requested changes to Maine’s workforce investment system have been approved by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The five-year state plan submitted by the State Workforce Investment Board this year reflects Governor Paul R. LePage’s desire to make workforce development part of a larger strategy of economic development and job creation.
“I have made improving Maine’s workforce training system a priority of my administration,” said Governor LePage. “The approval of this plan means that we can implement meaningful changes that will train more Maine people for the jobs that are already in demand at our businesses. They will earn better wages and make our state more competitive.”
The plan reflects several months of review of the current system and years of data. The SWIB determined that a realignment of Maine’s workforce development system was necessary to increase the skills of our workforce and make it more relevant to the needs of Maine’s businesses. The plan’s goal is to use better data, improve collaboration and streamline the system to make more money available for training workers for in-demand jobs.
“We are delighted that the U.S. DOL supported the conclusions of the SWIB members by approving this request,” stated Fred Webber, Chairman of the SWIB. “This means that we can create a more responsive and effective system. The savings from efficiencies and increased communication means that Maine people will see a better and faster return on their investment.”
The State Workforce Investment Board’s plan increases local input into the workforce development process. This realignment uses the current federal formula to allocate training dollars to each county, but enhances Maine’s ability to apply for statewide or targeted grants for additional funding to support specific regions or types of training.
The new, more agile and responsive system will better represent and address emerging workforce needs. To facilitate local business input, the system will engage the Chambers of Commerce across the state in eight distinct regions to convene and facilitate the business community at the local level. This will foster a stronger connection to the private sector and local economic development activity.
The plan will go into effect July 1, 2013.
For more information about the SWIB or workforce development, visit http://www.maine.gov/swib/ .