State Workforce Investment Board Meeting

March 28, 2014: 9:30 AM
Frances Perkins Room, Central Maine Commerce Center, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta ME

State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB) Meeting Minutes March 28, 2014 Frances Perkins Room Central Maine Commerce Center Augusta, Maine

Topic Introduction of State Workforce Investment Board Members and Guests
Present: Laura Boyett, Bill Burney, Ryan Bushey, Mel Clarrage, Scott Good, Brian Whitney, Wayne Holmquist, Kevin Healey, Joanne Harris, Ed McKersie, Gerard Salvo, Carolyn Lockwood, Meg Harvey, Pete Pare, and Fred Webber By Phone: Renee Kelly, and Susan Hammond Absent with notice: Dr. Tracey Cooley, Craig Larrabee, Liz Ray, Gail Senese and Yvonne Mickels; Absent without Notice: Sallie Chandler, Judy Plummer-Beale, Don Berry, Robert Carmichael, Tom Davis, John Leavitt, Dr. Barbara Woodlee and Terry Young. Absent due to Legislative Session: Rep. Pete Johnson, Sen. Garret Mason, Rep. Amy Volk, and Sen. John Patrick Staff: Tim Sardano, Richard Freund, Julie Rabinowitz Guests: Sharon Barker, Steve Wallace, (ASPIRE person) Discussion SWIB Chair Fred Webber called the meeting to order at 9:40 a.m. and noted that we did not have a quorum and therefore would not be able to hold a vote. He then welcomed all attendees.

Topic Commissioner’s Office Update – Julie Rabinowitz Discussion Deputy Commissioner Richard Freund and Julie Rabinowitz, Communications Director for the Maine Department of Labor, attended the SWIB meeting on behalf of Commissioner Jeanne Paquette who was attending the York County Job Fair. Julie circulated a copy of the Governor’s letter to agency commissioners with regards to funding the economic and workforce council introduced at the last SWIB meeting. The first task for the council will be mapping assets of the membership agencies, such as funding sources, job activity programs, and existing partnerships. With funding soon to be in place, Garret Oswald will return to the position of Executive Director for the SWIB on April 1 and he will aid the council. Tim Sardano will be moving to the Commissioner’s Office and an opening for a support staff position will be promoted. Fred said that he was glad to hear Garret would be returning to the Executive Director position and noted his talent and knowledge are well known not only in the state but also out of state. Mel Clarrage asked if the funding meant the SWIB can move forward with the State Plan implementation. Julie responded, with regards to the SWIB aspects of the state plan, yes. Fred Webber added that the Chambers of Commerce are ready to go. He said that at the NGA meeting he recently attended, there were several states following Maine’s lead and deploying Chambers. He noted they realized the potential as they are a natural connection to the business community and asked guest Steve Wallace, President of the Southern Midcoast Chamber, if he could comment. Steve said that workforce development is a value statement for chambers that they can deliver to their members and noted that at the initial talks about the State Plan, only one of 68 chambers hesitated on the idea of partnering. Brian Whitney said that Commissioner Paquette had a great meeting with the Department of Economic and Community Development where they discussed marshalling resources to provide skilled training and access to additional resources. Guest Ryan Pelletier asked who was funding the asset mapping. Deputy Commissioner Freund said that the MOU between the agencies plus upcoming additional federal funding through FY15 will be for staff and necessary work. Meg Harvey said that she was surprised to find out about the money request of CTE from her business office. She was under the impression the MOU would come through the SWIB first. Meg is supportive of the council but hoped for more transparency so those involved can be more informed. Deputy Commissioner Freund acknowledged Meg’s concern and said that the MOU happened fast and was developed between the agency heads. Meg asked for clarification of the role of the SWIB vs. the Council and suggested a demonstration on the difference between the two. Fred said that agency commissioners would represent state agencies and that he would represent the SWIB on the council. He agreed that a demonstration would be good for the board. Tim Sardano added that the minutes from the last SWIB meeting include an example of what the council could look like, such as state agencies, universities/community colleges and businesses. He also noted that this was just an example and that the council may look different once fully realized.

Topic NGA Winter Meeting – Fred Webber
Discussion Fred Webber spoke about National Governor’s Association Winter Meeting held in February in Washington DC. Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric Jeffrey Immelt, Chair and CEO of General Electric, was a speaker and Fred highlighted some of his talking points regarding what GE looks for in states where they consider relocating, including: • Long-term talks • Infrastructure • Big and small businesses working and training together • Regulatory reform • Transparency in state government • High education standards in STEM • Can they build near community colleges (advanced manufacturing) and universities (research and development)? • Is there a plan for veterans returning to your state? • Chambers as conveners of industry • States must show that they can compete with other states in their region.

(Note: Mr. Immelt’s speech can be seen in this video starting at the 18:30 mark.)

Apprenticeship Where apprenticeships were also a focus at the NGA, Fred Webber asked guest Joan Dolan, Director of Apprenticeship and Strategic Partnerships, to comment on the program in Maine. Joan spoke about on-the-job training (OJT) and moving into apprenticeships. They are currently developing a registered pre-apprenticeship program that are jobs and add to the economy. However they are having issues with lack of funding. Joan said that the US Apprenticeship Council is impressed with what Maine is doing in regards to the program. Some federal grants for apprenticeship could be available in the future. Joan commented on the German Model and said it’s something they hope to duplicate in Maine. They target high school students, ages 16 and 17, to work for companies in a pre-apprenticeship, which leads into an apprenticeship and then to a job. The German Model works very well in the southern US for such companies as BMW and Mercedes. In the US, it would be a cultural shift going from high school to college to a job. In Germany, apprenticeship is on par with college. Wayne Holmquist asked if apprenticeships can be communicated through the chambers. Joan responded that they have one-pagers about apprenticeship that they share and that they are hoping to have presentations at chambers. Ryan Pelletier added that that his local area’s strategic plan includes an Education to Industry component. Kevin Healey spoke about informal or untracked apprenticeships. He was surprised to learn that most banks identify trainees who start as summer hires that show an interest in the industry will be put into formal 2-3 year training. Ed Mckersie noted that the German Model is manufacturing based and asked if there are other large employers like BIW and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard who could be targeted. Joan cited the recently-closed Healthcare Sector Grant as such an example in other industries and said farming is an opportunity as well. Ryan Bushey said that, for his company, Louisiana Pacific, educating the incumbent worker through training allows them to backfill openings resulting from promotions. Unemployment Rate Julie Rabinowitz said Maine’s unemployment rate for January was just announced and that it was 6.1 percent, down 0.1 percent from the previous month. She noted this was due to re-employment. Maine’s Labor Force Participation Rate of 61.5 percent is well above the national average and at a five year high, and job gains of those lost since 2008 have increased by half. The labor force includes those who have or are seeking a job. Hospitality Sector Portland will have 400-500 hospitality jobs with new hotel developments. Gerard Salvo spoke about a hospitality sector partnership convened by CEI and that up to 800 people are looking for work in this industry. Ed McKersie added that it continues to be hard to find skilled workers.

Topic Legislative Update – Julie Rabinowitz Discussion The DOL submitted 6 bills during the Second Regular Session; four are now public laws: LD 1643 is now PL 2013, chap. 473 – (23(g) bill provides up to $400,000 in federal funding to BLS LD 1668 is now PL 2013, chap. 474 – Jurisdiction of training determinations changes from UIC to BUC, like every other state LD 1677 is now PL 2013, chap. 467 – Technical corrections to MDOL LD 1701 is now PL 2013, chap. 448 – Work-share – removed sunset, Work-share is now part of state law LD 1698, Minor’s Work Permit bill*, is on the House calendar as ‘unfinished business.’ LD 1669, “An Act To Standardize and Simplify the Process for Employers To Provide a Drug-free Workplace,” is on the Senate calendar as ‘unfinished business.’ LD 1802, Reed Act was enacted in the House on 3/25 and enacted in the Senate on 3/26. It’s on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature. In order to fund the system improvements recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Unemployment Reform without using General Funds or raising employer-paid unemployment taxes, the bill appropriates a portion of Reed Act funds, which requires Legislative action. LD 1832, "An Act To Increase Employment Opportunities for Veterans," had its public hearing on 3/21 and its work session on 3/25 in LCRED. It will soon report out of committee with a unanimous OTP-AM vote.

Topic SWIB Committee Updates – Veterans and Women’s Employment Issues Discussion Veterans’ Employment Committee Steve Wallace introduced himself. He is the president of the Southern Midcoast Chamber and chairs the SWIB’s Veterans Committee. One in seven people in Maine are veterans, including service membership. All SWIB committees are also in the veterans demographic. In 2005 Steve served as a veterans’ counselor. He realized in this position that there was no adequate information center. Steve circulated the VEC’s mission, vision and goals. Steve and Auta Main, the MDOL’s Veterans Program Manager, met with staff from Nancy Marshall Communications to explore a statewide outreach campaign. Its intended focus is on employment first and will include links and referrals to the diversity of resources available to Veterans. The VEC will review and approve one of the options proposed by NMC, and seek prospective funding to take next steps – likely $10,000-$15,000 to get started. The VEC set a target launch date of November 11, 2014. Women’s Employment Issues Committee Sharon Barker, Director of the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Maine and Chairs the SWIB’s Women’s Employment Issues Committee. She introduced herself and reviewed recent activities of the WEIC. The WEIC fosters action on current factors affecting women’s participation in the workforce, highlighting employment issues, developing recommendations to the SWIB, and supporting initiatives that remove barriers preventing women from attaining complete economic success and security. At their September meeting in Piscataquis County, the following issues relative to the area were raised: • Lack of access to higher education • Closest CareerCenter is 80 miles away in Bangor (Tri-County CareerCenter) • Lack of good-paying jobs; most are in part-time retail with low pay • Lack of high speed Internet inhibits distance education opportunities • High costs of Internet limits access to online job postings • Transportation costs and affordable child care are barriers to jobs and education WEIC will be discussing Equal Pay Day (April 1in Maine; April 8 nationally), continues to work on an addendum to the 2011 report on Working Women in Maine that addresses the experience of women of color, and specifically Native women, in Maine, and will continue to advocate for support for more women in non-traditional career fields.

Topic CareerCenters and ASPIRE Discussion Pete Pare introduced Stacey Hanley, CareerCeneter Consultant, who spoke about the Bureau of Employment Service and the Department of Health and Human Services working together on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families’ (TANF) workforce retraining program known as Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment (ASPIRE). The collaboration aims to help welfare recipients move into employment through work experiences and on-the-spot training opportunities available at worksites. A staff person at each CareerCenter is working with local businesses and nonprofits to seek out worksites and assist in providing the work experience. Note: More information is available at

Topic Minutes Review Discussion Fred Webber asked the Board if they had a chance to review the January 2014 minutes and if there were any corrections. Bill Burney noted that he was absent without notice for that meeting and should be listed as such. Meg Harvey said in the Commissioner’s Update portion, where the Council was discussed, that she would like to see the phrase, “Discussion continued on funding opportunities and the usability of grants” expanded upon. Tim Sardano will make those changes for circulation prior to the next SWIB meeting.

Topic Adjournment Discussion Fred Webber thanked everyone for their participation in the day’s meeting and presentations and asked for a motion to adjourn. Wayne Holmquist motioned and Kevin Healey seconded. The vote was unanimous and Fred adjourned the meeting at 12:10 pm.