State Workforce Investment Board Meeting

September 26, 2014: 9:30 AM
Frances Perkins Room, Central Maine Commerce Center, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta ME


Present; Fred Webber, Ed McKersie, Ryan Bushie, Kevin Healey, Terry Young, Tom Davis, Sallie Chandler, Mel Clarrage, Peter Pare, Laura Boyett, Gail Senese, Meg Harvey, Dan Muth, Liz Ray, Barbara Woodlee, Denise Garland (for Brian Whitney), William Burney, Judy Plummer-Beale Absent with Proxy; Joanne Harris, Robert Carmichael, Craig Larrabee, Tracey Cooley, Absent with notice; Amy Volk, Scott Good, Renee Kelly, Yvonne Mickles Absent; Chip Roche, Susan Hammond , Senator John Patrick, Senator Garrett Mason, Representative Peter Johnson, Don Berry, John Leavitt, Gerard Salvo Staff; Garret Oswald

Fred Webber opened the meeting with welcomes and introductions. He then gave a brief Chairs update regarding the NGA meeting in Louisville KY, and the veterans conference he recently attended in Baltimore MD. Fred asked for a motion to approve the 7/25/14 SWIB Meeting minutes; Dr. Woodlee made the motion, Mel Clarrage seconded, and the vote was unanimous in favor to approve as written.
Fred changed the order of the agenda and Susan Wasserott gave a Legislative update. Susan said that the Ideas we are considering include: 1 SWIB
26 MRSA 3305 2-D – Correct verbiage about the procedure for establishing eligibility requirements. CWRI • POSSIBLY – verbiage to address the “Know Before You Go” database. 2 BLS • 26 MRSA 681-690 – Substance Abuse Policy – The bureau has gathering data through a survey of 600+employers and recently received results. Currently analyzing data to identify top employer issues so we could present a bill. • Slight verbiage clarification based on recent OSHA changes 1 BRS • Omnibus bill that addresses several inconsistencies and clarification issues. For example: • “Designated State Agency” and “Designated State Unit” need to be described in statute per federal review that occurred earlier in 2014 • Clarify language for consistency – replace the word “handicapped” with “people with disabilities”
2 BUC • Omnibus bill to address several minor issues: • 26 MRSA 1227 – no time limit on liens. The law is not clear about time limits on liens, which creates an area of potential legal vulnerability according to the AAG. A potential bill would add a legal reference to clarify that liens for delinquent contributions owed to the UI trust fund do not expire.
• 26 MRSA 1082 13 Separate collection of UI taxes from MRS. This helps the UI consortium project because the state of MS separates its tax collection. • (Laura talked about a) UI Rate Option idea -- Extend choice of UI rate to all new purchases, not only to purchases of bankrupt companies. This could make businesses more viable and potentially encourage jobs.

Next up was partner updates; - Ryan Bushey spoke about Louisiana Pacific and what they produce in Aroostook County - Dan Muth spoke about the SCSEP supervisor meeting that were held this past week

Next up was a Directors report from Garret Oswald. Garret spoke about highlights from the NGA meeting in KY including, a new focus on pre-apprenticeship and re-entry programs for felons. Garret also spoke about the latest information regarding WIOA and what the states will need to do to be in compliance. Garret also said that Maine was not selected for the NGA Policy Academy, but it was selected for the USDOL ETA Sector Strategy initiative which will begin this fall. Garret also mentioned that David Bartage from Tambrands (P&G) who had spoken to the SWIB a few months back had been selected by the White House as the “Champion of Change” with respect to employment of people with disabilities. He will receive the award next month in Washington DC. There was a brief discussion about what employers really expect from new applicants. Most said that they want someone who is smart, happy and positive. All agree that the connection to students was very important regarding recruitment. Next on the agenda was a presentation by Bruce Olsen and George Edwards about the CT Model for a Manufacturers Workforce Academy. Some Maine employers have heard about a promising practice in CT for recruiting and training new manufacturing workers, and would like to see if we can replicate it here in Maine to address the shortage of workers they are experiencing. According to George Edwards BIW, PNSY and Pratt & Whitney will be hiring 1,000 new workers in the next few years. Bruce spoke about who the partners were in CT and what the Academy has done there. The effort was championed by a Congressman (Larson) as well as the Governor (Malloy) and involved Education, Labor and Economic Development organizations. About 150 people have been through the training so far. The SWIB Members were interested in learning more about the project and suggested a work group to look further into the possibility of replication here in Maine. Meg Harvey said it should be looked at as a potential pilot. Dr. Woodlee made a motion to establish a workgroup and come back to the SWIB with recommendations. Bill Burney seconded and all voted in favor of the motion. Garret Oswald will send out a workgroup invitation to those interested.

Next SWIB meeting is scheduled for November 21st, 2014. Respectfully submitted by Garret Oswald.