State Workforce Board MeetingApril 1, 2016: 9:30 AM
Frances Perkins Rm, 45 Commerce Dr, Augusta, ME
STATE WORKFORCE BOARD MEETING APRIL 1, 2016 Present: Fred Webber, Jon Mason, Liz Rensenbrink, Terry Young, Kevin Healey, Ryan Bushey, Nicole Morin-Scribner, Joanne Harris, Jeanne Paquette, Bill Beardsley, Mary Mayhew, Tom Davis, John Leavitt, Mel Clarrage, Scott Knapp, Renee Kelly, Michael Hersey, Jim Howard, Rhonda Fletcher, Tracey Cooley, Susan Hammond (phone) Excused: Senator Amy Volk, Ed McKersie, Scott Good, Robert Carmichael Absent: Chip Roche, Jennifer McKenna, Representative Erin Herbig Staff: Garret Oswald, Cheryl Moran
Welcome & Introductions • Fred Webber opened the meeting with welcomes and introductions.
Minutes • Fred Webber asked for approval of the 01/29/16 meeting minutes. Kevin Healey motioned. Terry Young seconded. Minutes approved as written after correction.
Chairs Report • Fred Webber – Garret Oswald and I attended the National Governor’s Meeting in Washington D.C. back in February and had a conversation with Wes Jurey from the Agricultural Technology Innovation Partnership Foundation (A T I P). His Foundation facilitates the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Private Sector Research, Development, and Technology Partnerships. Wes hopes that Maine becomes 1 of 5 States to promote the bio-economy. Fred strongly stated we should be part of this process. Legislative Update • Julie Rabinowitz, Director of Policy, Operations and Communication, MDOL – LD 1137(initial Workforce and Unemployment Compensation Bill) - stated that the Bill has passed and due to this legislative change, the program will be more effective and streamlined. She explained that the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program is 1 of only 2 State funded programs and is funded as a percentage of the unemployment assessment issued to employers (offset to UI taxes). To qualify, you need to have a household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level. The program is designed exclusively to train people for a job in a high wage, in demand occupation. Veterans Preference Bill – this Bill is awaiting passage. It is a model on things learned through Hire A Vet Campaign and will guarantee every veteran that is applying for a job is interviewed. Student Debt Initiatives – through debt forgiveness we will be able to recruit and attract young people from out-of-state which can address some of our needs in reference to our workforce. • Jeanne Paquette – introduced and welcomed Ed Upham, new Director of Employment Services. She stated BES is going through a re-organization such as updates and modernizing on how we serve the people of Maine.
Maine’s Economic Development Strategy
• Michael Hersey – provided a presentation. He opened his presentation stating even though the unemployment rate in Maine is low, still there are less people in the workforce due to more retiring and the inability to backfill. The strategy consists of 2 areas: 1. Competitiveness with other states and the world. 2. Capitalizing on existing assets.
Employers are struggling with energy cost even though we have the lowest energy cost in New England. We need to work closely with businesses and hear what they are saying and report back to the Governor. People want Maine made products. We need to establish a “brand name”. Currently, we are working on this.
Maine Development Strategy includes utilizing natural resources intelligently as possible. He pointed out that the Portland International Trade Center has done well such as encouraging people from out-of-country to buy products and interest in investing. Tourism – primary goal is to market out. Maine & Company – utilize every effort they have to attract people/businesses to Maine.
• Fred Webber – asked for feedback from the employers around the table of the challenges they are facing. • Terry Young, Puritan Medical Products – stated he still struggles with skill sets in hiring. • Jon Mason, BIW – entry-level/non-skilled, not seeing much of challenge. Skilled trades, such as engineers, are more of a challenge. Because of that, they are forced to reach outside of Maine. • Liz Rensenbrink, Tyler Technologies – stated they will be hiring 30 software developers next month. They conduct a lot of hiring within and on-the-job training (OJT). • Nicole Morin-Scribner, St. Mary’s Health System – stated there is a major out-cry for entry level positions; and especially experienced registered nurses. We need to bring in more people to Maine to address these problems. • Joanne Harris, MDI Hospital – stated that the average age for registered nurses is in the late 40’s. She is really concerned about the aging workforce; the physical demands and how are we going to back fill? • Mary Mayhew, Commissioner of Health and Human Services – we need to interpret data and understand data. She agreed that there is a definite struggle hiring nurses, competing with the national wage. Entry level, not so much. How to manage leveraging wages to recruit has been a challenge. • Fred Webber – hopefully the feedback from these employers will be helpful. • Michael Hersey – things have to and need to get better especially the way we do business. • Mary Mayhew – we need to have a conversation with employers to address barriers to conduct business in those areas. • Michael Hersey – back fill and retaining a skilled workforce is a challenge across the board. • William Beardsley, Commissioner of Education – stated college enrollment is down 28,000 or 13% over the last 10 years. Mostly due to demographics and shift out of public education. Also, cost goes up as enrollment goes down. We have significant shortages in STEM teachers across rural Maine. IT positions will replace buildings. • Scott Knapp, MCCS – facing same college issues in recruiting and enrollment. However, students from out-of-state tend to stay in Maine. • Renee Kelly, U Maine – stated the university system very aggressively has been recruiting out-of-state students and for the first time, they have a requested wait list. They have been able to hold tuition flat over the last 2 years which they are very proud of. In-state students from the range of 65% to 70%, stay in Maine. Internships – is a great way to connect with employers and enhance the student’s experience. • Tracey Cooley, Job Corps – the Job Corps serve 500 – 600 graduates per year. Students typically stay in the local area as well as out-of-state. Housing is a huge challenge and students may fail because of this. She stated that she will be working with Joan Dolan, Director of Apprenticeship & Strategic Partnerships at MDOL on a career pathway for culinary arts.
• John Leavitt, NE Region Council of Carpenters – entry-level positions, not an issue. He will be working with some of the schools to open up more avenues. WIOA State Plan • Garret Oswald – the Plan is completed and was submitted on time. Maine was one of the very few states that were able to download the Plan on the template. Garret is very confident that Maine will be allowed to receive money as of July 1st. The Plan is accessible in PDF and Word on the State Workforce Board website. We will be committed to develop a dashboard to track progress and will be working on implementing strategy and develop a process. We received 22 public comments including praises: The State and local libraries – we fully agree the libraries are a great way to provide service to rural Maine; We received acknowledgement that our Partners, Goodwill Industries of NNE and Job Corps are doing a good job; Rehabilitation Services by a National Organization – Garret felt was a little discouraging because they did not agree with what we have done with rehabilitation services; Education and Economic Development have been a great partnership. • Fred Webber stated that he never realized that the newly unemployed seek services at the libraries. WIOA Policies • Ginny Carroll – provided (2) State Workforce Board draft Policies. The first Policy subject was Access to Board Information. She explained that The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) requires State and Local Boards to conduct their business in an open manner. Ensuring there is public access to State and Local Workforce Board information and activities including individuals with disabilities (needs to be accessible in a format that meets ADA Section 508 standards). Fred Webber asked for approval of this Policy as written. Tracey Cooley motioned. Mel Clarrage seconded. Access to Board Information Policy approved as written.
The second Policy subject was Local Board Certification. She explained this Policy identifies requirements for ongoing Local Board Certification. The certification process reviews the extent to which the local board has ensured that the workforce investment activities carried out in the local area have enabled the local area to meet performance accountability measures and achieve sustained fiscal integrity. It was suggested that the State Workforce Board be notified about the recertification process when it occurs (2017, 2019, 2021)
Fred Webber asked for a vote; Ryan Bushey made a motion to approve, and Terry Young seconded. The members voted unanimously to approve the policy.
Next Meeting – May 20, 2016
Respectfully submitted by Cheryl Moran and Garret Oswald.