State Workforce Board meeting

January 27, 2017: 9:30 AM
Perkins Room, CMCC


STATE WORKFORCE BOARD MEETING JANUARY 27, 2017 Present: Fred Webber, John Butera, Jon Mason, Terry Young, Ed McKersie, Kevin Healey, Ryan Bushey, Nicole Morin-Scribner, Joanne Harris, Jeanne Paquette, Gail Senese, David Duguay, Jennifer McKenna, Tracey Cooley, Jeremy Kendall, Rhonda Fletcher, Doug Ray, Jim Howard, Lisa Larson, Liz Rensenbrink (Excused), Tom Davis (Excused), Robert Carmichael (Proxy), Mel Clarrage (Proxy), Scott Good (Phone), Senator Amy Volk (Phone), Renee Kelly (Phone)

Absent: Susan Hammond, John Leavitt, Representative Erin Herbig, Mary Mayhew

Staff: Garret Oswald, Joshua Howe, Cheryl Moran

• Fred Webber opened the meeting with welcomes and introductions and asked for approval of the 9/30/16 meeting minutes. David Duguay motioned. Tracey Cooley seconded. Minutes approved unanimously.

Highlights of the 2018 – 2019 State Budget – John Butera, Governor’s Office • Jeanne Paquette made an opening statement prior to introducing John Butera. She pointed out that with the new Administration, they probably will make change to the workforce board initiative systems. • John Butera, Senior Policy Advisor – Governor’s Office The Governor appreciates the service of the Board members and he proposed the State Budget 3 weeks ago. The Budget involves economic development and taxes. The thirty-page document can be viewed on-line at www.maine.gov . This Budget positions the State to put programs in place and to set Maine on the path to prosperity. With the recent passage of Question #2 (3% surtax on incomes over $200,000 for funding education), although it is the law, the rate can be changed. John pointed out that Maine has the second highest top marginal rate in the country at 10.15%. The Governor wants to modernize the tax code for the 21st Century – a lower income tax. Over the next biennium, the Budget proposal is to reduce the highest tax rate of 10.15% to 5.75%. 59% actually goes into the classroom. Most rural areas however will not see this. We definitely need to re-think. Question #4 (minimum wage increase) – although it is great for consumers, the increase puts pressure on businesses. The downfall, prices will go up which will be a cost to the consumer. We need a better process in the way we do the referendum process. John encouraged everyone to be engaged. The Governor’s goal is to make Maine more competitive – to be able to attract business. In conclusion, we need to get regulations in line with the economy of today, address the strategy of bringing people to Maine – student loan forgiveness, opportunity tax credit (which allows businesses to pay off student debt and receive a tax credit). Our New England neighbor, the State of New Hampshire has no sales tax, no income tax and they are going to the right-to-work which will make them the only state north of Maryland that will. Those incentives make our State hard to compete. We need to make Maine a more attractive place. The Governor likes to make bold decisions in making things happen. • Ed McKersie stated that the 3% surtax is sending a discouraging message to people outside of the country and state. This is not just about wealthy people, but trying to recruit talented people. Student debt and high tax is not a good combination.

Apprenticeship Program Expansion – Joan Dolan, MDOL, Stephanie Veck, CWDC

• Stephanie Veck, Director of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) conducted a presentation via ZOOM teleconferencing of their visit to Switzerland regarding apprenticeship program expansion. She also provided a PowerPoint regarding Colorado’s State Workforce Board’s role. • Joan Dolan, Director of Apprenticeship and Strategic Partnership Apprenticeship is a combination of on-the-job training (OJT) and related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional in which workers learn the practical and theoretical aspects of a highly skilled occupation. There are 1,100 registered apprenticeships and 50 sponsors. Employers such as Cianbro, Pratt & Whitney, BIW and MaineGeneral are the larger sponsors. Recently, there has been a conversation with Nestle Waters and next week she will be meeting at the Hollis plant. She stated that she needs to nail down what Nestlé’s apprenticeship program will look like. Nestle Waters has 3 manufacturing plants. The 3 locations are in Kingfield, Hollis and Poland Spring. The main focus is healthcare and connecting with associations. She has been attending Job Fairs to spread the word but the main intention is making connections with employers. Johnny Seeds is the most active employer. They are looking at 3 apprenticeship programs. She strongly stated that we need to strengthen our sector partnership relationship in order to model Colorado and we need to have greater connectivity in the education system of our State. She announced there is an open seat on the SWB. And they are looking for someone with apprenticeship experience.
• Jeanne Paquette – connectivity sounds like the key! • Stephanie Veck – connectivity is critically important! You cannot be successful alone. Fundamentally it’s a shared commitment. Stephanie heads both the Workforce Board and the Business Experimental Learning Commission (BEL). BEL was formed by Executive Order of the Governor. She has a strong network of sector partnerships. She pointed out that the State Workforce Board does not fund or use money to entice partnership. • Jon Mason – How did you avoid redundancy with what already exist? • Stephanie Veck – We brought in businesses and used their expertise. She suggested that we start as early as eighth grade and use the tools we already have instead of starting from scratch. Bring businesses into the classroom and use the technology.
• Richard Freund – We definitely need to reach out to kids at an earlier age (Junior High). • Jeanne Paquette – We really need to focus on connectivity, demand driven and education. The challenge needs to start with the SWB.

Maine At Work – Linda Varrell, Jason Sulham, Broadreach Public Relations • Linda Varrell and Jason Sulham provided a PowerPoint presentation about Maine At Work. Maine At Work Initiative was created to help employers and job seekers learn of the many resources available to them. • Julie Rabinowitz – people and business do not know where to go as far as services. The goal is having one point of contact to make services easier to access.

Legislative Update – Julie Rabinowitz, MDOL, Debra Plowman, MDOE • Julie Rabinowitz – the Marijuana Law will affect the workforce. Employers that conduct a drug test will not be able to discriminate against hiring if they are using recreational marijuana. Federal funds cannot be used. The employment piece of the Law is nothing like Colorado’s. Colorado has zero tolerance. • Ryan Bushey – wants more information on the marijuana law due to the safety nature of his business. Julie mentioned the Bills that the Department of Labor will be monitoring; minimum wage-permutation with the training wage, workforce bills, bills that relate to people with disabilities, 3 that are related to WIOA compliance, youth employment and veteran credentials (L.D. 43). The Department tracks but they do not testify. • Debra Plowman, Director of Policy, MDOE- stated L. D. 43 is expensive for the DOE to buy into due to the funding being cut. L. D. 1627 – Proficiency Base Diplomas – continue work on this. There is a Bill being put together – Alternative Pathway to Professionals which will be a way of getting older more mature people. She stated that it does not look like it is going to be easy but they are working hard. Debra announced that Bob Hasson is the new acting commissioner. • Fred Webber – underscores strong partnership with MDOL and MDOE. • Debra Plowman – CTE will have another new look and what is needed.

WIOA Implementation – Garret Oswald • Garret provided visual metrics. He stated that the Unified State Plan was officially approved October 2016. We worked with the 4 Core Partners and the LWB’s. In July, we will have a Dashboard that will indicate everything we did or did not do. We will have a draft in the spring. We have completed all objectives. Everything imposed in the Plan will get done. Garret stated if you have any questions, to contact him. He also stated that he will provide more information as we go along.

Other – Fred Webber – March 31st is the next meeting which will be held at the CMCC in Augusta. He stated that he would like to see a meeting held at a CareerCenter. Garret Oswald – stated 3 meetings will be held in Augusta, 3 will be held across the state as stated in the previous meeting. He stated that he will update the intensions.

Meeting Adjourned

Next meeting will be held on Friday, March 31st from 9:30 – Noon in the Frances Perkins Room, CMCC Augusta.

Respectfully submitted by Cheryl Moran


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