State Workforce Board

April 26, 2019:

10:00-12:00 Frances Perkins Rm. 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta, ME



Present: Laura Fortman, Ashley Pringle, Jon Mason, Thomas Davis, LuAnn Ballesteros, Gail Senese, Sara Gagne-Holmes, Dan Belyea, Andre Cushing, Jennifer McKenna, Tracey Cooley, Nathan Pelsma, Meghan Russo, Denise Garland, Robert "Brett" Watson, (Phone), Scott Good, (Phone), Andrew Nichols, (Phone), Laura Zajac, (Phone), Renee Kelly, (Phone), Mel Clarrage, (Phone), Guy Langevin, (Proxy), David Duguay, (Proxy), John Leavitt, (Proxy)

Staff: Christopher Quint, Joshua Howe, Cheryl Moran

Welcome & Introductions Commissioner Laura Fortman opened the regular meeting at 10:03am and asked everyone to introduce themselves, state their affiliations, and what they think is the key challenge facing our workforce today. She also stated we will not nominate a Chair today but she will facilitate this meeting. She stated we will move on with additional positions filled and the Governor will nominate the Chair. Denise Garland, DECD - Having a skilled workforce, need people in general. Ashley Pringle, Maine & Company Skills gap, underemployed. Gail Senese, Adult Education Through Adult Ed, people acquire foundation skills. Adult Ed provides literacy classes, academic credentials, career and educational counseling. Thomas Davis, Are you ready to party? Soft skills. Meghan Russo, MDOT Difficulty attracting and retaining employees. Andre Cushing, Penobscott County Commissioner There are different needs regionally. Sensitivity to what the workforce needs. LuAnn Ballesteros, The Jackson Laboratory Biggest issues housing and transportation. Jackson Laboratory will try to employ 300 people this year. Dan Belyea, Maine Community College The Community College system has 2.5 million dollars committed to training, tuition cost $3,600 - $3,700, 94% come from Maine, and 92% stay in Maine. They are offering a new badging program which they are strong on. We need to bring new Americans to this state to fill the workforce gap. Jennifer McKenna, Plumbers/Pipefitters Believes apprenticeship has solved a lot of the workforce problems. Biggest challenge: stack of wage, how do we keep workers here? Currently, they have a lot of women working in the non-traditional occupations which is uncharacterized. Childcare is huge and transportation. Nathan Pelsma, JMG They work with over 9,000 students per year. Challenge: transportation, housing, cost of living. Jon Mason, BIW 1st quarter, conducted 1,700 interviews and hired over 300. People are persevering but they are not prepared for the job or work ready. Tracey Cooley, Job Corps Goal: 16 24-year-old training them to go to work. Challenge: connecting youth to all the wonderful opportunities. Job Corps is in collaboration with BIW and have launched an advanced marine pipefitting course. Housing is always a challenge. Sara Gagne-Holmes, DHHS We need to be creative on how we engage employers. Scott Good, Crescendo Consulting Awareness for employers of where to go One-Stop shop. Robert Brett Watson, Jotul North America We do not have a reliable supply of entry level workers or the next wave of young qualified workers. Laura Zajac, Zajac & Associates Resources available for employers. Andrew Nichols, Elmet Technologies We need more people to go through the Community College System. We need more of the right people with the right skills in Maine. He stated he agrees with Commissioner Fortman that we need a roadmap of how the workforce is done in Maine because it is not clear with him as an employer. Renee Kelly, University System the Labor Force participation rate in Maine is the lowest in New England. Mel Clarrage, American Council of the Blind of Maine We need to acknowledge and appreciate People with Disabilities (PWD) as contributors to the workforce and hope it continues. Dan Belyea - Flexible schedules for workers have been successful with BIW and Pratt & Whitney.

Commissioner Fortman asked if they have a quorum before they continued. Chris Quint, Director State Workforce Board replied yes. Chris went on to explain what constitutes a quorum. Three (3) proxies were given; 15 total attendees including on the phone. Total votes: 18.

Discussion: Different ideas to try to solve the workforce skills gap Commissioner Fortman stated even though we can find people, they may not be skilled ready. What seems to be also missing is support services, and mentoring.
Dan Belyea stated the Community College System embeds the Work Ready component into their System. Modify these that will fit the training. Commissioner Fortman Do employers have access to specific data? CWRI provides data update. She suggested to invite CWRI and have them provide different data that may be in those areas. She also stated to create a road map to access specific training and employment something the Board can explore. The Community College System is a great resource. How do we get more? Jon Mason stated even though BIW is a large company, they still are at a disadvantage when it comes to training but they have found a way out through the Community College System. Commissioner Fortman stated a sector strategy approach will lay the ground work. Goal: The State needs a collaborative approach since there is limited resources. Let's look at all the funding sources and come up with a strategy that works (an effective road map). The challenge is how are we going to work together to achieve? Housing Transportation Childcare Work ready Skilled-gap pieces Jennifer Kimble, (Chair) Commission on Disability & Employment stated people with disabilities (PWD) in Maine have the lowest employment rate compared to other states. Laura Zajac stated we need to encourage middle and high school with apprenticeship programs. Renee Kelly - Awareness building is critical. Tracey Cooley stated this is just a thought...look at efficiency within the workforce system. Look at the specific services we provide as a system so we are not duplicating. This is something that should stay on the table. She stated she would not mind being part of that.

Approval of meeting minutes 09/28/18 Commissioner Fortman asked for approval of the 09/28/18 meeting minutes. Andre Cushing motioned. Tracey Cooley seconded. Minutes were approved unanimously as written.

Policy: Discussion and vote to rescind 17-02 Minimum Training Expenditure Policy Commissioner Laura Fortman motioned to rescind the 17-02 Minimum Training Expenditure Policy. Jennifer McKenna seconded. Votes were not taken because Board members wanted to have a discussion first. Jon Mason stated this may be true for some but not for all. Before we decide, we want to make sure we have a balance. We want not to rush, but be fully vetted. Commissioner Fortman stated it does not mean that training is not important. The urgency is receiving support services where needed. The local workforce boards (LWBs) being able to provide local services. This Policy is preventing assessment and career counseling that is necessary. Tracey Cooley stated she does not feel its a successful way of measuring success. Commissioner Fortman stated the 3 local workforce boards and the CareerCenters are whom we are hearing from not being able to meet this requirement.
Person, time, conversation, and assessment counts as administrative. Ginny Carroll, Division Director Bureau of Employment Services MDOL explained this Policy is not restricting training, its restricting the ability of staff to leverage these resources. Andrew Nichols stated without metrics, I cannot support. Robert Brett Watson stated he feels this is way too fast! We need a concrete set of metrics. Commissioner Fortman stated it sounds like not everyone on this Board is aware of the actual metrics in place. Tracey Cooley stated the metrics originally were never provided. Maybe look at the metrics for clarification to slow this down. Jennifer McKenna asked what is the leverage amount that was never provided? Commissioner Fortman stated it sounds like we might want to table. Andrew Nichols called motion to table this Policy. LuAnn Ballesteros seconded. All in favor:
1. Andrew Nichols (Phone) 2. LuAnn Ballesteros 3. Mel Clarrage (Phone) 4. Tracey Cooley 5. Andre Cushing 6. Thomas Davis 7. David Duguay (Proxy to Gail Senese) 8. Laura Fortman 9. Guy Langevin (Proxy to Ashley Pringle) 10. John Leavitt (Proxy to Jennifer McKenna) 11. Jon Mason 12. Jennifer McKenna 13. Nathan Pelsma 14. Ashley Pringle 15. Gail Senese 16. Robert Brett Watson (Phone) 17. Laura Zajac (Phone) Motion approved unanimously. Commissioner Fortman stated one week from today which will be May 3rd, please send any specific data, information to Chris Quint, Director State Workforce Board and we will get it out to you before the next meeting.

Updates: CSSP in demand/High Wage occupations list Joan Dolan/Ruth Pease Commissioner Fortman stated the goal of this Board is to review these occupations on a yearly basis. Joan Dolan, Director of Apprenticeship & Strategic Partnerships MDOL opened by stating this report is posted on the CSSP website. She also pointed out that 10 occupations have been taken off the list because they did not have any formal education or credential attached. She turned the presentation over to Ruth Pease, Senior Economic Research Analyst CWRI. Ruth Pease - CWRI provides every 2 years, a 10-year outlook of the workforce. The list is generated on 2 criteria, high demand which means an occupation has at least 20 openings, and high wage, the median wage is above $17.40 per hour. The annual average openings are based on growth or replacement. Joan stated CSSP cannot pay for training beyond a Bachelors Degree. They will leverage other source of funding if CSSP cannot cover. Joan was asked if there is a difference between CSSP regular and CSSP business. Joan replied CSSP business is attached to a business otherwise there is no difference between the two as far as rules, regulations, statutes. Jennifer McKenna asked if a person already has a certificate in welding, would they qualify? Joan responded, it all dependseach situation is looked at if a person qualifies or not. A customer and an employer can petition if an occupation is not on the list. Jennifer McKenna stated she would like to table this for another discussion because she feels the 10 occupations that have been removed from the list, might need to be reconsidered. Commissioner Fortman called motion to approve the CSSP occupational list. Andre Cushing motioned. Tracey Cooley seconded. Motion approved.

SWB Update Joshua Howe, Workforce Development Program Coordinator, State Workforce Board Josh briefly went over what was included in the SWB annual report such as the segment on MaineSpark, performance measures (which can be found in the appendices), apprenticeship report. Copy of the report was provided. He also provided an update on Maine-Hire-A-Vet Campaign. Highlights: 276 veterans hired with an average hourly wage of $23.00 per hour. Josh announced the Maine-Hire-A-Vet kick-off event will be August 29th at the Civic Center in Augusta.

Meeting adjourned Commissioner Fortman called motion to adjourn meeting. Andre Cushing motioned. Tracey Cooley seconded. Meeting adjourned at 12:03pm.

Next Meeting: June 7, 2019 Executive Committee Room Room 334 Statehouse

Respectfully submitted by Cheryl Moran

Attachments SWB agenda April, 26, 2019