State Workforce Board

March 30, 2018: 9:30 AM
Frances Perkins Room, CMCC


MARCH 30, 2018

Present: Fred Webber (Chair), Jonathan Mason, Thomas Davis, Terry Young, John Fortier, Andrew Nichols, Suzan Beaudoin, Rhonda Fletcher, Mel Clarrage, Tracey Cooley, Robert Watson (Phone), Ryan Bushey (Phone), Doug Ray (Phone), Ricker Hamilton (Phone), David Duguay (Phone), Ed McKersie (Proxy), Guy Langevin (Proxy), Peter Anania (Proxy), John Butera (Proxy), Jennifer McKenna (Proxy), Laura Zajac (Excused), Anna Black (Excused), Renee Kelly (Excused), Scott Good (Absent), Dan Belyea (Absent), Tom Davis (Absent), Jeremy Kendall (Absent), John Leavitt (Absent), Senator Amy Volk (Absent), Representative Ryan Fecteau (Absent)

Staff: Garret Oswald, Joshua Howe, Cheryl Moran

Welcome & Introductions; Fred Webber first asked, do we have a Quorum before he opened the meeting. Garret Oswald responded yes.

Fred Webber opened the regular meeting with welcome and introductions and asked for approval of the 01/26/18 meeting minutes. John Fortier motioned. Terry Young seconded. 01/26/18 minutes approved as written.

Chairs Report; Fred Webber Fred Webber reported in February of this year, they (Fred Webber and Garret Oswald) went to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Governor‚€™s Association (NGA) meeting. Update on USDOL The Budget Bill passed. What was passed in the Bill - a lot will impact with what we do in Maine.

MaineSpark Resolution; Ed Cervone, Educate Maine/Bruce Wagner, FAME Handout was provided. Garret Oswald ‚€“ The Maine Workforce and Education Coalition morphed into MaineSpark. Education is the pathway whether it‚€™s a college degree or a certification. He stated they‚€™ll be able to track the attainment. Many organizations have signed a resolution to be part of MaineSpark. We‚€™ll be asking Board members to sign on. MDOL has decided to sign on. Ed Cervone - The Coalition has set a statewide attainment goal ‚€œ60% by 2025‚€. Ed was asked, where are we now? He responded, 43%. He stated they will be able to provide research data and metrics to let us know how we are doing on the front. Currently, they have folks working on: ‚€Ę What employers need. ‚€Ę Early childhood and adult learners. ‚€Ę Attracting more people to the State of Maine. Bruce Wagner stated in the last year, they wrote an integrated strategic plan to meet this 60% goal. Such as; ‚€Ę High School to college readiness track. ‚€Ę Adult promise track; helping some 200,000 Mainers that have started some credential but have not achieved or completed. ‚€Ę How to attract people to Maine and increase the workforce. Credential attainment is viewed as one of the most critical issues facing the state now. This is not a future problem, it exists now! Ed Cervone stated they want to get more employers to sign on. They have metrics, a plan and strategy. Goal; state workforce attainment goal of 60% by 2025. He stated this is a responsibility for all employers.
Tracey Cooley asked, is the strategic plan available on-line? Ed Cervone responded, not yet but you can contact Bruce Wagner.
Garret Oswald stated they can work while they continue to learn. This is a nice fit for us and our System. We want to be in it for the long haul. We‚€™ll be looking for recommendations from the Board to allow us to sign on. Ed Cervone pointed out they are agnostic, non-partisan and they welcome anyone to sign on ‚€“ purely informational/at will. Andrew Nichols stated this has been missing for a long time and how do you drive the attainment to the need? This was his concern but applauded the effort. Bruce Wagner stated with the work plan going forward, we must build systems to get alignment. Ed Cervone stated they start from big data of where they are. They want to be another voice to direct people. Bruce Wagner stated they would love to have Unions on board. Ed Cervone stated they will be very specific about the skills track. That is why they need employers. Ed Cervone ‚€“ The question is, how do we create pathways and not obstacles? Suzan Beaudoin stated they used to wait 2 years to receive funding with new programs. Now, it‚€™s immediate. She announced they met with the Manufactures Association of Maine this week and how manufacturing has changed. Students really need to see it for example, Robotics. They need to see what opportunities are available. Ed Cervone stated how the Poland School System has really embraced this. Jonathan Mason stated in the next 4 ‚€“ 5 years, BIW will need 5,000 mechanics with the proper skills. Garret Oswald stated this is not about any one place doing this one thing. Fred Webber called to entertain a motion for the State Board to endorse the MaineSpark initiative. Tracey Cooley motioned to endorse the MaineSpark initiative. Suzan Beaudoin seconded. Motion carried.

WIOA Plan Modification; Joshua Howe, SWB Joshua Howe provided a brief update on the WIOA Plan modification. He stated the Plan modification is required 2 years after implementation. He stated USDOL notified them in January that the plan modification was due in March. The Plan modification went out for public comment for 7 days and they received 34 comments. The majority of the comments were focused on the Training Expenditure Policy (70%). Joshua Howe was asked if all the comments received will be answered. His response was no because the public comment period was not a public hearing but was conducted on the State Workforce Board (SWB) website. Therefore, they are not required to respond to every comment. Joshua Howe then went on to say that the Performance Measures piece went out for public comment separately. He stated the Plan modification was submitted on Wednesday, March 28 and the new deadline was Monday, April 2. He stated that USDOL has 90 days to review the modified Plan. They can outright approve or conditionally approve. Right now, they are waiting to hear back from USDOL. Garret Oswald stated it has been 6 months and 8 days later that we have not received answers from USDOL. If USDOL does not approve the Plan in 90 days, then the Plan will automatically be approved. The 90-day deadline is a critical deadline. As funding gets tighter, we are starting to get traction from other States. Fred Webber stated now is a good time to review committee assignments. We may need help from our Legislative delegation. Garret Oswald stated, we need to figure out how to tell our stories. USDOL is understaffed and unanswered. He reiterated to the question about answering all public comments. He stated, we are not required to answer all comments since it was not a public hearing. Fred Webber stated he does not feel it is out of order for the Board to go and push our delegation to get answers from USDOL.

Youth Employment Project: Laura Hudson, MDOL Fred Webber decided to have the Youth Employment Project presented before the Legislative Update. Laura Hudson provided a PowerPoint presentation based on 14 -15-year-olds who get work permits and an Employers Guide to Youth Employment. She stated this project is not a program, it‚€™s purely to increase the number of minors in the workforce, the importance of work, and getting permits.
Maine has a 2.9% unemployment rate the lowest since 1976. She strongly stated we have a challenge ‚€“ the tapped and untapped. This generation has not had a job. There are 28,000 minors in the State of Maine and only 5,000 got permits last year. Businesses, parents, youth, and policy makers need to engage. If you would like more information, you can call 623-7900 (Bureau of Labor Standards) or Garret Oswald. Laura Hudson announced on 05/24/18 from 9am ‚€“ Noon, SafetyWorks will be offering a workshop to assist businesses on how to hire youth. This workshop is open for all businesses. She stated not everyone plans to go to college. This can allow 14 ‚€“ 15-year old to think about what they may want to do. For example, pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship. The goal for 2018 is 7,000 permits. Processing permits can take days or hours to process compared to weeks in the past. Nina McLaughlin stated L.D. 1757 ‚€“ the Minimum Wage Bill has been tabled as of yesterday, March 29th in the Senate. As far as the training wage, the language has changed. Suzan Beaudoin stated in the State of Maine, we are 49% economically disadvantaged. Thomas Davis stated ‚€œadulting 101‚€ needs to happen and have a minor come to ask for a job not the parent.

Fred Webber announced Jennifer Kimble will be augmenting membership for the Commission on Disability & Employment (CD & E). Jennifer Kimble, Director of the Department of Vocational Services at Maine Medical Center and CDE Chair (sub-committee of the Board) stated the Commission submits and annual report with recommendations to the Governor and Legislature. The Employment First Maine Committee recommended 27 very specific recommendations that went to the Legislature in January 2018 but this group is now gone. Now it is up to the committee to follow through with the recommendations. We meet 5 or 6 times per year. According to their bylaws, they are supposed to have an ex-officio member. Please contact Jennifer Kimble if you are interested in membership. Jennifer Kimble concluded by stating, in the State of Maine, there are over 100,000 People with Disabilities (PWD) that are adults, 77% are unemployed and very similar numbers are in poverty. PWD are part of the solution. Please join us!

Legislative Update; Nina McLaughlin, MDOL Nina McLaughlin provided a handout on A Brief Overview Of Bills Pertaining To The Workforce This Current Legislative Session. She stated for the most part, MDOL has made good progress in this Session. L.D. 1770 ‚€œAn Act to Revise Laws Regarding Unemployment that Were Amended or Affected by Recently Enacted Legislation‚€ sponsored by Senator Amy Volk was a drafting error last year in the budget and the Department did not phrase it correctly which caused controversy. It was a controversial Bill that was misunderstood.
She concluded by explaining the Minority Report. She stated it has their original language of chargeability and this is the one they support and the Chief Executive will support.

Other Cheryl Moran announced that the Communications Director was contacted by the Wall Street Journal regarding doing a story on companies in Maine that are keeping workers in the workplace longer. The Silver Collar relates to this. She stated she contacted 3 out of the 4, 2017 awardees regarding participating in the article; Associates for Training and Development (A4TD), Care & Comfort, and Community Health Options. She was not able to contact Moody‚€™s Coworker Owned, Inc. This is very exciting news that the Silver Collar will be receiving national recognition and we commend these employers who understand the value of the older worker.

Fred Webber asked to have the next meeting be rescheduled due to the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. Board members agreed to reschedule the next meeting to Friday, June 1.

Meeting adjourned at 11:37am.

Next meeting will be held on Friday, June 1, from 9:30 ‚€“ Noon, location TBD.

Respectfully submitted by Cheryl Moran