State Workforce BoardJune 1, 2018: 9:30 AM
Dead River Co, 82 Running Hill Road, South Portland, ME
MAINE STATE WORKFORCE BOARD MEETING
Present: Fred Webber (Chair), John Fortier, Suzan Beaudoin, Tracey Cooley, Ricker Hamilton, Ed McKersie, Guy Langevin, Dan Belyea, Jeremy Kendall, Senator Amy Volk, Richard Freund, Robert Watson, Peter Anania, Laura Zajac, Barbara McKeen, Doug Ray, Mary LaRoche, Representative Ryan Fecteau (Phone), David Duguay (Phone), Jennifer McKenna (Phone), Renee Kelly (Phone), John Butera (Proxy), Jonathan Mason (Proxy), Terry Young (Proxy), Andrew Nichols (Excused), Thomas Davis (Excused), Ryan Bushey (Excused), Scott Good (Excused), Tom Davis (Excused), Mel Clarrage (Excused), John Leavitt (Absent)
Staff: Joshua Howe, Cheryl Moran
Welcome & Introductions " Fred Webber asked if they have a Quorum before opening the meeting. Joshua Howe said yes.
Fred Webber opened the regular meeting at 9:36am with an opening statement regarding the retirement of the State Workforce Boards Director, Garret Oswald. He stated he retired due to personal reasons and will be missed. Fred thanked Guy Langevin, for hosting this meeting at their facility, Dead River Company. Fred then asked to go around the room with introductions. Once introductions were completed, he asked for approval of the 03/30/18 meeting minutes. Tracey Cooley motioned. Ricker Hamilton seconded. 03/30/18 minutes were approved unanimously as written.
Chairs Report Fred Webber Fred Webber stated he had nothing specific to report.
Job Corp and the Younger Workers Committee Tracey Cooley, Center Director Job Corp Tracey stated she recently attended the Younger Workers Committee meeting and they are in the process of appointing a new Chair. The Theme for next year is: Removing Barriers for Youth Entering Employment. There are 4 goals the committee will be working on: 1. Transportation 2. Apprenticeship opportunities connecting with the CTE 3. Rules and regulations 4. Connecting with employers She reported that her Center recently hosted a visit attended by the U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and Senator Susan Collins. She stated the Job Corps is viewed to fill the gap between youth training and employers. During their visit, the students stole the show and were very engaging. Secretary Acosta spoke about the restructuring of the Pell Grant where it can be used to be eligible for certifications. This is huge!
She also reported the Maine Job Corps is ranked 2nd out of 125 centers nationally!
Fred then stated the Job Corps have their critics but Traceys center is impressive.
State Plan Modification Joshua Howe, Acting Director State Workforce Board
Josh stated the completed Unified State Plan modification was submitted in March and the Feds have 90 days to approve. He stated they are 65 days in and have not been approved. He pointed out that Maine was not the first or the last ones in.
June 8th is the deadline to apply for federal money for next year. If not approved by June 8th, they may ask for an extended deadline.
Richard Freund stated they sent the Feds an email and they still are waiting for a response.
Josh stated without the approval of the modified Plan, the Governor is not comfortable to apply for the money.
Hire-A-Vet Steve Roy, Veterans Rep Maine Department of Labor
Steve stated they are in their 4th year of the Campaign. The Campaign is 100 days, 100 employers, 100 hired. He announced their first meeting will be held next week on June 5th. The official kick-off date is August 30th and will be held at the Augusta Civic Center this year since the Augusta Armory was not able to accommodate the multitudes.
He stated the Governor has attended the past 2 years and this Campaign was well-received in the community. The marketing process is getting better each year.
Richard Freund stated the recognition is well beyond the borders of Maine. This Campaign has received national recognition.
Steve was asked what is the nature of the job because the hiring wage is impressive. Steve stated, they have tapped into every pipeline which includes part-time as well as full-time. Live and Work in Maine have assisted with the outreach. He pointed out they are not tracking as a whole - homeless or the unemployed.
Once a month they reach out to employers and at the end of the season, they highlight special stories.
A planned meeting for the Campaign is scheduled for June 5th. Jeremy Kendall stated he wants to meet with Steve next week to discuss better tracking of employees coming in. Antoinette Mancusi stated she would like to talk about ex-offenders. Richard Freund stated the Department of Labor currently is working with the Department of Corrections.
Ed Upham stated its time to demystify who these people really are. They do have skills. Joanna Russell Policies in Mainewhat can we do about this? There needs to be a way to screen and decide. Insurance companies we need to educate them on the value of recovery.
Senator Amy Volk announced next Thursday, June 7th from 9am 3pm is the Recovery Workforce Job Fair, Pepperell Mill Event Space, 40 Main Street, Biddeford, ME and 1pm 3pm is a workshop. Senator Volk also stated Maine does not tax the military pension anymore. We need to spread to word.
Silver Collar Award Cheryl Moran, Labor Program Specialist State Workforce Board
Cheryl announced the tentative acceptance of applications and the entry deadline date for the 2018 Silver Collar Employer Award is June 18th thru August 17th.
She explained The Silver Collar Employer Award recognizes employers that are senior friendly and have the ability to recruit and retain older workers in the workplace. She also stated employers can self-nominate or if they know employers that fit the criteria, please refer them to the State Workforce Boards website at: www.maine.gov/swb/ or they can contact Cheryl at 207.621.5091 or email@example.com.
Fred Webber stated he has presented several Silver Collar Employer Awards over the years and the employers are excited, honored and take this Award very seriously. Dead River Project Tracy Thibodeaux and Joan Dolan, Director of Apprenticeship & Strategic Partnerships Maine Department of Labor Joan provided a PowerPoint presentation; The Maine Apprenticeship Program Apprenticeship as the Vehicle to Provide Business Driven Training. Joan stated apprenticeship primarily is for incumbent workers in Maine and are booming. As of June 2018, the total number of active Sponsors are 80 and since 01/01/2018, 10 new Sponsors have been added. There have been 114 new Sponsor inquiries. The Apprenticeship Program is recognized and funded through USDOL. She stated she still is waiting to receive federal monies. Currently, she stated she is working with the Department of Corrections (2 prison systems).
The Maine At Work Initiative sends information to Joans Staff Person Eileen Miazga who then sends out to the appropriate partners.
Joan stated Dead River approached her stating a need for HVAC workers. MEMA has an agreement with the employer detailing wages, on-the-job learning and classroom training.
Joan was asked what is the average age of the apprentices. Her answer was 28 years.
She also stated she is trying to work with the CTEs to get direct connection with students. CTE can become a Sponsor.
Fred Webber stated the Europeans taught us that early apprentices really work.
Joan then stated employers dont understand how apprenticeship applies to them. This seems to be the issue.
There is a $1,200 reimbursement a year to employers to offset the training. This funding is really tapped. She stated they are tying the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program (CSSP) resource to this program as well as the Community College Center funding. Pre-Apprenticeship can be for adults as well as students and its paid. Richard Freund stated we need more flexibility in funds from USDOL, which is a challenge of small state funding. Tracy Thibodeaux provided a PowerPoint presentation about their company She stated Dead River is the largest retailer of heating oil in New England. They employ over 1100 employees. 47.3 is the average age of their employees. Workforce demand is up and employees are down. HVAC is expected to grow over 30% by 2020. Dead River hires 140+ seasonal delivery drivers each fall. She pointed out that competitors try to buy their people. Dead River is pulling 50% of the population; 147 Drivers 1 female and 230 Service Technicians 4 females. They have an in-house training facility. Also, Dead River is working with MEMA and Joan to create a Service Technician Apprenticeship Program which is close to completion. They have developed a 2-year Management Trainee Field Internship Program for students entering their junior year of college. Dead River provides plenty of occupational career opportunities for adults, youth and a diverse population. They work with the Totally Trades Conferences which consists of the non-traditional occupations for women. Jennifer McKenna stated this is a way to build the workforce! Tracy Thibodeaux We encourage employees to have the entire package such as their CDL, Hazmat and HVAC but it is not a requirement. Those employees are paid more having all 3 credentials. Dead River provides cross-training and mentoring. Senator Amy Volk then asked, do you hire people with a criminal record? Tracy responded some convictions they will hire however; they try to be careful especially when their employees go into customers homes. If they were convicted of a violent crime or theft, probably not. She was asked about a timeline. Tracy stated 7 years is the time limit but this is a rough estimate. She strongly stated an applicant is better opted to being honest on their application. For example, make sure they check off felony if they were convicted and write will discuss in the interview. Fred Webber asked Guy Langevin if he would like to give the last word. Guy pointed out once again a lot of employers are at a disadvantage because of the infrastructure. That is why they are partnering with the HVAC industry. They are leveraging every dollar and opportunity that is out there. State Allocations and CareerCenter Modernization Ed Upham, Bureau Director Bureau of Employment Services MDOL Fred Webber announced a changed order of the agenda by asking Ed Upham to be next on the agenda then followed by the Legislative Update and last the YES Project. Ed Upham started his report by stating there is a collaboration between MDOL, Department of Corrections and the Maine Community College System. He stated they are breaking down silos. This is wonderful and great stuff!
The 2018 allotments have been lower than the past. Formula Grants are based on; the unemployment rate, geographical, and the poverty level. The Center for Workforce Research and Information (CWRI) are still working up the figures. The figures are based on this information: Youth dropped 6.5% or $188,000 Adult dropped 6.29% or $164,000 Dislocated Worker dropped 7.8% or $230,000 Employment Services dropped .4% or $14,000 Workforce Information (CWRI) dropped % or $2,000 A $600,000 drop from last year to this year. We need to work leaner and better.
Ed stated the CareerCenters are being restructured. He asked the question, wouldnt it be nice to co-locate with the Community Colleges? He named the CareerCenters that will be moving or being restructured. Skowhegan will be moving to the Goodwill Hinckley campus. He pointed out how this is one way to save money and put back into training. The Augusta CareerCenter has already moved and has shrunk in size. The Brunswick CareerCenter will be moving to the Brunswick Landing at the Community College located there. Ed stated since the Lewiston CareerCenter is one of the largest, we only need 8 or 9,000 square feet. Fiscal resources are shrinking and we still have more work to do. Dan Belyea stated the Community College numbers have doubled over the year working together. Ed Upham We should push for Legislation for small state allocation because California is using the same formula which is not comparable.
Legislative Update Nina McLaughlin stated none of the Department Bills have passed. They have been tabled or in appropriations. L.D. 1740 Chapter 416 An Act to Establish the Crimes of Criminal Forced Labor and Aggravated Criminal Forced Labor in the Maine Criminal Code Sponsored by Senator Amy Volk is now public law. MDOL made an awareness poster for employers to display. DOL and some DOT are required to display this poster. The poster is on the MDOL website. The Department is really focusing on youth employment. Parents to be able to hire their 14-year-old without requiring a work permit. The Department would like to see this common-sense bill come back to the next Legislative session.
YES (Youth Employment and the Steps to Success) Project
Laura Hudson provided a PowerPoint presentation.
The YES Project is to build awareness of hiring minors in the workforce. Particularly 14-15-year-olds who need a permit to work.
One of the main goals is to increase teens in the workforce. In the last 7 years, there has been no population growth. There are 28,000 14-15-year-old in Maine and there are 3 groups we need to engage; 1) Businesses, 2) Parents, and 3) Youth.
A workshop will be provided to assist employers on how to hire minors in the workplace. On June 12th, a workshop will be held in Bangor and they also added Lewiston.
The total number of permits issued in 2011 were 2,768 and in 2017, 4,261. Laura stated they would like to see in 2018, 7,000.
The process to obtain a work permit in the past was a very long process. It took 2 4 weeks. Now, the process is a little as 2 hours or 2 4 days.
Laura was asked how many permits are rejected? She stated she will look into that.
Laura stated she hopes this project will continue into the next Administration.
Employers have been inquiring about a training wage. This is what she has been hearing a lot from employers.
Pilot Youth & Training Grant Program $400.00 maximum per new employee covers $2.00 per hour up to 200 hours. She stated she wants this pilot program to assist all not just minors. This is a reimbursement program. They have a partnership with the DECD. And this program is to help the hospitality industry. $10,000 in WIOA funds will be put towards this program - permission from Commissioner John Butera. $50,000 from DECD. And potential of other resources. She asked everyone to please spread the word and refer them to the website to access information; www.mainecareercenter.gov/yes. Information is also located on the CareerCenter Facebook page. Laura announced they will be conducting 21 workshops for parents and teens all over the state.
Meeting Adjourned at 11:57am.
Next meeting will be held on July 27, 2018 from 9:30am Noon, location TBD.
Respectfully submitted by Cheryl Moran
Attachments SWB agenda June 1, 2018