State Workforce Board meeting

September 29, 2017: 9:30 AM

STATE WORKFORCE BOARD MEETING SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 Present: Fred Webber (Chair), Liz Rensenbrink, Guy Langevin, Nicole Morin-Scribner, Laura Zajac, John Butera, Gail Senese, Rhonda Fletcher, Richard Freund, Doug Ray, Ricker Hamilton, Anna Black, Dan Belyea, David Duguay, Jeremy Kendall, Jennifer McKenna, Mel Clarrage, Tracey Cooley, Susan Hammond (phone), Renee Kelly (phone), Senator Amy Volk (phone), Scott Good (phone), Jon Mason (proxy), Ed McKersie (proxy), Joanne Harris (proxy), John Leavitt (proxy)

Staff: Garret Oswald, Joshua Howe, Cheryl Moran

WELCOMES & INTRODUCTIONS - Fred Webber Fred opened the meeting with welcomes and introductions and asked for approval of the 07/28/17 meeting minutes. Tracey Cooley motioned. Mel Clarrage seconded. Minutes approved unanimously as written.

CHAIRS REPORT Fred Webber Fred made a decision to skip over the Chairs Report and move onto the Accessibility Policy.

ACCESSIBILITY POLICY Ginny Carroll/Eric Dibner A draft copy of the Policy was provided. The purpose of this Policy is to provide guidance to recipients and required partners in Maine's one-stop workforce development system on the implementation of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and physical and programmatic accessibility provisions in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and related statutes, regulations, and guidance. Eric Dibner This Policy is the State Plans steps for compliance with WIOA. How to provide accessibility in our Programs Long standing requirement of federal funds (which is not something new) The framework on how the one-stops can comply Accessibility is our goal including accommodations To provide public notice (one of the key elements) Policies, practices and procedures that we can use to provide services Not automatically discriminating by the way it is written Accessibility Guide (we are expanding on this) Ginny Carroll stated all the required partners must follow this Policy. This Policy pertains to all the partners that are participants in the one-stop system. The State EEO Officer can monitor and review the required partners. This Policy applies to the hiring process as well. Every orientation and open service must put a copy in each file. Fred Webber asked Ed Upham if he can define what a one-stop center is. Ed Upham stated a one-stop center is where somebody can seek whatever service they need. Ginny wanted to make clear that this Policy applies to the one-stop network which includes training providers that get funded with Federal WIOA funds. Fred asked for approval of the Accessibility, Equal Opportunity, and Nondiscrimination Policy. Mel Clarrage motioned. Susan Hammond seconded. Accessibility Policy approved unanimously.

INTENSIVE ESL PROJECT Mike Roland/Gail Senese/Tarlan Ahmadov A PowerPoint presentation was provided on "Refugee Services". Garret Oswald stated anecdotally, we hear it that there is a labor shortage. Mike Roland opened the presentation by stating even though there is a low unemployment rate, there is a growing deficit of qualified workers. We need more workers to grow and increase the workforce. We need to combine every resource and every Mainer to make this happen. Q & A Q Fred Webber asked do you receive funding from the federal government for this program? A Tarlan Ahmadov answered we are a public private entity. The Refugee Act of 1980 allows this. Catholic Charities administers this program. Q Data on Education How is this reported? A Tarlan Ahmadov answered data is reported through the State Department. Gail Senese Gail stated that Maine needs every worker. We know this. Barriers cited by employers when hiring are lack of English, education and credentials. Most Refugees come to the U. S. highly educated but they are hampered by their living wage due to the language barrier. They want the same things as Americans. They are just like us. Refugees are a much-needed solution to Maines aging workforce. Under the regular Adult Education program for English, hours spent 3 6 hours per week. At this rate, it will take 6 years to move up to 8th grade equivalent 13 15 years to reach a living wage. In the advance/intensive English program, it takes 13 months of training to get into employment. This program serves 68 people 15 hours per week over a 6 8-week period. Gail pointed out that even with this program, they will still need additional English support. Mike Roland stated that he would like to have thoughts and feedback on the presentation. He stated that he will send a copy of Tarlans presentation to members. He stated that he would like to propose a taskforce or subcommittee to address these circumstances. And willing to entertain a formal proposal of the project Gail described. Dan Belyea stated that the Community College are interested and would like to have a further conversation. Tracey Cooley stated that we need to come to the table to get more educated. She stated that she is willing to help Gail and is fully supportive of the program. Jennifer McKenna stated that she attended a discussion on how to integrate ESL into apprenticeship she feels they can define it better. Nicole Morin-Scribner stated that St Marys is trying to tap into this population. M I S H A is one place you can go to tap that population. Fred Webber stated that Refugees are here to stay and we need to help them. By helping them will help ourselves. Garret Oswald As a Board, we do not require members to step forward but can volunteer. We are not the administrator of discretionary funds that come from USDOL. What we can do is make recommendations to the Governors designee. Tracey Cooley called to make a motion to form a taskforce around this issue. Dan Belyea motioned. Tracey Cooley seconded.

UPDATES GIG ECONOMY PROJECT Garret Oswald Garret stated that they are working with the Maine Innkeepers Association. On October 23 & 24 they will present the workforce shortages. We want to be there to offer a solution to take some pressure off the hospitality industry. The Gig Economy is a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. Wingham Rowan will be there to show the possibility of this platform. It is part of the solution, not the solution. It is a pilot. The funding is through Wal Mart where they could Americanize the software aspect. The Dashboard is in process. We do not have anything to show you yet. SILVER COLLAR AWARDS Cheryl Moran Cheryl started by explaining what the Silver Collar Employer Award is. The Silver Collar Employer Award is an annual award presented by the Older Worker Committee that honors employers who hire and maintain employees age 50 and over. Our goal is to announce the award during the National Employ Older Workers Week which usually is the last week of September. The announcement along with the press release did go out this week. This year we will be honoring 4 employers based on their policies and practices that match the needs of the mature employee. And the recipients are: • Associates for Training and Development (A4TD), Lewiston • Care & Comfort, Waterville • Community Health Options, Lewiston • Moodys Coworker Owned, Inc., Gorham We will be in contact with the employers to plan on presenting the award at their place of business which in the past has always been well-received. This has been a rewarding and educating experience for the Older Workers Committee.

COMMUNICATION WITH USDOL Commissioner John Butera Commissioner Butera opened the discussion about the WIOA Title 1B funding the Governors objectives and where we are standing. Since this still is tax payers dollars, the Governor wants to achieve effectiveness and R. O. I. minimum cost to tax payers. He wants more funds put into skill training and development. Thats under effectiveness. What is not effective, the current 2 levels of overhead and administrative cost. The Governor sees an ineffective system and is not willing to participate unless we can reduce one of these layers to reduce administrative cost. We have been speaking to other states to see how they have achieved this. Also, we are having another conversation with USDOL. John stressed to the Board members that this has not been easy. The reality, we have 2 levels of administrative cost. Commissioner Butera strongly stated that the Governor is very focused to get as many resources to the people that need them. We still have not received answers from USDOL. Commissioner Butera strongly stated again that the Governor is adamant that he will not participate in 2 layers of administration. Fred Webber stated the Feds are not clear on answers because they are not fully staffed. This is very frustrating and time is short. Fred pointed out that other states have done what the Governor is proposing to do. Glad we are consulting with other states. Commissioner Butera stated that people receiving services through this Program will continue. Scott Good asked Garret Oswald if he can find other innovative ways to funding that other states receive. Commissioner Butera Worker shortage is a national crisis. Jennifer McKenna asked if there was a quantitative number amount of the cost. Richard Freund responded 1/2 a million plus.
Fred Webber stated the Governor asked what percentage of money actually goes to training. The Governor is driven by this. The Governor wants to see data on how many have been trained. This is not an unreasonable request. The Governor is not the lone ranger. Ed Upham reiterated to what Commissioner Butera stated that people being served will not be left in the cold. Tracey Cooley stated that she is disheartened that Board members heard this after the fact when we could have come together to help put together a strategy. Fred Webber stated we must keep this Board informed.

Fred Webber Next meeting which is December 1. Have we decided where it will be held? We will look into this and advise. Garret Oswald stated that we now have the ZOOM technology that we want to utilize at meetings.

Meeting adjourned

Next meeting will be held on December 1 from 9:30 Noon, location TBD

Respectfully submitted by Cheryl Moran

Attachments Agenda 9/29/17 SWB meeting