Hi Garret & Paul

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Hi Garret & Paul
Good afternoon. I am sorry I had to leave the meeting; I wanted to take the time to provide some feedback regarding the State Unified Plan. I thought that this was a well-articulated, comprehensive plan. Kudos to you and your team for pulling together MANY components of our state workforce system.
I have a few items for feedback; please excuse the ones that are already addressed, I did not read it in its entirety. My approached was trying to find certain things that the DOL may be looking for based on my knowledge of working within WIOA and my knowledge of the legislation. So here it goes:
1. In the meeting, there was discussion of Industry Sector Strategies and that the State of Maine was currently targeting three (3). I would ensure that effort is reflected in the Plan.

2. Not sure if it belongs here or in a future iteration, but I believe there needs to be more emphasis on measuring outcomes.

3. It may be beneficial to develop a matrix to include as an appendix or table that would outline the “action items” (ie Statewide Activities, p. 128) in the plan with Target Completion Dates. Maybe, a Quarterly Action Plan to implement the key elements of the legislation.

4. Any chance you get in the plan, I would mention MOUs.

5. The legislation clearly defines the need, specifically, around “supporting” Financial Literacy (H.R. 803—83) for youth programs; we may want to mention that; again, not sure if it belongs here or in a local plan, but may be beneficial.

6. In Appendix VI, Performance Goals. I was not clear of the purpose of this section. It appears that we are only talking about Entered Employment Rate as a measure. I would think that we may want to include that the State is exploring ways to track: Industry-Recognized Credential Attainment, Long-Term Measures (6-month and 12-month), etc.

7. Last one, at some point along the way, we discussed the need for tighter policies around Data Integrity and Quality Assurance. Not sure if you want to speak to these items in the plan or not.
I think that is it for the feedback on the Plan. Please call if you have any questions.
I also want to share with you that this effort requires all of us to reach out (as stated by Commissioner Paquette). We just recently signed an MOU with Bangor Adult Education to offer HSE testing at our Center. Had a great meeting with Denise Smith & Hook Wheeler from EMDC to start discussions around concurrent enrollment opportunities and direct referral possibilities for youth in the Tri-County area.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Tracey K. Cooley, PhD

Center Director

Penobscot Job Corps Center

Thanks for providing an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft WIOA Plan.  

First, thanks to all who worked on and wrote the plan!
I have a few areas of concern that I wanted to convey from my role as Chair of the Women's Employment Issues Committee, as Executive Director of New Ventures Maine, UMA/UMS, and as a member of the Alliance for Maine Women
Role of Committees: the full list of Committees aren't mentioned into well into the second half of the plan under Universal Access and specific constituencies (page 115 in the original copy we received). Although it's appropriate to have us listed there, I would also like to see the Committees listed earlier on as part of the organizational structure of the State Workforce Board with indication of our advisory role to the Board, to the planning process, and to the strategic objectives.
Constituency Needs:  From my perspective, the needs of different constituencies with employment barriers could be provided in more depth.  Women, for example, are only specifically mentioned under Female Heads of Households with Dependent Children; whereas, women are represented in all of the other Committees and target groups with particular needs.  For example, older women live in poverty because of the cumulative effects of divorce, single parenting, and other caregiving responsibilities, earning less than men in most occupations even with higher education attainment, being clustered in low-wage, few benefit jobs with lack of health care coverage and retirement.  This data is spelled out in the reports our Committee prepared over five years with assistance from the CWRI.  The focus on serving the "in demand" needs of employers does not seem to hold them accountable for creating quality jobs that provide a living wage with benefits, have some work/family flexibility, and address equal pay and comparable worth.
Data:  We are pleased to see the data sharing partnership through Maine's Workforce Longitudinal Data System referenced and look forward to access to that data system.  We strongly encourage that data be collected and available for analysis by gender, age, disability, and veteran status.
Finally, a general observation.  Although it makes total sense to me to focus the initial plan on the four core programs, the "we need every Mainer" approach" will require recognition and acknowledgement of the work many service delivery and advocacy organizations have done over the years to assist "disenfranchised" populations gain skills and succeed in the Maine economy. As one example, the two organizations already based within the University of Maine System providing transitional services, Maine Educational Opportunity Center/TRIO and New Ventures Maine, are not mentioned anywhere in the State Team of Education Pathways (STEP) strategies.
I look forward to continuing to work with the State Workforce Board, MDOL staff, other Committee Chairs, and the four core programs to implement the plan.
Thanks, Gilda
Gilda E. Nardone, Executive Director
New Ventures Maine

Hi Garrett,

Took some time to review the Unified Plan.  OMG...lots of work in there, and I only scratched the surface!
Looking back over the ppt slides (helpful!) and the minutes, I offer the following thoughts:

* It is a challenge to really get what it will look like once we implement this.  Are there a top 2 or 3 concrete examples that would help someone better understand what would be accomplished?  Perhaps an example of how it's done now vs how it would be done?

*I applaud the outreach plans.  Speaks to the "push" vs "pull" approach.  Providing real stories with real employers/employees will be helpful to show how it could work

* As much as I've been involved with various state programs, business organizations and educational partners, it is still mind boggling to see how much I DON'T know about who does what and what is available.  Providing a system that is easily fully understood, easily navigated and maximizing support of shared goals will be something in itself!

* In line with the discussion at the meeting that this addresses only a small percentage of our population, making services available to incumbent workers would be value added.  Even in a fairly large business like ours, we do not have resources to provide career counseling to our employees.  Helping our entire workforce be knowledgeable of the career pathways and work at the top of their capabilities, would benefit the entire continuum.  Although the primary target audience of DOL services are the unemployed, building tools/resources that could be tapped by the entire population would be advantageous.

From what I will call the "in the weeds" department, I offer the following:

*with respect to employer surveys, is there a way that we could maximize data that DOL already has access to?  I'm sure that I'm not the only employer that struggles with completing requested surveys.  I believe we already submit all the wage data for our employees.  Couldn't that be harvested for employment data vs a separate survey?  Can job posting data be harvested for vacancy surveys?  OR many employers do not have the resources to do full blown workforce planning.  Would there be a tool that could be provided to employers that would meet a business need while providing data needed by the DOL?  Promote completion of such surveys with "what's in it for me".

* Would there be a mechanism that would facilitate job shadow administration?  Such exposure to job families is beneficial to students and prospective workers.  However, especially in healthcare, there is considerable administrative time associated with bringing in job shadows.  We need to make sure we orient them to confidentiality, HIPAA, immunization etc.  Being certified as "job shadow" ready as well as having someone do the coordination would make such opportunities more available.  We often, regrettably, have to say no.

My best,
Nicole Morin-Scribner

February 12, 2016

Maine State Workforce Investment Board

Attn: WIOA Unified Plan

54 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333

Dear Members of the Maine Workforce Investment Board,
I respectfully submit for your consideration the following comments regarding the State of Maine Unified Plan 2016-2020.

Page 17, Lines 23, 34 & Page 18, Lines 1-3:

If Maine employers are to find strong candidates for high demand jobs that offer competitive wages and require skills such as problem solving, communication, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and reading comprehension, our State should seek to adopt a broad scope of partners in addressing skills gaps. Leveraging the State public library network, along with arts and cultural agencies as well as educational institutions (including some of the best small liberal arts colleges in our nation!), offers tremendous opportunities to develop those skills.

Page 40, Lines 6-10

As Maine’s public universities and community colleges are included in the analysis of workforce development, education, and training activities, so, too, should be public libraries. Each public library in Maine offers citizens unlimited opportunities for self-education and empowerment. In FY2013, Maine taxpayers spent $31,682, 625 on public libraries, representing a significant investment that we request you consider for inclusion in the sum listed as the aggregate public investment.

Page 42, Lines 2-7

We request that in its articulation of Maine’s workforce development investment, the Maine Workforce Investment Board will consider including the numerous other public and private efforts that support job seekers and employers. Specific programs which we offer for consideration include the Maine Educational Opportunity Center, Jobs for Maine Graduates, public libraries, community action programs, economic development agencies such as the Central Maine Growth Council and Chambers of Commerce.

Page 49, Line 21-22

We request inclusion of public libraries as identified partners in network and inclusion of library staff in cross-training opportunities. Inclusion of the Chambers and CAP agencies should also be considered.

Page 49, Lines 23-27

Robust collaboration in workforce development in Waterville has yielded success in increasing access for business and jobseekers. The Mid-Maine Regional Adult Education works closely with the Waterville Public Library, the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Central Maine Growth Council, the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, New Ventures Maine, and the Augusta CareerCenter to increase access points of contact for jobseekers and employers. These partners feel that this particular synergy of Adult Education, Chamber, CAP Agency, Public Library, Central Maine Growth Council (or other economic development organization), New Ventures Maine, and CareerCenter has been particularly potent and promising in the development of coordinated, complementary, and consistent services for local employers and local jobseekers in our community.

Page 49, Lines 28-33

We find it encouraging and exciting that the State Workforce Investment Board is seeking to employ technology to increase and improve access to workforce development resources for jobseekers and businesses.

We respectfully request that the State develop a definitive tool kit of online and print resources for jobseekers and employers that could be offered in partner locations, including public libraries and Chambers, throughout the State. Of course, a number of individuals may find daunting any tool kit, no matter how extensive and competent. Our experience serving jobseekers has revealed to us that many job seekers, particularly those who may have the most barriers, require in-person assistance. No Library or Chamber staff member will ever be as knowledgeable as those who are professionally employed by workforce agencies such as the CareerCenters. We earnestly hope that opportunities exist to create a roving service of DOL/CareerCenter employees scheduled at public libraries to provide services and connect individuals with resources.
Thank you very much for consideration of these comments. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to share them with you.
Sincerely yours,

Sarah A. Sugden, Library Director

Tammy Rabideau, Associate Director

February 12, 2016

State Workforce Development Board

Attn: WIOA Unified Plan 54 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333

Sent via email to swib.DOL@maine.gov
Dear State Workforce Development Board,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the State Workforce Development Plan developed in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic research organization. We advance public policies that help Maine people prosper in a strong, fair, and sustainable economy.

MECEP congratulates the State Workforce Board and its many stakeholders on the development of a comprehensive, forwardlooking plan designed to enhance job quality for Maine workers and their families in a stagnant economy.

We were heartened when, in 2014, Congress passed WIOA resulting in the first new federal workforce law in 16 years and one that reflects a very different labor market than existed when it passed the previous Workforce Investment Act in 1998. Today’s WIOA places priority on serving lowincome adults and youth and provides explicitly that recipients of public assistance and other lowincome individuals merit priority in cases of limited funds.

It is therefore important that Maine’s unified state plan establishes policies and provides guidance to ensure that resources are allocated and services are delivered in accordance with this legislative priority and that appropriate priority is given to increasing the education and skills of lowincome workers.

While the draft state plan addresses the needs of different populations of lowincome workers in many ways, it does not give express preference to these populations, beyond Title I funding, especially in cases where the state does not have sufficient resources to meet the full need.

We urge the State Workforce Investment Board to make explicit the WIOA’s articulated priority for lowincome individuals.

Board of Directors Steve Ward, Chair Lynn Davey, Vice‐chair Lock Kiermaier, Secretary

Chip Newell, Treasurer

Sandra Butler Pamela Cox

Scott Cuddy John Dorrer

Karen Heck John Piotti

Sarah Shed Lee Webb

MECEP further suggests that the State Workforce Development Plan:

  1. Encourage employers to offer their workers flexibility in the interest of improving their education level. Family leave, flexible scheduling, and costsharing policies can be transformative for working Mainers seeking to improve their skills.

  1. Identify ways to complement work and training requirements of public assistance programs such as SNAP. Reduce barriers for people on public assistance to access the workforce development system.

  1. Enhance coordination with and funding for programs that provide nonacademic supports to lowincome college students (i.e. Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, ASPIRE, and Parents as Scholars).

  1. Further emphasize the role that cost plays as a barrier to college enrollment and completion. College debt is undoubtedly a crushing burden for many new graduates seeking employment; however, the prospect of incurring debt often discourages potential students from even pursuing a college education.

  1. Establish a separate education goal for Maine adults with some college credits, but no degree. This would be a corollary to the proposed quantifiable state goal related to degree and credential attainment.

  1. In addition to increasing access to English language courses, promote strategies that will capitalize on existing language skills in the workforce by connecting companies that do business abroad to workers with second language skills for example. In addition to New Mainers of various nationalities, Maine has a population of second, thirdand even fourthgeneration FrancoAmericans with retained Frenchlanguage skills.

  1. Further address the unique barriers faced by Maine’s rural and “rim” counties

especially access to transportation, sound infrastructure, and good communications (including highspeed internet access) as a means to support both workforce and economic development.

  1. Develop specific performance measures to gauge success for Mainers of particular races and ethnicities in overcoming employment barriers. Sixtynine percent of black Mainers live below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level; their unemployment rate is twice that of white Mainers. Latinos and Native Americans in Maine face similarly high levels of disadvantage.

  1. Recognize the barriers faced by Maine’s FrancoAmerican community. Ten percent of adult FrancoAmericans and Acadians in Maine do not have a highschool diploma or GED (twice the rate of White nonFranco Mainers). Similarly, one in five Francos or Acadians has some college education but no degree. Englishlanguage proficiency may account for some of this trend, but the 2012 State Taskforce on FrancoAmericans also identified a sense of noninclusion among Franco‐Americans at Maine Colleges.

We would like to take the opportunity to commend the Board for the plan’s inclusion of:

  • “Onestop shops” for workforce training and development. One of the scarcest resources for lowincome workers is time, and workers should be able to access opportunities without chasing a variety of paper trails at numerous state agencies.

  • Improving the coordination between state educational agencies, especially the University System and Community College System. Students are perennially frustrated at the lack of reciprocity across, and even within, the systems.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to comment. We appreciate your consideration of the issues we have raised.


Garrett Martin Executive Director

Please see comments below, also attached in separate document, on the WIOA 2016-2020 Unified Plan as were discussed at this months Statewide Homeless Council meeting.  If you have any questions please free to contact me. 

Thank you for your time and consideration of these comments. 




Individuals with Employment Barriers

Page 25. line 37

Include individuals experiencing homelessness as a barrier to employment.


Other Publicly Funded Employment and Training Programs  

Page 42 line 6

barriers including those experiencing Homelessness


Strengths and Weaknesses of Workforce Development

Pg. 48 Line 35

Include individuals who have extensive knowledge of homelessness in the planning and development.      


Strategic Objective: Create and Align Our Outreach and Communication to Achieve the Vision

Pg 54 line 35 

Increase outreach to under served communities by actively participating in Regional and Statewide Homeless council's, and Regional Continuum of Care's to increase collaboration.


State Strategy Implementation

Pg. 57 line 17

Including housing resources that may be applicable such as HUD voucher programs and Stability Through Engagement Program (STEP) for those experiencing homelessness as a barrier.   


Strategic Objective: Increase Relevance of WDS to Employers

Page 61 line 17

Add both Statewide Homeless Council and Regional Homeless Councils

as to eliminate a duplication of services.  


Strategic Objective: Produce and Educate a Skilled Workforce

pg 70 line 1

Include in the list Continuum of Care Leadership and Statewide Homeless Council as key players.


Produce an Educated and skilled Workforce-Alignment with Activities Outside the Plan    

pg. 72 line 2

Local General Assistance offices


Aaron Geyer

Program Coordinator
City of Portland-Home To Stay

Public Commentary of Brad Stout of Vassalboro, Maine on behalf of Associated Builders & Contractors of Maine regarding the “Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act Unified Plan”
My name is Brad Stout, a resident of Vassalboro, Maine, General Manager at Coutts Brothers Incorporated and the Chairman of Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine (ABC Maine). I am offering comments today on the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act Unified Plan.
Coutts Brothers Incorporated is a family owned and operated business based in Randolph. For more than 50 years we have worked in utility construction, maintenance and inspection for utilities as well as industrial, commercial and private customers. Our logo bears the slogan “Safety is Our Priority” and our entire team is committed to that philosophy. Our ownership and management team values our employees (and their families) and we make every effort to better their quality of life. ABC Maine is a statewide construction trade association representing merit shop construction and construction related firms throughout the state with a mission to develop a more skilled and safe workforce and advocate for the construction industry on matters of public policy believed to have industry-wide impact.
We commend Governor LePage for his vision to initiate this effort and also those who performed the work to see it through. We understand what it takes to complete projects of this magnitude and truly appreciate the commitment to the cause. As an industry that relies on a skilled and safe workforce and who is committed to continuous improvement, we appreciate the public policy discourse that a formal plan like this aims to promote.
Workforce development is a serious issue facing industries across the board. Fostering a collaborative approach to solving our workforce issues, as this plan suggests, is certain to produce the most effective and meaningful outcomes.
ABC is the leading catalyst in workforce development for the construction industry here in Maine. We put great emphasis in building and maintaining working relationships with educational programs across the state. Although we rely on a spectrum of educational venues to aide us in developing our workforce, as an operations dominant industry, our primary focus and most advanced relationships lie within the career and technical education (CTE) community, both at the secondary and post-secondary levels, but, particularly the Vocational Technical Centers.

In most cases, over the years, these have become longstanding and meaningful to the point we consider them, and typically refer to them as our “partners” in education. I believe in most cases they would say the same about us. One shining example of our commitment to each other is ABC’s Annual “Craft Championships” competition. This one-day event, held annually at the Augusta Civic Center draws well over 1,000 vocational high school students, construction firms and policy makers from around the state. It has become the showcase event for construction education. Other examples of our mutual commitment involves curriculum standards; ABC member firm’s involvement in program advisory committees; and CTE involvement in affiliate education foundation.

The CTE programs are very important to our industry, but more importantly to the economy as a whole and thus we would ask that as you continue to implement this plan, you keep them in mind and include them in the process when relevant to the discussion at hand.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of our perspective and please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of help.

Investment and Opportunity Act Unified Plan

728 Maine Street, Suite 4, Richmond, Maine 04357 • (207) 623-4500
Public Commentary of Jonathan Sacks of Palmyra, Maine on behalf of Associated Builders & Contractors of Maine regarding the “Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act Unified Plan”
My name is Jonathan Sacks, Power and Energy Training Manager at Cianbro Corporation and Chair of the Down East Construction Education Foundation. I am offering comments today on the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act Unified Plan.
Cianbro is a Maine Based Construction company which understands the vital importance of workforce investment. As a company we have committed substantial resources to training and development and understand that our success is inextricably linked to employing dedicated and qualified people in every aspect of our work.
The mission of the Down East Construction Education Foundation (DCEF) is to provide support, promote, enhance, and create opportunities for education to meet the needs of the construction industry; assist people interested in the construction industry to enhance their skills; develop alliances with educational institutions and other organizations. It has been my priviledge to sit on the DCEF
Over a period of many years and develop meaningful and productive working relationships with many from the Maine’s educational community especially those dedicated educators working in CTE and Community College programs. The ABC/DCEF Annual Crafts Championships is a display of those collaborative relationships in action; as well as the DCEF’s Books for kids program which offers to pay for one half of the costs of text books for schools who commit to teaching relevant and up to date material which reflects the construction industry of today and offer them the nationally recognized NCCER credential.
The Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act Unified Plan offers a blue print for collaboration between public education, Maine employers, industry associations, and State, regional and local government to better develop the labor force which will be required for our great state to flourish in the future. Its focus on coordination of effort, relevant standards and promoting career path ways for Maine residents is right in line with the ideals of DCEF. We appreciate Governor LePage’s leadership and the work of the steering committee in putting the plan together. The Down East Construction Foundation supports this plan and look forward to benefits to our state as a result of its successful implementation.

Investment and Opportunity Act Unified Plan

728 Maine Street, Suite 4, Richmond, Maine 04357 • (207) 623-4500

February 11, 2016 Sent Via Email

State Workforce Board

Attn: WIOA Unified Plan

54 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333

Dear State Workforce Board Members;
Thank you for your work in preparing a detailed plan addressing workforce issues and opportunities in Maine. It is a very thorough document and I found it interesting to read.

I believe it is appropriate to include in the plan some discussion in regards to helping Maine companies to learn how to attract, retain and plan for a skilled workforce. I would recommend the following amendment to your opening premise statement.

The success of Maine’s economy will ultimately be determined by the strength and quality of its workforce and the ability of employers to fill their need for skilled labor and their ability to attract and retain skilled labor.
Talent attraction and talent retention have recently become a science onto their own and are critical components for employers to gain competitive advantage and become more agile in the marketplace. In addition, many existing employer processes are rooted in previous eras and do not reflect the needs of today’s Innovation Era which requires employees to Connect and Collaborate. The Innovation Era requires employers to:
• Develop “Opt-In” organizations with the ability to quickly change and provide more agile solutions.

• Build flexibility and choice, meaningful purpose into company cultures.

• Create conditions in which talent is leveraged and unleashed allowing talent to thrive.

• Ensure the engagement and retention of employees critical to achieving an organization’s strategic goals. (Note engagement is already mentioned in the Unified Plan and typically engagement is created internally, within an employer’s organization).

• Reward agility, teamwork, collaboration and ambition.
This current environment also has ushered in an era of Strategic Workforce Planning which has also developed into a science. Most employers already have in-depth plans, measurements and analysis related to their sales, financials, supply chains, operations and now need to have that same focus on their workforce. More and more of an Employer’s cost has moved away from the traditional capital equipment and facilities and into the knowledge of its workforce requiring the need for additional focus, analysis and planning for the workforce. Utilizing Strategic Workforce Planning would allow employers to have a systematic process in place that would result in feeding upcoming and current skills gaps to Educational and other partners.
It is interesting that funding organizations provide funds to organizations that do not have workforce plans. They may require key employee contracts but more and more the workforce and not the traditional key employee is a growing factor in the success of an organization and having a workforce plan will most likely also be a requirement for future funding.
Some of the other areas in which employers need to focus include:

• Developing a High Performance Culture.

• Developing High Impact Human Resources Functions and focusing HR on Business Strategy.

• Aligning the workforce with the business strategy.

• Focusing on Employer Branding and the Candidate Experience.

• Utilizing Predictive Metrics and Analytics in relation to the workforce.

• Revolutionizing Learning and Development and developing a Learning Centric Culture.

• Assessing the Impact of Future Automation on the Workforce.

• Developing Internal Mobility and Succession Plans throughout the workforce.

• Implementing Strategic Workforce Planning.

Typically, you may conclude that such issues are internal company issues. I would advise that the pace of change is so great and will continue to intensify and the availability of needed talent will continue to decrease.

Much like the workforce in Maine, employers also need to learn new skills related to attracting and retaining talent and in the area of workforce planning. Those employers who are prepared and can quickly adapt are the winners in this economy and anything that the State of Maine can do to help organizations to learn, understand and implement these types of initiatives will only make Maine employers more competitive in the marketplace. These concepts and practices can benefit all sizes of organizations and as stated in the Unified Plan; a majority of Maine employers are smaller, these employers may not have resources available to assist in this area.

To sum it up, I would recommend that the State Workforce Board include offering assistance in these areas in the Unified Plan. In my opinion, what Maine employers do to attract, retain and plan for employees is a part of the overall workforce development system as the employees also benefit from these practices.
Please let me know if I can provide the State Workforce Board with any further information and thank you for the opportunity to give input into the Unified Plan.


Keith W Eustis, SWP, sHRBP


Port Professional Staffing LLC

Also, A Resident of Gorham, ME

Cell: 207-274-3514

Email: keith@PortProfessionals.com

Page 15, line 4-13:  This paragraph gives theories about why the Labor Force Participation Rate has changed negatively for workers under age 55, but it does not mention why there has been such a disparity between those under 55 and those 55+. 

Page 25, line 7-13:  Overall, there is very little information in this Unified State Plan regarding Older Workers – 1 paragraph out of a 237 page document.  Maine has the highest median age in the country and is second only to Florida for persons 65 and over (in percentage of population).  http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/chart/AGE775214/00  By 2020, that portion of our population is projected to be 22%.  Although the older worker’s labor force participation does decline due to health concerns, etc. the overall number of possible workers should give that group a higher standing in this document.
Page 43-44, “Table 6…SCSEP”:  Please update description – “The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a community service and work based training program for unemployed, low-income persons over the age of 55 with significant barriers to employment. Authorized by the Older Americans Act (Title V), the program provides subsidized, service-based training by placing Participants in non-profit and public facilities.  Participants are also able to participate in workshops such as self-esteem improvement and resume writing.  Individuals train for an average of 20 hours per week and receive a minimum wage level stipend.  It is intended that the community service training serves as a bridge to unsubsidized employment opportunities; SCSEP’s goal is to place over 35% of its Maine Participants into unsubsidized employment annually.”

Dave Collins

Community Programs Specialist

Database Administrator


Unfortunately, I will not be able to thoroughly and thoughtfully review this document due to its length and the short comment period.
My main interest is in the document’s plan for addressing the workforce crisis as it relates to Direct Support Professionals. These are positions which require a HS Diploma/GED and involve working directly with individuals with intellectual disabilities and/or mental illness in group and/or individual settings – homes, apartments, employment.
For the past 48 months, OHI has averaged 30 DSP vacancies per month; 69% were full time openings and 31% were part time openings. The highest number of DSP vacancies was in July 2015 and the lowest number of DSP vacancies was in July 2013. Trends by month do not indicate any significant change in vacancy data by month or season of the year.

OHI has used many methods to recruit DSPs and on average has hired an average of 117 of DSPs per year over the past four years.

OHI has averaged 39.74 % for DSP turnover for the past four years:

2015: 42.42%

2014: 43.43%

2013: 37.89%

2012: 35.22%
Our data is quite similar to that of other providers like OHI – Charlotte White Center in Dover Foxcroft and J F Murphy Homes in Auburn to name a couple.
I will be reviewing the document at a later date in hopes of finding some help with the workforce crisis..
In the meantime, on Page 38, Table 4, OHI is listed as an “Assisted Living Facility for the Elderly”. That is not accurate. OHI provides supports and services to people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. If you could make that change, it would be appreciated.

Melinda Ward

Associate CEO/Director of Support Services


To Whom It May Concern,

I oversee Talent & Diversity for Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS) which includes a large portion of our system recruitment functions and we very much agree with the premise that the success of Maine’s economy will ultimately be determined by the strength and quality of its workforce and the ability of employers to fill their need for skilled labor. 
At any given time we have over a thousand open positions throughout our system ranging from the greater Portland area to Presque Isle, many of which require highly educated, skilled and licensed/certified individuals.  While our preference is to hire talent from our local communities, the dearth of qualified applicants in Maine to adequately meet our hiring needs has led us to begin aggressively sourcing in New England, nationally and internationally.  As the graph representing “Most net job growth through 2022” in the report indicates, the most growth is expected in healthcare so we do not anticipate that our needs will decrease but may, in fact, become more complex with changes taking place in healthcare.
I have read through the current draft of the plan and it is clear that a great deal of thought and planning has gone into the creation of it.  I did want to share some general comments about our current and foreseeable hiring challenges that may be relevant to the plan and implementation:

  1. Nursing positions are one of our biggest challenges and by far are the largest percentage of types of positions we are routinely tasked with filling.  We are not training enough nurses in the state to meet our needs and my understanding is that this is, in part, due to the fact that educational institutions don’t have the faculty to be able to accept more students into programs and therefore end up turning qualified applicants away.  I did not see anything in the plan specifically focused on addressing this issue which could be approached in collaboration with healthcare employers, educational institutions, and the state.

  2. In addition, there is more demand for nurses with bachelor degrees than ever before but the costs and other barriers are significant for associate degree nurses to attain higher degrees even when they receive tuition assistance and some work flexibility from their employers.  The creation of better bridge programs to meet this gap would make a huge difference to many.

  3. This is also true for CNAs and others who desire to achieve their nursing degrees but don’t see a reasonable way to do so.

  4. In addition, there are several allied health professions that we don’t train at all in Maine (one program has closed or is near closing in the Maine Community College system) and a review of how we could do a better job of growing our own while we also attract talent from outside the state would be beneficial.

Finally, while there are many wonderful people who have been informing this process, I don’t see many of the largest employers in Maine represented in the group and I would strongly suggest that implementation include more of them so that this plan can be maximized to partner the state with educational institutions and employers in as helpful and meaningful a way as possible.

Thanks very much for the opportunity to comment on the plan.

Catharine MacLaren, Ph.D., LCSW, CEAP

Vice President | Talent & Diversity | EMHS

To Whom It May Concern,

I believe this program should be available to all citizens under that regular guidelines.  I have notice through out the state of Maine career centers that your advocates that enroll in this program are not only unqualified to help people in Maine to reach there training potential but also unqualified to place citizens of Maine in the correct Training school having them not only to drop out of the training or not completing the training but also wasting tax payers money in turn these Workforce Development employees that work in the career center not only blame the citizens of Maine for trying to reach what is best for them unsuccessfully when in fact you have unqualified staffs that are suppose to direct unemployed to a successful career in the right training program for example some schools should not be listed and some should be listed because some schools that are listed are only out just for the money and not work with the unemployed student to succeed in training. 

The problems is with this WIOA program is that you have career counselors that work directly with the WIOA program in each county that is not qualified to be even assessing unemployed for types of training and education because they do not know exactly what the plan/plans is right for the unemployed which in fact results to a waist of Tax payers money.     Adult workers in Maine are having extreme difficult time reaching employments as we know it because we are being Discrimination against our age and this is a complete fact even though we can not prove it however, the evidence is out there.    So when it comes to an adult worker to reach out to try to receive and enrolled in the WIOA program, your unqualified career counselors that work with the WIOA program is very incompetent in the directions of the kind of training and educations resulting in failure which is in fact should be in the hands of the career centers responsibility and not the unemployed since someone that has been unemployed for a very very long time should know what is best for the type of education and training that would closely matches there life long work history. 

Example the career center of the southern Brunswick Maine only focus on the young unemployed mostly while denying Adult workers.    I believe that the qualifications for these advocates in the bath Brunswick career center is not met and should be held responsible for the unemployed.     Another problem is that the WIOA program is under strict scrutiny leaving the unemployed at fault of unsuccessful when in fact it is really lies in the hand of your career centers WIOA advocates.
Lana Smith

The plan begins and ends with the following premise: the success of Maine’s economy will ultimately be determined by the strength and quality of its workforce and the ability of employers to fill their need for skilled labor. (Like that a lot)

In the beginning of the plan (page 17, lines 6-10) it talks about the available labor supply lacks the knowledge and skills they need and (page 17 lines 14-15) at present, there is no way to catalog or inventory skills to determine who possesses what skills and to what level. (Page 13, lines 20-28) it mentions Maine will develop a world class talent pool and lead in technology and innovation. (Page 17, lines18-24) High rates of displacement from manufacturing production, construction, office administrative support and certain other occupations, and (page 85, line 7) states: To tap into the full potential of the overlooked populations of the labor pool. On top of that, Veterans are put into a category of “disenfranchised populations” (Page 84, line 17)

Looking at this plan with the veteran’s lens, I realize that this plan is referring to the entire population who are capable of working and going to school. However, I think that veterans should be considered as a core population, not a disenfranchised population! As we all know, veterans, current military are trained, have the soft skills, and are Ready2Work……already. I think that a huge labor population is being over looked, referred to as a disenfranchised population in this plan.

Many current military, veterans have military training, have been trained to standards, have been tested throughout their time in the service, on the battle field etc. Many have the skill sets in the Manufacturing, Health Care, Construction, Logistics, Finance, Administration, Transportation and the Trades Industries. All have the ability to have those military schools and trainings, transferred into college credits, many should probably be allowed to transfer to civilian certifications and just a few required classes or none at all. My point is we have a “Core Population” of quality workers already. We just need to tab that population better and have the ability through the State to have their experiences transfer to the skill sets that the employer is looking for.

The veteran/current military individual vs. a freshly school trained student will be the better employee as they are already experienced in so many more ways than the school trained student, due to the soft skills, discipline, the leadership skills they already have and the experience.

So to sum it up through a veterans lens, I do not like veterans being categorized as a “disenfranchised population, “ and I think we have a veteran/current military labor pool in this State that has not been tested. The HAVC certainly helped, however we can do so much better.

Also, I we should be promoting the “Living in Maine” website to all military post, all TAP Classes and promoting all the jobs here in this State.

Skills GAP

“There has been a great deal of discussion about a rising skills gap as the recovery has advanced and unemployment rates have reached very low levels. Many businesses and trade associations agree that the available labor supply lacks the knowledge and skills they need. Quantifying the gaps between the skills that employers seek and those that job seekers possess is challenging. Skills are attributes of performance requirements, ranging from basic functions such as hand-eye coordination, repetitive machine feeding, and following instruction to advanced functions such as deductive reasoning, analytical thinking, and complex problem solving. At present, there is no way to catalog or inventory skills to determine who possesses what skills and to what level. Though we cannot broadly define or measure skill gaps, we can see indications of a mismatch between employer needs and the available workforce in job trends over the last decade.”

(Page 13, lines 20-28) Maine will develop a world-class talent pool and lead in technology and innovation. Maine will build its workforce through a multi-faceted approach that includes developing career pathways that lead to in-demand jobs. To mitigate barriers to employment, the workforce development system will coordinate and align activities that build the foundational skills of workers and individuals, improve the transitions between education and employment, foster greater occupational awareness, define certifications and industry recognized credentials, and develop a systematic means for the state to measure, gather and aggregate data on creden-tial attainment.

(Page 17, lines18-24) High rates of displacement from manufacturing production, construction, office administrative support and certain other occupations during the recent downturn left many people whose previous experience was in functions that valued physical labor, routine, and following direction looking for work in an environment in which good paying job openings have been concentrated in the professional services, healthcare, and education sectors in managerial, professional, and technical occupations. High demand jobs that pay well in those sectors require skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, reading comprehension, social perceptiveness, and communication. (page 18, lines 1-3) The transition from operating a machine on a production line to running a diagnostic imaging machine in a hospital or lab is complicated and involves learning entirely new skills in a very different environment.

Table 1: Other Publicly Funded Employment & Training Programs

Jobs for Veterans State Grant (JVSG)



Jobs for Veterans State Grant funds are allocated to State Workforce Agencies from the Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) in direct proportion to the number of veterans seeking employment within their state. The grants support two principal staff positions: Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program Specialists and Local Veterans' Employment Representatives. This grant provides funds to exclusively serve veterans, other eligible persons and, indirectly, employers.

This is a great program and needed in the States, Veterans working with Veterans actually works! The veteran, who is a jobseeker, certainly prefers to work with another veteran. There is an understanding of each other, a gesture/comment that can be made between each other that is understood and usually successful.

Grow and diversify Maine’s workforce through improved access and
engagement—core Program Activities to Implement the State’s Strategies

(Page 84, line 17)

To meet this challenge, Maine’s core programs are committed to grow and diversify Maine’s workforce through improved access and engagement by developing strategies to engage disenfranchised populations including, but not limited to, people with disabilities, veterans, women, older workers, people without a high school diploma, ex-offenders, individuals with language barriers, female heads of households with dependent children and out of school youth. Reflecting these ideas, state agencies are adopting the slogan, “We need every Mainer”.

(page 85, lines 7-16) To tap into the full potential of the overlooked populations of the labor pool, it is essential to develop a system where the coordination of services and a robust referral system are the norm. Central to the outreach plan outlined above is the development of a cross agency case management system for all program participants. The case management approach is especially relevant for participants with barriers to employment to ensure accessibility to universal services. Case managers will help participants navigate through the workforce development system and serve as liaisons between departments and agencies. Core partners are committed to working together to develop statewide, interagency training of frontline staff to ensure that all partners are aware of the programs and services offered within the workforce development system.

Grow and diversify Maine’s workforce through improved access and
engagement—alignment with Activities Outside of the Plan

Veterans and incarcerated individuals are just two of the target populations whose primary agencies are outside the core partners. As such, establishing strong partnerships with the Bureau of Maine Veterans Services and the Department of Corrections (DOC) is essential.

Mark A. Cater
CareerCenter Representative
Local Veterans Employment Representative

Page 208 on the Word Doc version line 7 stops abruptly (not sure about pdf version… my pdf is messing up bad).

“The means for affording veterans priority in labor exchange referrals is through "first opportunity." When a job match is made to a new job order, the applicant database is first searched for disabled veterans and non-disabled veterans. When veterans are identified, they are provided referrals to positions prior to referrals being made to the general public. Disabled veterans receive first priority. The priority service requirement is communicated to CareerCenter managers who, in turn, communicate it to all staff. DVOPs and LVERs are responsible for advocating for veterans and monitoring the priority of service principle. Any case where a veteran is denied services over a non-veteran will be documented and” ????
Line 8 header for “Definitions” section.
The only other thing I would suggest is mentioning steps already taken by the State of Maine to draw in new Mainers (i.e. Veterans pension being state tax exempt) huge draw if can get the word out.
John W. Wagner, AECS(AW) (USN/Ret)

CareerCenter Consultant

Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialist

I read your e-mail about the upcoming development of a State Workforce System. It struck me the it may be similar to a project undertaken by Goodwill Industries of North New England based in Portland, ME. We developed a cloud based system for them with the ability to define and set up web based forms for information capture, case management, reporting and data mining. The forms range from Client Intake, Demographics, Objectives, Job Placement and Follow-up. I was wondering if you may have use for a similar system for your initiative.

We are a small software company based in North Yarmouth, ME. We would welcome an opportunity to show you the Workforce system we have built.
Charlie Haight

Cedar Springs Technologies, Inc.

Good afternoon I was briefly scanning the Labor document that is posted and available for comment I was wondering do you have an Executive Summary document available for viewing ? This document looks to be very well composed and notably due to its materiel matter making it a bit large in length. Before folks like myself invest too much time or decide not to invest anytime due to size alone, the availability of an “highlighted version” may help gain a broader comment audience.
Michael Bazinet

President, Creative Digital Imaging

Dear Commissioner Paquette, Fred and Garret-
I just wanted to follow up on the presentation of the plan today. I had intended to be there in person, and in fact, had started driving to Augusta, but had to turn back due to an unforeseen problem.
First, I would like to commend the process by which the plan was developed. The background research, the retreat work and the follow-up planning involving multiple stakeholders has led to a strong product. I think it presents a great vision for workforce development in Maine. I think the creation of the STEP team alone will go a long way toward better coordination. I also agree with Kevin's comments that the devil is in the details, and I'm looking forward to the development of the action steps and implementation plan. I couldn't really hear on the call what the timeline for that is.
As I mentioned on the phone, the only areas that I would like to see a little more emphasis on is the linkage to K-12 and on strategies for connecting people who are in post-secondary training with employers while they are still in school (internships/apprenticeships). Unless people really know and understand the opportunities available to them, we will have difficulty retaining them in Maine. And of course, real work experience helps people make better informed education and career choices.
Wearing my economic development hat, I'm glad to see the emphasis on coordination with the economic development system. I noticed several references in the plan to professional development, and I think there are professional development opportunities for ED people to learn more about workforce in addition to the workforce development professionals to learn more about economic development. I am on the board of the Economic Development Council of Maine, which is reinvigorating its professional certification program, and we would like to include a strong emphasis on workforce development in our training. We would welcome the opportunity to work with the DOL team and regional boards on those professional development programs.
Also, I liked the comments Ginny made about providing an example of what "it" looks like when the goals of this plan come together. I was involved in the project she referenced, and it really engaged economic development, workforce development, education, trade associations, research and development and the companies themselves. The project took both a "30,000 foot" view in trying to build the systems to support the industry we were working with, but then also provided direct and holistic assistance to individual businesses, helping them to find and train employees, develop innovations to help them remain competitive, and find the capital and other economic development resources they needed to grow their businesses. The initiative certainly wasn't without its bumps, but I think it is one of the best examples we've had of trying to actualize the vision in this plan. This may not be required in this iteration of the plan, but may be something to include in the implementation plan.
Finally, I will be touching base soon with my colleagues from the University System: Gilda Nardone, who chairs the women's employment committee, and Rosa Redonnett, who will be taking my place on the Program Policy Committee, about the plan. We are touching base regularly to coordinate our work with the State Board and to help engage our UMS colleagues. We will forward any additional comments once we have had a chance to confer. In addition, I'm sure we will want to be plugged into the development of the implementation plan, so please let us know how we can begin to engage in that part of the process.
Thanks again for all of the work and vision that went into the plan. Congratulations!

Regards, Renee Kelly

February 10, 2016 State Workforce Board

Attn: WIOA Unified Plan 54 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333

Dear Workforce Board Members,

The Maine State Library provides the following comments on the State of Maine WIOA 2016-2020 Unified Plan.


Maine has 266 public libraries in all counties in Maine. From the smallest libraries serving island populations of under 100 to our large libraries serving Portland, Lewiston/Auburn and Bangor, libraries serve as anchor institutions for their communities. They are vital hubs of community access to technology, resources for learning (online and paper) and facilitators of all literacies.

The latest federal annual public library survey statistics for Maine reveal that public libraries in Maine had 6 .6 million visits and 750,000 Mainers have a library card. Libraries report that over 1.7 million Internet computer sessions were tallied as Maine citizens used computers with high speed broadband connections. Over 230 Maine libraries had 100 mbps fiber connections installed, many libraries have connections up to 1gigabit .
Maine public libraries help job seekers every day. From setting up email accounts, facilitating assistance with the Maine Job Bank, navigating the Unemployment Insurance process, to assisting in job searches and creating and uploading resumes, Maine public libraries are the local resource, the local place, the local assistance when a Career Center/One Stop is too far away, transportation is unavailable, or a babysitter can't be found.
The Maine State Library suggests that the State of Maine 2016-2020 Unified Plan for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act acknowledge and include public libraries as providers of service to the unemployed and under employed . Working together, libraries and the public workforce system can make it easier for job seekers to get employment and training services that can lead to better jobs, improved career pathways, and sustainable wages. Libraries are ideal partners for the workforce system to make it easier for people to find the job and career information they need. Libraries are information a nd literacy professionals.
What Maine libraries do to help Maine's workforce :

  • Libraries offer Internet access; welcoming spaces; local access to job assistance, Saturday hours and most importantly, librarians to serve as information navigators.

  • Libraries offer informal training in digital literacy, helping people learn how to use computers, navigate the web and find the best and most useful information. Many offer formal classes as well.

  • Libraries provide training and assistance in the art of job seeking.

  • Libraries support the nurturing of local entrepreneurs.

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