Maine Department of Labor Update for Employers Now Posted Bookmark and Share

April 1, 2014

The March edition of the Maine Department of Labor's Update for Employers is available here: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDOL/bulletins/aa15fd .

This edition covers:

  • Spring Jobs Fairs Scheduled Around the State
  • Sunset of Additional Employment Week of 'Nonliability' for Unemployment Charges
  • Commissioner's Legislation Update
  • CWRI Launches Blog, App for Informed Decision-Making
  • MDOL/UMaine System Online Courses for Employers
  • Disability Mentoring Day 2014
  • Upcoming Safety Training
  • Connect on Social Media
  • Need a Speaker?

Input Requested for Draft State Plan for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program and State Plan Supplement for the State Supported Employment Services Program Bookmark and Share

April 4, 2014

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR MAINE DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION (DVR) The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation invites you to comment on its Services and State Plan

NOTICE: The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will hold a public hearing on April 17, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Department of Labor, 45 Commerce Drive, in Augusta. The purpose of this hearing is to receive feedback and comments on the 2015 DVR Annual State Plan for Vocational Rehabilitation and Supported Employment services. The hearing will be facilitated in the Frances Perkins Conference Room. American Sign Language interpreters will be available on site.

CONTACT: A draft of the DVR State Plan will be posted on the Bureau of Rehabilitation’s website www.maine.gov/rehab/ on April 7, 2014. For a printed copy of alternative formats call the Division at 207-623-6799 or 711 (Maine Relay). Written comments may be made to Betsy Hopkins, Director, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, 150 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0150 or by e-mail at: deb.roy@maine.gov and must be received by 5:00 p.m., May 2, 2014.

Supporting documents

Maine DVR State Plan FFY2015 Draft

Spring Edition of Veterans Update Newsletter Available Online! Bookmark and Share

May 21, 2014

The Spring 2014 edition of the Maine Department of Labor’s Veterans Update is available now online at: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDOL/bulletins/b8ee6a

This issue features: • Memorial Day Recognition and Events • A Matter of Duty screening in Bangor on May 22 • Government Jobs in Maine: Job and Resource Fair • Job and Military Resource Fairs

To subscribe to the newsletter, visit http://www.maine.gov/labor/ and enter your email address in the box next to the red envelope and follow the directions; from the list of newsletters, select “Veterans Services” from the last category, Jobs and Training. You may sign up for as many newsletters and notifications as desired.

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Rapid Response Session Scheduled for Workers Affected by Old Town Fuel & Fiber Furlough Bookmark and Share

August 14, 2014

For Immediate Release: August 14, 2014 Contact: Tim Sardano, Department of Labor, 626-6232

Session will be held in Old Town next week

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor has scheduled a session for workers affected by the furlough announcement at Old Town Fuel & Fiber. The Department will work to evaluate what other assistance program, such as Trade, that would be appropriate for affected employees.

“The department’s Rapid Response program assists workers facing job loss due to downsizing or closures,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The Rapid Response team is reaching out to help these workers.”

The session will be held on Tuesday, August 19 at 2:00 p.m. at USW Local #80, Union Hall at 354 Main Street in Old Town.

The Department of Labor can advise and assist employers and employees with information about their rights, responsibilities and obligations during a closure or downsizing to safeguard the economic stability of workers and the surrounding community.

To find out more about the Rapid Response program, contact your local CareerCenter. The Bureau of Employment Services provides a variety of employment and training services for Maine workers, businesses and job seekers through the Maine CareerCenter network, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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September Programs for Job Seekers at the Lewiston CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

September 3, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 3, 2014 Contact: Mary LaFontaine, Lewiston CareerCenter, 753-9094; Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

LEWISTON –The Lewiston CareerCenter is offering no-cost programs throughout September, including a job fair with more than 35 employers on September 8. The job fair will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the CareerCenter, 5 Mollison Way in Lewiston.

“Mainers who want help in finding a job will have plenty of opportunities this fall,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “CareerCenter workshops in interviewing, job search skills and resume writing are just a few ways to improve your work search. With several fall job fairs already scheduled, job seekers should check out their local CareerCenter or visit MaineCareerCenter.com and the Maine Job Bank to get prepared.”

Workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To register for sessions held at the CareerCenter, call 753-9005. To learn more, like the Lewiston CareerCenter on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lewiston-CareerCenter/137045791777 . Maine Veterans receive priority of service in all CareerCenter programs.

GATEway to Employment – September 4 or 18, 2 to 4 p.m. Offers an overview of basic information on resumes, interviews and job search skills as well as CareerCenter and community resources available to you during your job search. Learn how the CareerCenter can help you! To register call 753-9005.

Professionals Moving Ahead! Reality-Based Workplaces and Leadership – September 4, 2 to 4 p.m. Based on Cy Wakeman’s books, this interactive workshop teaches what “Boosts Your Value; Kills your Chances; and, What Will Make you Happier” in a workplace. We will also explore how, through your leadership, you can “Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses into Results”.

Job Search Tips for People with a Criminal History – September 5, 10 to 11 a.m. Do you have a criminal back ground? Are you having trouble finding work? This workshop will give job search tips, suggestions on how to respond to those hard-to-answer questions and where best to seek employment which will lead to a successful job search.

Professionals Moving Ahead! Developing and Using Networking, Sales and Marketing for a Successful Job Search – September 18, 2 to 4 p.m. Presented by Erna Koch, MPA, LLM, NEXT Level Business Coaching.

Resumés and Interview Skills – Part I – September 11, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and September 24, 2 to 5 p.m. An in-depth exploration of job search, resumes, applications and interviews. Learn how to stand out in a positive way by marketing yourself—in person and on paper—in a way that directly matches employer needs. “Tough” interview questions will be discussed so that you can answer them with confidence. The September 11 class will be held at the Lewiston CareerCenter; call 753-9005 to register. The September 24 class will be held at the Auburn Public Library at 49 Spring Street in Auburn; call 753-9066 to register.

Mock Job Interviews – September 16, 3 to 5 p.m. You have the perfect resume and you are invited to an interview—awesome! Then comes that dreadful thought—“I haven’t interviewed in years” or “I am new to interviewing” or “I have interviewed several times but I am not getting job offers.” Attend this workshop to master the interview! Success comes with practice and practicing in a workshop is risk-free and instructional. Get the tools you need to feel comfortable in an interview.

Applications and Resumes for Non/Limited English Speakers – September 18, 9 to 11 a.m. This workshop will be offered in Somali and will cover job applications and resumes.

Job Search Skills – September 22, 10 a.m. to noon It’s a competitive job market. This job search skills workshop will give you the tools you need to be successful in your job search. We will discuss strategies you can use to highlight your skills and set yourself apart from the others—it’s all about marketing yourself! To register please call 753-9005.

Career Decision Making – September 22 and 26 This two-part workshop reviews the factors involved in making career decisions, assessment tools used, and other resources. Apply the information gained from assessments to identify career and training steps to achieve career goals. To register please call 753-9005.

Training and Education Resources and Information

Training Orientation is an overview of training programs at the CareerCenter, eligibility requirements, and information on accessing services. This is for people interested in pursuing training and education. If you are interested in job search only, consider “The Job Search Skills” workshop. Call 753-9005 for meeting schedule and to register. NOTE: If you live in the South Paris area, call 743-7763 x 1 for information on the South Paris CareerCenter orientation dates/times.

Essentials of College Planning for Adults – Basic steps for successful college enrollment. Learn about college and trade schools, entrance requirements, readiness and transitional issues of adult students, admissions procedures and financial aid. Register by calling 1-800-281-3703. Please bring last year’s income tax forms to the appointment.

Orientation for People with Disabilities – September 24, 2 to 3:30 p.m. For those who are considering vocational rehabilitation services, these sessions are held the third Friday of the month. Service providers are also welcome to attend. Registration not required.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 753-9005 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 5 Mollison Way in Lewiston, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Job Fair in Lewiston on September 8 Bookmark and Share

September 3, 2014

For Immediate Release: September 3, 2014 Contact: Mary LaFontaine, 753-9094; Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

LEWISTON—The Lewiston CareerCenter is hosting a Job Fair on Monday, September 8 from 9 to 11 a.m. at its building on 5 Mollison Way, Lewiston. More than 35 hiring employers are expected.

"This is a perfect opportunity for those who are looking for a new job as we head into autumn," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "As our unemployment rate drops, more and more employers are looking to hire. Learn what careers Lewiston-Auburn area businesses have to offer at this job fair."

Employers include ADECCO, Air National Guard, Argo Marketing Group, Bill's Auto Transport, Inc., Bonney Staffing, Carbonite, Circle K, Complete Home Care of New England, Creative Innovations, FedEx, Formed Fiber, Geiger Bros., Great Falls Marketing, Home Depot, Industrial Roofing Companies, Lowes, Manpower, MAS Home Care, Merry Meeting Behavioral Health, Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, Oxford Casino, PepsiCo, Quality Traffic Control, Rose's Commercial Cleaners, Sequel Care of Maine, Stericycle, Staff Management, Support Solutions, TD Bank, Tradesmen International, Xerox, Panolam, Prudential Insurance and Western Maine Transportation.

Attendees should bring a resume and, more important, should be prepared to have an “interview-like” conversation with employers to discuss skills, knowledge areas and abilities. Job seekers should also be dressed for an interview.

French, Spanish and Somali interpreters will be available but requests should be made in advance to the CareerCenter.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of workshops and services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 753-9005 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 5 Mollison Way in Lewiston, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also find more information at the CareerCenter website, www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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More than 35 employers are expected to be at the job fair

Department of Labor Offering Workplace Safety Classes in September Bookmark and Share

September 4, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 4, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Space is available for the safety classes in Augusta and Bangor

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards is hosting its no-charge safety courses for employers throughout September.

“A safe place to work is good practice for workers and businesses,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. "SafetyWorks! is nationally recognized for its on-the-job safety programs. These classes are investments that pay off for everyone--workers learn how to work safely and business gain a reputation as a supportive place to work, giving them a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining skilled employees."

Courses are held at no charge to employers and their employees to ensure and promote safety in the workplace. The courses are held at the SafetyWorks! Training Institute at the Maine Department of Labor, 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta unless otherwise noted.

Scaffolding and Fall Protection - September 9, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In this class the instructor will explain the OSHA requirements for scaffolding and fall protection, including the definition of "competent person". The eight-hour program will include a demonstration of the proper setup of scaffolding. Fall protection will be covered in the morning and scaffolding in the afternoon.

Automotive Lift/Jack Stand Safety and Compliance - September 11, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This half-day course provides training for the proper operation of multiple types of automotive lifts, jacks and jacks stands, inspections, compliance reporting, training and documentation required by various inspecting agencies. The course will provide the information needed to for a safer workplace, which helps eliminate citations and can possibly lower a company's workers compensation insurance costs. The course will have both classroom and hands-on training

Forklift Operator Training - September 12, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This half-day class is designed for new operators will involve classroom and hands-on training. However, this training does not meet the requirements to qualify the participants to be a "qualified operator" as only the employer can provide such certification.

30-Hour Construction Standards - September 15-19, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This five-day course introduces attendees new to construction safety and health to the OSHA standards (29 CFR 1926). Attendees who complete all five days will receive OSHA 30-hour construction course completion cards. OTI charges $5 per card.

Public Sector Work Zone Safety - September 23, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This five-day course introduces attendees new to construction safety and health to the OSHA standards (29 CFR 1926). Attendees who complete all five days will receive OSHA 30-hour construction course completion cards. OTI charges $5 per card.

10-Hour General Industry Standards Training - September 25-26, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This one-and-a-half day course offers basic information on a variety of general industry safety and health standards (29 CFR 1910). Attendees who complete the course will receive an OSHA 10-hour course completion card for general industry. Class runs until 4:30 p.m. on day one and 12:30 p.m. on day two. OTI charges $5 per card.

OSHA Recordkeeping - September 26, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Bangor CareerCenter, 45 oak St., Ste. 3 This class provides a thorough and comprehensive six-hour training for both new and experienced safety and human resources personnel. You will learn the OSHA rule (29 CFR 1904) regarding recording and reporting work-related injuries and illnesses as it applies to your organization. This class includes several hands-on activities on how to correctly fill out the required injury reporting forms. Employers interested in registering can learn more and register at http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Safetyworks_Classes&v=ListAll . Space is limited so reservations are required.

SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year. Employers interested in learning more about the consulting and training services offered by SafetyWorks! should call 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or visit http://www.safetyworksmaine.com .

The Bureau of Labor Standards is Maine’s regulatory agency overseeing labor and employment law and workplace safety; it provides both consultation and enforcement services. The division promotes and achieves compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of Maine’s workforce.

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Fall Job Fairs Scheduled Around the State Bookmark and Share

September 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Employers can reserve tables while job seekers brush up resumes

AUGUSTA—Fall hiring is ramping up around Maine as businesses prepare for end-of-year and the holiday season, providing an opportune time for job seekers looking for work. The Department of Labor’s network of 12 CareerCenters will be sponsoring or participating in several career fairs. Hundreds of employers will be hiring for both permanent and seasonal positions.

"This is a perfect opportunity for those who are looking for a new job as we head into autumn," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "As our unemployment rate drops, more and more employers are looking to hire. Learn what careers area businesses have to offer at these job fairs."

Job seekers who need to update their resume or practice their interviewing skills should contact a CareerCenter for free help. To find more information about jobs fairs across the state or to locate the closest CareerCenter and information about job training programs, visit the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

"Job fair season gives job seekers an opportunity to meet face-to-face with companies in need of talented people," said Labor Commissioner Jeanne S. Paquette. "No-cost workshops on resume writing and interviewing at the CareerCenters help attendees be ready."

Businesses interested in participating in these events and other free hiring services the department provides, such as Maine’s Job Bank, should contact their local CareerCenter.

The following Job Fairs have been scheduled to date around the state:

  • Sept. 29: Job Fair at the Augusta CareerCenter, 21 Enterprise Drive, Suite 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 1: Job Fair at the Portland CareerCenter, 185 Lancaster St. Suite 101, Portland 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Oct. 6: Lewiston CareerCenter Job Fair, 5 Mollison Way, 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Oct. 15: 17th Annual Fall Career Fair at the Bangor Mall, 663 Stillwater Avenue, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first hour, from 10 to 11 a.m., is dedicated to military veterans. Sponsored by the Bangor CareerCenter, Bangor Daily News, Bangor Mall, Maine Army Guard, Tri-County Workforce Investment Board, General Rental Center, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, and the Maine Department of Labor.
  • Oct. 15: Presque Isle Area Career Fair,Presque Isle Recreation Center, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Oct. 27: Job Fair at the Augusta CareerCenter, 21 Enterprise Drive, Suite 2, 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Nov. 3: Lewiston CareerCenter Job Fair, 5 Mollison Way, 9 to 11 a.m.
  • Nov. 12: Southern Midcoast Job Fair at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Brunswick, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first hour is reserved for Veterans, Service Members and their families.
  • Nov. 24: Job Fair at the Augusta CareerCenter, 21 Enterprise Drive, Suite 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Dec 1: Lewiston CareerCenter Job Fair, 5 Mollison Way, 9 to 11 a.m.

CareerCenters offer a variety of workshops and services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Department of Labor Launching Job Vacancy Survey Bookmark and Share

September 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 15, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

State seeks to identify hard-to-fill jobs to target worker training programs

AUGUSTA—The Department of Labor’s Center for Workforce Research and Information has mailed a survey to 3,500 Maine businesses seeking feedback about hard-to-fill jobs. The survey is being paid for in part by the Department of Economic and Community Development. Employers should be receiving the surveys the third week of September.

“Maine needs to ensure that businesses can find workers with the right skills for jobs in demand,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This survey will help the state understand what jobs are hard to fill, and this will help us target training programs to teach those skills. The survey is an example of how the state can use its resources to be a partner to the business community instead of a hurdle.”

The survey will ask employers whether they have job openings for which they are actively recruiting in the month of September. It asks employers to respond yes or no, to briefly describe open positions, and identify whether the positions are difficult to fill.

“Maine continues to recover from the recent recession,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “Our unemployment rate has fallen dramatically, but remains above our long-term average. At the same time, many employers indicate they have difficulty finding workers who possess the knowledge and skills to fill job openings in their organizations. This situation is often described as a ‘skills gap.’ This survey will provide specific information that will help us determine where and to what extent skills gaps may exist in Maine.”

Employers can respond by mail, email, fax or telephone, or using an online survey. Employer participation is crucial – even if the response is “no job openings at this time”.

CWRI expects to report the results early next year, identifying vacancies by occupation, by industry and by geographical region. Specific employer information will be kept confidential.

This survey was paid in part by DECD to address the issues identified in the Workforce Opportunities Program. The Workforce Opportunities legislation approved last session requires DECD to work with the Department of Labor and industry partners to resolve the unmet employment needs of Maine’s businesses. The legislation did not identify the source of “unmet need,” so the survey serves as an important initial information tool to establish a baseline.

The Department of Labor will use the information to identify the number and types of job vacancies that exist and to learn what employers seek in qualified candidates. “We need to know which jobs are in demand and which are difficult to fill. This information will help target limited resources to meet the need for skilled and ready workers,” added Commissioner Paquette.

Employers with questions about CWRI’s surveys can learn more at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/respondents.html .

CWRI develops and disseminates information on employment, unemployment and wages; analyzes outcomes of education and training programs to guide decision-making; and develops industry and occupational employment forecasts designed to guide career planning and curriculum development. They work with a wide range of customers to provide context to the dynamics of the economy and the implications those have for workforce development. CWRI publishes a variety of data on Maine’s economy, workforce and demographics at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri .

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More than 8,000 Job Listings Available on the Maine Job Bank through Mid-September Bookmark and Share

September 17, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2014 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

Registered job seekers accepted more than 27,900 referrals from the job matching feature.

AUGUSTA—Employers on the Maine Job Bank had 8,051 job openings available through September 12, 2014, at www.mainecareercenter.com. Year-over-year the Job Bank has seen the number of available positions grow from 7,087 in 2013 and 4,337 in 2012.

"Companies are hiring for both permanent and seasonal positions during this time of year at several job fairs as well as online at the Job Bank," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Mainers have the opportunity to find work and I encourage you to connect with your local CareerCenter for help in getting that job."

All job listings on the Maine Job Bank have been posted within the last 90 days by Maine employers and dedicated staff at the Department of Labor. The team at the department reviews each employer who registers and its respective postings before activating the job live on the site. CareerCenter staff follow up with employers after two weeks to review the listing's response, make any adjustments or take the listing down when filled.

Those who register for a no-cost job seeker account will be able to add their resume, enter their skills and experience and create email alerts to receive jobs that most closely match their profile. The Maine Job Bank includes a custom matching system that connects the requirements of the job opening with the skills and experience of a job seeker. Registered job seekers have accepted almost 28,000 of these referrals since the beginning of the program year on July 1, 2014; accepting the referral is the first step in applying for the job.

The Maine Job Bank is one of many no-charge services provided by the CareerCenters; all services and workshops help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O*Net software for skills assessment.

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

The Maine Job Bank incorporates a high level of security and user confidentiality and is put through rigorous testing for ADA compliance.

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Department of Labor Assists the Iris Network to Secure Funding for Training Center for Visually Impaired Individuals Bookmark and Share

September 19, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Will create the only immersion center in Northern New England

AUGUSTA—The Department of Labor’s Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DBVI) has secured $1.4 million in federal grant funding for Maine’s Iris Network to establish a Vision Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Center. This immersion learning facility will be built at the Iris Network’s William J. Ryan Building on Park Avenue in Portland. The division is part of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, which seeks to connect people with disabilities to employment.

“This project will bring a unique training facility to Maine to benefit not only our citizens but those from around New England,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Immersion learning is a best practice; it brings people together to build supporting relationships and intensifies the educational environment. This investment will pay off by increasing the effectiveness of our life skills and work skills training over a shorter period of time. Our citizens who are blind or are experiencing vision loss will be able to return to an active and independent lifestyle more quickly while remaining here in Maine.”

The grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Education will be matched by $302,000 from the Iris Network, which will also provide $275,000 in additional public and private funding to complete the renovation of the Ryan Building. The closest similar center is located in Newton, Mass.

The division has worked for the past three years to assist the Iris Network in planning for this project and applying for funding. Almost all vision rehabilitation services in Maine are provided on an outreach basis, which can leave people in rural areas isolated from others who are living with similar vision limitations. It is also more expensive to do intensive training in this way, because the staff are not local to the clients.

The immersion center program will bring clients to Portland for intensive, small-group low vision therapy, vision rehabilitation programs and vocational training. These 10-week intensive programs will teach clients the skills needed to compensate for vision loss as a foundation and then build upon that base with the skills needed for working and living an independent life. They will have the opportunity to build supportive relationships with their peers.

The Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), http://www.maine.gov/rehab, works to bring about full access to employment, independence and community integration for people with disabilities. The Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired, part of BRS, provides vocational rehabilitation, education, skill training, paths to employment and independent living skills to people who are blind or have a visual impairment.

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Media Advisory: First Lady Ann LePage and Travis Mills Kick Off Maine Veterans’ Jobs Conference Bookmark and Share

September 24, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009, cell 207-557-1483

AUGUSTA— The Maine Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Labor are co-hosting the two-day conference, Maine Values Veterans: Employment and Community Engagement, to share best practices and engage the various agencies tasked with connecting veterans with employment in Maine.

Joining Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette, First Lady Ann LePage will offer welcoming remarks. Travis Mills, president of Travis Mills Group LLC and a retired U.S. Army Staff Sargent and wounded warrior, will present the keynote address.

“This important gathering focuses on how we in the state of Maine can do a better job serving those who have served our country—our veterans,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “Their hard work and sacrifice must be acknowledged with our best efforts—it is only right and just that we honor them by doing the best we can to bring them home, provide a supported transition to civilian life and link them with a good job with a career ladder.”

When: September 25, 2014
10 a.m. – Jeanne Paquette, Commissioner, Maine Department of Labor
10:15 a.m. – First Lady Ann LePage
10:20 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. – Travis Mills

Where: Sheepscot Harbour Village and Resort, Edgecomb, ME

Augusta Area Job Fair to be held September 29 at the CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

September 26, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 26, 2014
Contact: Peter Diplock, Augusta CareerCenter Manager, 624-5183; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, cell 557-1483

AUGUSTA—Twenty-five employers hiring for positions in construction, law enforcement, health care, production and customer service will be recruiting at the Augusta CareerCenter from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 29. The CareerCenter is located at 21 Enterprise Drive, suite 2 in Augusta.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; our state gained 9,400 private-sector jobs in the past year and there are about 8,000 open jobs on our Job Bank right now,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This job fair will help you find both year-round and seasonal positions. Come out, meet employers and learn what opportunities the Augusta area has to offer.”

Participating employers include Verizon Wireless, Support Solutions, Sears, Mt. St. Joseph, Manpower, Maine Marine Patrol, Stericycle, Communication Solutions, Maine Staffing Group, Bank of America, Arcadia Health Services, Home Care for Maine, Woodlands Senior Living of Hallowell, Hillside Terrace of Hallowell, Integrated Sales Solutions, Target, Johnny's Selected Seeds, T Mobile, Providence Human Services, Cianbro, Kennebec Sherrif's Department, Care and Comfort, Maine State Governement, Irving Oil, Maine Conservation Corps and Bath Iron Works.

All are seeking qualified employees to fill current positions. Job seekers are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring a current resume and be prepared to interview.

The Augusta CareerCenter holds monthly jobs fairs and also offers individual employers recruitment opportunities. The October Job Fair is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 27 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the November Job Fair is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 624-5120 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711). More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Department of Labor adds additional HR Day for Human Resources Professionals on October 30 Bookmark and Share

September 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2014
Contact(s): Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009, julie.rabinowitz@maine.gov; Deb Whitworth, MESHRM, 699-5571, dwhitworth@northcrossgroup.com.

Second date added due to overwhelming response; original event filled up within 24 hours

AUGUSTA -- The Maine Department of Labor and the Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (MESHRM) have added a second HR Day at the Maine Department of Labor. The event will be held Thursday, October 30 from 9 a.m. to noon in Florian Hall at the Central Maine Commerce Center, 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta.

“The popularity of the HR Day program speaks well of the department's efforts specifically as well as my administration's goal of making Maine state government more business friendly,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Capital goes where it is welcome and stays where it is appreciated. By inviting employers into the department to meet the staff, get questions answered, and learn about services that can help improve the bottom line and the quality of our workplaces, we are showing our appreciation for Maine’s job creators and are doing the right thing for our workers.”

HR Day will help human resources professionals or workers with HR responsibilities build an effective workforce through the Department of Labor's programs and help keep their businesses compliant with Maine's labor laws.

The original event, planned for the beginning of October, filled within 24 hours of opening registration.

"I am so pleased that response has been so strong for this event. HR plays a key role in business operations, from helping create a safe workplace to ensuring regulatory compliance," said Labor Commissioner Jeanne S. Paquette. "MDOL can be a partner in this process by providing support and guidance—our department offers many services to employers from assistance in recruiting and hiring to worker retention to no-charge training. We are not solely an enforcement agency. We're here to provide the answers before we give employers the test."

HR Day is a no-cost event, limited to 175 attendees who register on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is required at http://meshrm.shrm.org/events/2014/10/day-maine-department-labor-encore-presentation .

"We have a unique opportunity to meet with Maine Department of Labor staff and gain perspective on the ins and outs of what goes on there," said Deborah Whitworth, MESHRM Director. "Human resources professionals will take part in a morning of education and networking and have the opportunity to get answers to burning questions. I’ve registered and I urge you to do the same."

Programming will be tailored to HR functions relative to the audience defined through the registration process, and representatives from the department's Bureau of Employment Services, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Bureau of Labor Standards, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, and Center for Workforce Research and Information will be available for questions. Topics will range from unemployment taxes and appeals, to wage and hour regulations, to accommodating workers with disabilities as well as information about the legislative process.

The Maine Department of Labor is committed to serving Maine workers and businesses by helping employers recruit and train a talented workforce, providing workers with the skills they need to be competitive in the economy, assisting individuals when jobs are lost, ensuring safe and fair workplaces for people on the job and researching and analyzing employment data to support job growth.

The Maine Department of Labor provides equal opportunity in employment and programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to people with disabilities.

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Portland CareerCenter Mini Job Fair on October 1 Bookmark and Share

September 29, 2014

For Immediate Release: September 29, 2014
Contact: Mike Roland, Portland CareerCenter, 771-5627; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

CareerCenter to host monthly job fairs

PORTLAND—At least nine employers will be hiring at the Portland CareerCenter’s mini Job Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. The CareerCenter is located at 185 Lancaster Street in Portland.

“Maine's employers are hiring; our state gained 9,400 private-sector jobs in the past year and there are about 8,000 open jobs on our Job Bank right now,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This job fair will help you find both seasonal and year-round positions. Come out, meet employers and discover new opportunities in Greater Portland.”

Participating employers include Circle K, Fed Ex Ground, Home Depot, Kohl’s, L.L. Bean, Orkin Pest Control, Sequel Care, VIP and Walmart. All are seeking qualified employees to fill current positions.

Job seekers are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring a current resume and be prepared to interview. Attendees should park in lots along the block on Lancaster Street with signs marked Bayside or Government Center or at the Public Market Parking Garage at corner of Elm Street and Cumberland Avenue. For more information, call 771-5627 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711).

The Portland CareerCenter will now be holding monthly jobs fairs in addition to offering individual employers recruitment opportunities. The November Job Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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October Programs at the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

September 29, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2014 Contact: Leon Ouimet, Southern Midcoast CareerCenter, 207-373-4000; Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

Brunswick—The Southern Midcoast CareerCenter, part of the Maine Department of Labor, and its partners offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills and employers to find qualified workers.

"CareerCenters provide the tools to help Mainers find good paying jobs," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Looking for a job can be a long process, but you don't have to go it alone. The career counselors at the the centers have helped thousands. It just takes that first step to ask for the help that can make your search shorter and more successful."

The Southern Midcoast CareerCenter in Brunswick continues its series of workshops and programs for job seekers and those considering training to upgrade their skills and increase their employability. For more information on any of the CareerCenters programs, visit http://www.mainecareercenter.com or call 207-373-4000.

The following workshops and programs are free to the public and will be held at the CareerCenter in Brunswick unless otherwise noted. All events require pre-registration in person or by phone.

Career Directions / Putting the Pieces Together: Wednesday. October 1, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Explores your career interests, aptitudes, values, personality, motivation and how each transfers to today’s job market.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing Workshop: Wednesday, October 8, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Covers the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter..

Effective Job Interviewing Workshop: Wednesday, October 15, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

GATEways to Employment: Thursdays, October 9 and 23, 9 a.m. to noon. Designed to help you jump start your work search with the latest tips and tools you’ll need to know to conduct a successful job search in today’s labor market. (Please Note: Maine Job Bank Registration/Account Required)

Computer Boot Camp: Individual sessions held daily 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (Except Wed.), and 3:30 to 4:30p.m. All sessions are by appointment only. Basic instruction on how to use a computer for work search purposes. (Intended for novice computer users only.)

The Southern Midcoast CareerCenter also features several sessions led by these partner organizations:

Essentials of College Planning Workshop: Tuesdays, September 2, 16 and 30, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, October 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Christy Le from the Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) offers a free workshop for adults 19 and older covering College Awareness and Planning along with the Federal Financial Aid process. She will assist participants in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To register for the next available session or for more information, call 1-800-281-3703 or visit MEOC’s website, meoc.maine.edu .

Small Business Start Up Workshop: Thursday, October 16, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Interested in self-employment? So what does it really take to plan, start and run a successful small business where you can realize the challenges and satisfaction of working for yourself? Join us for a 2 hour afternoon session, where Maine Small Business Development Center Certified Master Business Counselor, Brad Swanson will walk you through the keys to successful business startup and management, focusing on the business plan: What is it? Why do you need one? What can it do for you?

Goodwill Workforce Solutions administers federally funded employment and training programs through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Certain eligibility requirements apply. If you are at least 22 years of age and think you might qualify or benefit from training, contact the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter in Brunswick at 207-373-4000 to speak with a Goodwill representative. Applicants 16 to 21 years of age should call the above number and inquire about the WIA Youth Program.

Maine Centers for Women, Work & Community offer no cost classes in Assertive Communication, Creating Your Future, Creating the Rest of Your Life, Credit Yourself, Entrepreneurial Training, Financing Your Future, Professional Development and Mature Worker Activities. For more information, call Shelley Taylor in Brunswick at 207-386-1664 or go to http://www.womenworkandcommunity.org . Workshops are held at Brunswick Landing at the University College administrative offices, found on the campus of Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) on the first floor wing of Orion Hall, 12 Sewall Street, Brunswick.

Each of the 12 statewide CareerCenters provide public-access computer workstations equipped with Microsoft Office, resume writing and cover letter software. In addition Internet access and O’Net software for individual skills assessment are provided. Employers can list their open positions on Maine's Job Bank and take advantage of the online matching system, which identifies and refers job candidates. All CareerCenter services are provided free of charge to employers and job seeking customers.

The Southern Midcoast CareerCenter, located at 275 Bath Road in Brunswick, is open 8 a.m.to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and can be reached at 207-373-4000 or 1-888-836-3355 (TTY users should dial Maine Relay 711). You can also find more information at the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com . Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

October Programs for Job Seekers at the Machias and Calais CareerCenters Bookmark and Share

September 29, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2014 Contact: Nichole Jamison, Washington County CareerCenters, 255-1900; Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

WASHINGTON COUNTY—CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

"CareerCenters provide the tools to help Mainers find good paying jobs," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Looking for a job can be a long process, but you don't have to go it alone. The career counselors at the the centers have helped thousands. It just takes that first step to ask for the help that can make your search shorter and more successful."

To learn more, like the Washington County CareerCenters on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-County-CareerCenters/606111642755982 . The following workshops and programs will be held at the indicated CareerCenters. All events require pre-registration in person or by phone.

GATEways to Employment: Group Access to Employment Session October 1, 2 p.m., Calais CareerCenter; October 23, 9 a.m., Machias CareerCenter

Is your job search in need of a boost? Are you looking for a way to stand out to a potential employer? Do you want to be at a significant advantage from other job seekers in today's competitive work/job seeking environment? GATEways to Employment is a great opportunity for you! Come and share your ideas and experiences with other job seekers. This is a great way to increase your job search success, to gain insight on the latest job search techniques, and to maximize your potential. CareerCenter is here to help you find your key to success! To register call Michelle at 1-800-292-8929.

Work Incentive Workshop October 8, Noon., Machias CareerCenter

If you receive SSI/SSDI benefits and are thinking about going back to work, you might be concerned about how your earnings will affect your benefits. By attending this workshop, you may be able to get some of your questions answered. For more information or to register, please call Donald Rice at 1-800-543-0303 or 207-454-7551.

Essentials of College Planning presented by MEOC October 7 and 21, 10 a.m., Machias CareerCenter

This workshop will survey the basic steps for successful college enrollment. The session will discuss college and trade school options in our region, entrance requirements, readiness and transitional issues of adult students, admissions procedures and financial aid. During the session we will review a typical admissions application, request admissions materials and financial aid information from prospective colleges for each participant, and, if appropriate, will complete the financial aid form. This session is designed to set the stage for future enhanced workshops or individual counseling sessions. Participants should bring last year's 1040 tax form (or income estimates) and any high school/GED and college transcripts. To register for a MEOC Workshop call 1-800-281-3703.

Loring Job Corps Walk-in Interviews October 30, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Machias CareerCenter October 31, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Calais CareCenter

Interested in starting a new career? Loring Job Corps Center will be at the CareerCenter from conducting walk-in interviews. Stop by and check out a new career!

The CareerCenter, located at 53 Prescott Drive, Suite 1 in Machias and One College Drive in Calais, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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October Workshops at the Skowhegan CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

September 29, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2014 Contact: Anita Dunham, Skowhegan CareerCenter, 474-4950; Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

SKOWHEGAN—Maine CareerCenters bring job seekers and employers together. For those who are looking to make a change in careers or get a new job, the Skowhegan CareerCenter will be offering a variety of programs for job seekers in October.

"CareerCenters provide the tools to help Mainers find good paying jobs," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Looking for a job can be a long process, but you don't have to go it alone. The career counselors at the the centers have helped thousands. It just takes that first step to ask for the help that can make your search shorter and more successful."

Workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To learn more, like the Skowhegan CareerCenter on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SkowheganCareercenter . Maine Veterans receive priority of service in all CareerCenter programs. To register for sessions held at the CareerCenter, call 474-4950.

GATEway to Employment: Monday, October 6 and 20, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

This workshop will provide you more information about the resources that the CareerCenter has to offer, including the newest tools to assist you in conducting an efficient and productive job search. Topics covered include: how to tap into the “hidden job market,” identifying the skills you have to offer employers, tips on successfully completing applications, resumes and cover letters and how to register and apply for jobs posted through the CareerCenter.

Resume I and Cover Letter Writing: Tuesday, October 7, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

This workshop provides valuable tips on cover letters, resume writing, the contents and format and much more. Learn to make a new, highly effective resume using the techniques taught in this workshop.

Successful Interviewing Skills: October 21, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

Discussion of the purpose of the interview, types of interviews and general preparation for interviews. “Tough” interview questions will be discussed so that you can answer them with confidence.

Essentials of College Planning for Adults: Wednesday, October 8 and 29, 10 a.m.

This interactive workshop touches on the four steps in the college process: admissions, financial aid, career planning and study skills. The financial aid portion of this workshop will provide an overview of financial basics and the completion of the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Bring last year’s income tax forms to this appointment. Please call 1-800-281-3703 to pre-register. This session is held at the DHHS offices located next door to the CareerCenter in the same building.

CareerCenter Application Session

Our CareerCenter Consultants assist people with their job searches, career decision making and training plans. If you are interested in obtaining more one-on-one assistance from a CareerCenter Consultant, contact the CareerCenter at 474-4950 to make an appointment and get the list of required documents to bring.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O*Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 474-4950 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops. The CareerCenter, located at 98 North Avenue, Suite 20, Skowhegan, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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October Programs for Job Seekers at the Wilton CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

September 29, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2014 Contact: Anita Dunham, Wilton CareerCenter, 645-5800; Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

WILTON—For those who are looking to make a change in careers or get a new job, the Wilton CareerCenter will be offering a variety of programs for job seekers in October. All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted.

"CareerCenters provide the tools to help Mainers find good paying jobs," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Looking for a job can be a long process, but you don't have to go it alone. The career counselors at the the centers have helped thousands. It just takes that first step to ask for the help that can make your search shorter and more successful."

Workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To learn more, like the Wilton CareerCenter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WiltonCareercenter . Maine Veterans receive priority of service in all CareerCenter programs. To register for sessions held at the CareerCenter, call 645-5800.

Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation: Thursday, October 2, 9 a.m. to noon.

This orientation is for people with disabilities, who are considering Vocational Rehabilitation services. Registration is not required.

GATEway to Employment: Wednesday, October 8 and 15, 9 a.m. to noon.

This workshop offers an overview of basic information on resumes; interviews and job search skills as well as CareerCenter and community resources available during a job search—learn how the CareerCenter can help!

Essentials of College Planning for Adults: Thursday, October 16, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Covers the basic steps for successful college enrollment: learn about college and trade schools, entrance requirements, readiness and transitional issues of adult students, admissions procedures and financial aid. Review a typical admissions application, request admissions materials and financial aid information from prospective colleges and complete the financial aid form. To register, call 800-281-3703. Bring last year’s income tax forms to the appointment.

Resumes and Interview Skills: Call to Schedule

An in-depth exploration of the job search, resumes, applications and interviews. Learn how to stand out positively by marketing yourself—in person and on paper—in a way that directly matches employer needs. “Tough” interview questions will be discussed so that you can answer them with confidence. Call us at 645-5800 to check our schedule of dates and times and schedule a workshop.

O*Net Ability Profiler: Call to Schedule

O*Net is a career exploration tool that helps individuals plan work livelihoods using a paper and pencil format with optional apparatus parts and computerized scoring. Results can be used to identify strengths for which more training/education is needed and to identify occupations that fit an individual’s strengths. Please call if interested; this workshop requires five or more participants to run.

Community College Adviser: Contact to Schedule

Discuss your college options and explore college choices based on your interests and career goals. Call Randy Berry at 740-0112 or email him at rberry@cmcc.edu for an appointment.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O*Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 645-5800 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 865 U.S. Rt. 2E Wilton, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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October Programs at the Rockland CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

September 29, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2014 Contact: David Grima, Rockland CareerCenter, 207-596-2600; Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

ROCKLAND—The Rockland CareerCenter, part of the Maine Department of Labor, and its partners offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills and employers to find qualified workers.

"CareerCenters provide the tools to help Mainers find good paying jobs," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Looking for a job can be a long process, but you don't have to go it alone. The career counselors at the the centers have helped thousands. It just takes that first step to ask for the help that can make your search shorter and more successful."

The Rockland CareerCenter continues its series of workshops and programs for job seekers and those considering training to upgrade their skills and increase their employability. For more information, like the Rockland CareerCenter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RocklandCareerCenter or call 596-2600.

The following workshops and programs are free to the public and will be held at the CareerCenter in Rockland unless otherwise noted. All events require pre-registration in person or by phone.

GATEways to Employment: Tuesday, Oct. 7 and 21, 9 a.m. to Noon. Designed to help you jump start your work search with the latest tips and tools to conduct a successful job search in today’s labor market.

Career Directions / Putting the Pieces Together: Wednesday, October 1, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Explores your career interests, aptitudes, values, personality, motivations, and shows how each transfers to today’s job market.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Wednesday, October 8, 9 a.m. to noon Understand your personality type as an aid to choosing a career. This workshop requires you to complete a paper quiz at the CareerCenter at least one week before.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing: Wednesday, October 15, 9 a.m. to noon Shows the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter.

Effective Interviewing Skills: Wednesday, October 22, 9 a.m. to noon Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

Small Business Start-up: Tuesday, October 21, 1 to 3 p.m. Shows how to approach a business plan, for people interested in opening a small business.

Computer Boot Camp: Tuesday mornings Arrange time with staff. Designed to introduce basic computer skills to people who have not used one before. By appointment only.

The Rockland CareerCenter also features several sessions led by these partner organizations:

Goodwill Workforce Solutions administers federally funded employment and training programs through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Certain eligibility requirements apply. If you are at least 22 years of age and think you might qualify or benefit from training, contact the Rockland CareerCenter in at 596-2600 to reserve a seat in training orientation sessions offered every other week on Monday afternoons. WIA applications for those interested in will be made available at the end of the orientation. Applicants 16 to 21 years of age should call the above number and inquire about the WIA Youth Program.

Maine Centers for Women, Work & Community offers no-cost classes in Assertive Communication, Creating Your Future, Creating the Rest of Your Life, Credit Yourself, Entrepreneurial Training, Financing Your Future, Professional Development and Mature Worker Activities. For more information, call Shelley Taylor in Bath at 386-1664 or go to http://www.womenworkandcommunity.org . Workshops are held at the Midcoast Center for Higher Education, 9 Park Street in Bath and are open to all interested parties.

Each of the 12 statewide CareerCenters provides public-access computer workstations equipped with Microsoft Office, resume writing and cover letter software. In addition Internet access and O ’Net software for individual skills assessment are provided. Employers can list their open positions on Maine's Job Bank and take advantage of the online matching system, which identifies and refers job candidates. All CareerCenter services are provided free of charge to employers and job-seeking customers.

Rockland CareerCenter is at 91 Camden St. It is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and can be reached at 596-2600 or 1-877-421-7916. TTY users should dial Maine Relay 711. Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month Bookmark and Share

October 1, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009, cell: 557-1483

Maine Department of Labor helps businesses hire and retain people with disabilities

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor will be raising awareness of the benefits of employing people with disabilities throughout the month of October. The theme of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

“My administration is helping people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “More than 15 percent of our citizens have one or more disabilities and more than 50 percent of them are working-age adults. These Mainers contribute to our economy as customers and offer a great deal to employers in productivity, loyalty and perspective. I encourage Maine employers to work with the Department of Labor to diversify their workforce.”

“Our Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) and Ticket-to-Work Program provide services to Maine residents with disabilities who want to work,” stated Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “Our team helps businesses of all sizes and industries identify specific jobs that match a person’s skillset. Don’t be fooled by stereotypes and rumors of the costs of accommodations. Our agency can answer questions and connect your business with many excellent employees.”

Paquette noted, “We know that employment is a bridge that builds self-esteem and relationships while eliminating isolation and dependency. In the past year, BRS helped 921 Mainers find employment success. As a result, these individuals earned a combined $17.9 million in annual wages. ”

“As our workforce ages and baby boomers retire, it will be increasingly important to attract and retain older workers who may have age-related disabilities,” said Paquette. “Fewer than one third of working-age Mainers with disabilities are employed. Of those seeking work, nearly 20 percent are unemployed. We have an opportunity to connect employers and workers in ways that will make a powerful difference in our communities.”

Maine employers who are interested in learning more about the benefits of diversifying their workforce can contact the Business Relations Team at 1-855-ALL-HIRE. At no charge to the employer, BRS can provide access to prescreened, qualified job applicants; assistance with determining workplace accommodations; job retention and return-to-work services; information about financial incentives for hiring persons with disabilities and additional resources.

People can access services through Maine’s statewide network of CareerCenters or by visiting http://www.employmentforme.org and http://www.mainecareercenter.com/employment/disabilities/index.shtml .

To find out the location of your local CareerCenter, call 1-888-457-888 (TTY users dial Maine Relay 711) or visit http://www.mainecareercenter.com . Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Job Fair in Lewiston on October 6 Bookmark and Share

October 1, 2014

For Immediate Release: October 1, 2014
Contact: Mary LaFontaine, 753-9094; Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

Will highlight new IT and sheet-metal job training as well as 25 employers with open positions

LEWISTON—The Lewiston CareerCenter is hosting a Job Fair on Monday, Oct. 6, from 9 to 11 a.m. at its building on 5 Mollison Way, Lewiston. More than 25 hiring employers are expected.

"With about 8,000 jobs on the Maine Job Bank, we know employers are looking for help," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "This job fair features different types of occupations and industries. Come prepared to interview with Lewiston-Auburn area employers and highlight the skills you will bring to their business."

In addition, attendees can learn about two new training opportunities in information technology and sheet metal occupations. The Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 of Maine will be offering information about apprenticeships that allow trainees to earn while they learn.

The Professional Development divisions of the Maine Community College System will deliver Comp TI A+ training for at least 150 laid-off Maine residents who qualify. Classes will be at no charge to the students. Jobs that use Comp TAI A + include technical support specialists, field service technicians, IT support technicians, IT support administrators and IT support specialists.

Employers participating in the job fair are ADECCO, Arcadia New England, Bank of America, Bates College, Care and Comfort, Catholic Charities, Cianbro, the City of Lewiston, Compounding Solutions, Creative Innovations, Clover Health Care, Crossmark, FedEx, Manpower, Medical Care Development, MGA Caststone Inc., National Able Network, Prudential Insurance, Sequel Care of Maine, the Small Business Administration, Staff Management, Stericycle and United Fabricants Strainrite.

Positions include stitching, carpenters, customer service, production, substitute teachers, educational technicians, financial service associates, construction, behavioral health professionals, direct care providers, drivers, cashiers and administrative assistants.

Attendees should bring a resume and be prepared to have an “interview-like” conversation with employers to discuss skills, knowledge areas and abilities. Job seekers should also be dressed for an interview.

French, Spanish and Somali interpreters will be available but requests should be made in advance to the CareerCenter.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of workshops and services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 753-9005 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 5 Mollison Way in Lewiston, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also find more information at the CareerCenter website, www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Maine Department of Labor Assisting Workers at Verso in Bucksport Bookmark and Share

October 1, 2014

ALERT—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, cell: 557-1483

Rapid Response team will schedule sessions and apply for Trade assistance

AUGUSTA – The Rapid Response team of the Maine Department of Labor has contacted the owners of Verso Paper Corp. in Bucksport. The WARN notification will be issued today with an anticipated closure date of December 1, 2014. The power plant will stay open. This shut down is anticipated to affect more than 400 union workers and an additional 100-plus salaried employees.

“This is a true loss for the region,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We are putting all of our available resources into assisting these workers, this industry and this region and we are also going to assist in the search for a buyer for this operation.”

The Rapid Response team will be meeting with the union and company officials as soon as possible to set up a plan of action including filing for Trade assistance and working with all partners in that area. A regional transition team is already in place and has been addressing the needs of workers affected by the other recent mill layoffs in the region.

The most recent Trade certification for Verso Bucksport expired in January of 2014.

The Bangor CareerCenter will be the point of contact for those affected. The CareerCenter, located at 45 Oak Street, Suite 3, Bangor is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

The Rapid Response program of the Bureau of Employment Services assists workers facing job loss due to downsizing or temporary or permanent closures. The Department of Labor can advise and assist employers and employees with information about their rights, responsibilities and obligations during such an event to safeguard the economic stability of workers and the surrounding community.

To find out more about the Rapid Response program, contact your local CareerCenter. The Bureau of Employment Services provides a variety of employment and training services for Maine workers, businesses and jobseekers through the Maine CareerCenter network, http://www.mainecareercenter.com/ .

Maine CareerCenters are equal opportunity providers. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.

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Department of Labor Offering Workplace Safety Classes in October Bookmark and Share

October 2, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Space is available for the safety classes in Augusta, Westbrook and Bangor

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards is hosting its no-charge safety courses for employers throughout October.

"My administration has made an effort to increase employer awareness of the many services our agencies provide that can help their business grow, comply with the law and avoid costly mistakes,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. "SafetyWorks! consultations can help employers address any hazard. They're not enforcement, there are no penalties and their work with your business remains confidential. I encourage businesses to take advantage of this program to provide a safe environment for their workers."

Courses are held at no charge to employers and their employees to ensure and promote safety in the workplace. The courses are held at the SafetyWorks! Training Institute at the Maine Department of Labor, 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta unless otherwise noted.

**10-Hour Construction Standards Training - October 9 to 10, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. **

This 1 1/2 day course gives basic information on several of the OSHA standards for construction (29 CFR 1926). Attendees who complete the course will receive an OSHA 10-hour course completion card for construction. Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on day one and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on day two. OTI charges $5 per card.

Safety Officer Training - October 9, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Bangor CareerCenter, 45 Oak Street

This training is designed for the new Safety Officer. Topics covered will include, but are not limited to, OSHA regulations, facility inspections, required training, and policies and procedures.

Accident Investigation/Injury Analysis - October 21, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

When work doesn't go as planned, accidents and near-misses happen. Investigating these incidents can prevent similar or even more serious problems from happening. Learn how to conduct a thorough accident/incident investigation and how to use your results to prevent future accidents.

OSHA Recordkeeping - October 23, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Westbrook Public Safety, 570 Main Street

This class provides a thorough and comprehensive six-hour training for both new and experienced safety and human resources personnel. You will learn the OSHA rule (29 CFR 1904) regarding recording and reporting work-related injuries and illnesses as it applies to your organization. This class includes several hands-on activities on how to correctly fill out the required injury reporting forms.

How to Conduct a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Assessment - October 28, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This course is designed to assist you in developing a PPE standard and how to organize your PPE needs. Employers must conduct a hazard assessment before requiring employees to use PPE. The assessment provides information needed to select the appropriate PPE for the hazards at the workplace. Learn how to conduct a hazard assessment in this hands-on class.

Vehicle Ergonomics and Worksite Wellness Training - October 29, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This is a four-hour program designed to offer basic information on ergonomics for those who spend much of their day in a vehicle. Drivers face a variety of problems related to ergonomics, stress job injuries, fatigue and exposures. Program participants will have an improved understanding of the importance of proper driving posture, varying work activities, stretching and activity breaks, limit some exposures and how to make regular correct adjustments to driving positions. Participants will also explore wellness and self-care strategies to reduce stress and back/neck pain and improve energy levels.

Machine Guarding - October 30, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Participants in this class will learn about the standards for metal and woodworking machines, as well as various machine guarding techniques. We will be applying basic guarding practices when specific issues aren't covered in the regulation. OSHA Subpart O will be covered.

Employers interested in registering can learn more and register at http://www.safetyworksmaine.com and clicking "More Classes" from the homepage. Space is limited so reservations are required.

SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year. Employers interested in learning more about the consulting and training services offered by SafetyWorks! should call 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or visit http://www.safetyworksmaine.com .

The Bureau of Labor Standards is Maine’s regulatory agency overseeing labor and employment law and workplace safety; it provides both consultation and enforcement services. The division promotes and achieves compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of Maine’s workforce.

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Human Resource Professionals Connect with State Labor Officials at Second HR Day Bookmark and Share

October 3, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 3, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009, cell: 557-1483

A few slots remain for the repeat engagement on Oct. 30 of this educational program for businesses

AUGUSTA—About two hundred human resource managers from across Maine gathered at the Department of Labor (DOL) building in Augusta on Thursday to meet with agency officials, learn more about the services the department provides employers and ask questions relating to employment regulations.

This was the second biannual presentation of a jointly-sponsored program with the Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (MESHRM).

“Employer engagement is what HR Day is all about—showing our businesses how we can be a help, not a hurdle,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Thank you to all of our participating employers for taking the time to get an update on both the law and the services the Department of Labor provides. My administration has placed a priority on making Maine a great state in which to live, work and do business.”

A few slots remain for a repeat engagement of HR Day 2014 on Thursday, October 30 from 9 a.m. to noon in Florian Hall at the Central Maine Commerce Center, 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta. Although there is no charge to attend the event, registration is required at http://meshrm.shrm.org/events/2014/10/day-maine-department-labor-encore-presentation . The Oct. 2 event filled within 24 hours of opening registration.

“This event was a huge success,” Deborah Whitworth, MESHRM director, stated. “The department’s team did a fantastic job in pulling the program together and the presentations were fabulous. The department chose just the right speakers who talked about just the right things. It’s clear that Commissioner Paquette and her team have their fingers on the pulse of what’s on the minds of HR practitioners in Maine.”

Christine Riendeau, Central Maine Medical Center’s senior HR business partner, said that HR Day “was great—connecting names with the faces within the department was helpful. We learned how DOL can support both the employer and the employee.”

The program, the Maine Department of Labor Update, featured Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette, the directors of the bureaus that comprise the department and other key department staff.

“It is important that businesses not only understand regulations, but that they understand that the Department of Labor offers a whole range of services that help Maine businesses hire, train, and keep a strong workforce. It also helps when an HR manager can match the name of our staff with a friendly face,” said Commissioner Paquette.

Programming highlights included descriptions of the services the department provides as wells as answers to frequently-asked labor law and unemployment questions. Subject-matter experts from the department's Bureau of Employment Services, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Bureau of Labor Standards, Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, and Center for Workforce Research and Information took questions from the audience in an open forum.

The Maine Department of Labor is committed to serving Maine workers and businesses by helping employers recruit and train a talented workforce, providing workers with the skills they need to be competitive in the economy, assisting individuals when jobs are lost, ensuring safe and fair workplaces for people on the job and researching and analyzing employment data to support job growth.

The Maine Department of Labor provides equal opportunity in employment and programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to people with disabilities.

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Supporting documents

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette addresses an audience of about 200 HR professionals at the Department of Labor’s HR Day on October 2, 2014.

HR professionals listen to State Labor officials at HR Day

Cumberland County Man Pays Unemployment Fraud Restitution of $26K Bookmark and Share

October 6, 2014

For Immediate Release: October 6, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009; cell: 207-557-1483

Collected benefits while employed

AUGUSTA— Thomas J. MacDonald of Portland, Maine was convicted on Sept. 22, 2014, of theft by deception for fraudulently receiving unemployment insurance payments. Unemployment benefit fraud involving principal amounts of $1,000 or more are considered felonies under Maine law.

MacDonald, age 41, worked and earned wages while collecting benefits. He was sentenced to 48 hours in the Cumberland County Jail and ordered to pay restitution of $25,820.25. The Department has received his restitution.

“The Department of Labor has been effective in increasing the conviction rate of people committing unemployment fraud,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Although some may say that fraud in our systems is ‘anecdotal,’ we know that obtaining benefits under false pretenses is a crime. Unemployment fraud takes money away from people who are genuinely in need and burdens the businesses that pay the unemployment taxes that fund the benefits.”

“We continue to move felony cases to prosecution,” stated Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “We want to send a strong message that fraud will not be tolerated. To date in 2014, the amount of fraudulent payments we have recovered through prosecution totals more than $167,000, and 79 fraud cases are pending with DAs.”

In 2012, a total of 15 cases were referred to district attorneys for prosecution, resulting in five convictions. In 2013, the department referred 88 cases.

“Fraud prosecution and prevention is a priority for the department. By improving our reporting systems, we get information more quickly from employers and perform better cross-matches against employment databases,” Commissioner Paquette said. “Once identified, we can recover the funds through prosecution, wage garnishments, offset of unemployment benefits, intercepts of federal and state tax returns and lottery winnings and voluntary payments.”

Commissioner Paquette explained what constitutes fraud, “For people claiming benefits, unemployment insurance fraud usually involves someone misrepresenting information to qualify for benefits,” she said. “In this case, an individual continued to claim benefits after returning to work. In other cases, individuals might report that they are looking for work when they are not, or they might report having contacted employers in their search for work that they did not actually contact. Some may file claims under false pretenses.”

To identify when people receiving benefits are hired for permanent work, the department cross-matches the list of active claimants against the National Directory of New Hires and against employer-reported quarterly wage data.

The Department of Labor actively pursues the collection of benefit overpayments and any associated fines and interest. The collection process usually begins with by contacting claimants to request repayment or establish a repayment schedule.

On the employer side of the unemployment system, fraud includes intentional misclassification of employees as independent contractors, misreporting worker wages to avoid payment of unemployment taxes and “SUTA dumping,” a rate manipulation practice for obtaining a lower tax rate than a company’s unemployment experience would otherwise allow.

Citizens can report instances of suspected unemployment fraud by phone, email, fax or mail; information is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/fraud.html . Tips can be kept confidential.

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Maine Oxy and Davis Brothers Earn Safety Awards Bookmark and Share

October 3, 2014

For Immediate Release: October 3, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Penobscot County businesses recognized for workplace safety

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that Maine Oxy of Brewer and Davis Brothers of Chester have each earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) in recognition of each business’ rigorous safety achievement program.

Acceptance into SHARP by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes each business as a model for worksite safety and health standards.

“Employers earn SHARP recognition by operating their facility under strict safety and health management standards,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We congratulate these two businesses for earning SHARP certification. They demonstrate to their peers that making safety a priority pays off for everyone.”

A banner and certificate will be presented to each business at separate ceremonies on Oct. 6, 2014.

Commissioner Paquette stated, “SHARP companies know that a safer facility is not only good for Maine workers, but also good for their businesses. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.”

Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification. These awards bring Maine’s total to 71 SHARP worksites.

To qualify for SHARP, companies must undergo a comprehensive audit, correct all hazards identified during an onsite health and safety consultation, demonstrate that effective safety and health programs are in place and maintain injury rates below the industry average for the last year of completed data. After awarding the SHARP designation, OSHA removes the worksite from its general scheduled inspection list for two years. If the company continues to meet all conditions of the program, the SHARP designation may be renewed for another two years.

Employers interested in learning more about the SHARP designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com .

SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with federal OSHA regulations and identifying training needs.

SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year.

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Departments of Labor and Veterans and Emergency Management Announce $2 Million Grant to Support Veterans in Partnership with Easter Seals Maine Bookmark and Share

October 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 2014
Contact: Labor— Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009; DVEM—Norman Stickney, 207-430-5759; Easter Seals—Amie Marzen, 207-449-2896

Focus on connecting transitioning veterans and their families in rural areas with employment

AUGUSTA— The Maine Department of Labor announced today that it has won a $2 million grant to assist veterans who are transitioning to civilian life in rural areas of the state gain access to employment, healthcare and support services and resources. Partner agencies in the grant include DVEM and Easter Seals Maine. Northern Maine Development Commission will also receive funding due to the grant’s particular focus on Aroostook and Washington Counties.

“This grant will provide much-needed supports to our veterans, who have given our country so much,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Commissioner Paquette directed her staff to identify grants that could benefit our workforce development programs. This program is a beneficiary of her successful efforts and will do a great deal to help our veterans transition back into civilian life with a new career.”

The grant was awarded as part of the Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot (RVCP) from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Rural Health. Veterans Count, a program of Easter Seals Maine, provides military members, veterans and their families with emergency funding, counseling, legal assistance and other services when regular channels of assistance are not available.

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “The LePage Administration has made great progress connecting the pieces of the state’s workforce development system to make them more collaborative and be more responsive to businesses’ hiring needs. This grant funds staff to bring those connections together to work for real people, our veterans—by transforming their career options and improving their financial situation.”

This grant will provide outreach to transitioning veterans and their families, increase coordination of healthcare and benefits for veterans, and provide employment assistance to transitioning veterans and their families. The resources it provides will include support service dollars and the development of an education database to assist veterans with transferring military skills and training into civilian occupations.

Easter Seals Maine Executive Director Gail Wilkerson stated, “The Maine Easter Seals' Military and Veterans Program is honored to work with the Maine Department of Labor to expand our veterans services from southern Maine into Aroostook and Washington Counties. Working in partnership with local community agencies, we look forward to helping assure the independence, dignity, health and well-being of veterans and their families in the northernmost and easternmost reaches of the state.”

A key component of the proposal includes $200,000 for a Veterans Flexible Employment Fund that will provide gap funding for work-ready and employed veterans to help them obtain or maintain employment, including uniforms and/or tools needed for a job.

The grant provides funding for 11 full-time positions statewide with the partner agencies, with hiring preference given to qualified veteran applicants. The project period for the grant runs from Sept. 15, 2014 to Sept. 14, 2016.

Through collaborations with other VA program offices, Federal partners, state partners, and rural communities, the VA Office of Rural Health works to optimize the use of available and emerging technologies, establish new access points to care, and employ strategies to increase health care options for all rural Veterans. Learn more about ORH at http://www.ruralhealth.va.gov/index.asp.

Maine CareerCenters offer specialized employment services to help Veterans find jobs, get trained, or access services, including job search assistance, career decision-making guidance to translate military skills to good jobs in the civilian workforce, information on training or education opportunities and referrals to other state and federal resources available to Veterans.

Veterans with questions about this grant or other services should contact the veterans representative at their local CareerCenter, http://www.mainecareercenter.com . Veterans and eligible spouses are given priority of service for the receipt of employment, training and placement services provided under most Maine Department of Labor-funded programs. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Supporting documents

Veteran Richard Mariello of Old Orchard Beach speaks about the support he and his family received from Easter Seals Maine’s Veterans Count program while he was on active duty and after his return to civilian life. The $2 million grant awarded to the Department of Labor will expand these services statewide, providing military members, veterans and their families with employment assistance as well as emergency funding, counseling, legal assistance and other services when regular channels of assistance are not available.

Department of Veterans and Emergency Management Commissioner Brigadier General James D. Campbell

Gail J. Wilkerson, Executive Director of Easter Seals Maine

October Forums Assist Social Security Beneficiaries in Identifying Work Opportunities Bookmark and Share

October 9, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 9, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Ticket-to-Work helps people with disabilities “Choose Fulfillment. Choose Earnings. Choose Work!”

AUGUSTA—Maine CareerCenters are hosting a series of community forums in October highlighting incentives to assist people receiving Social Security disability benefits in returning to work. The public is welcome to attend. Pre-registration is encouraged.

“October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. We want to assist every Maine citizen in gaining meaningful employment,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Research shows that people with disabilities are loyal employees and loyal customers. Hiring workers with disabilities just makes good business sense.”

More information about the Ticket-to-Work program is available here http://www.mainecareercenter.com/docs/collectingssiorssdiback to work.pdf .

“People with disabilities can achieve their employment goals without fear of losing essential supports,” explained Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “These workshops showcase the many services available to people with disabilities. The Department of Labor can help people identify training programs, find a good job and make new connections with their community and a wider network of support. We also assist businesses in hiring or keeping workers who have disabilities.”

Participants will learn about the Ticket to Work initiative that provides many Social Security beneficiaries with more choices for receiving employment services. The program encourages eligible Mainers to work through the CareerCenter network to access employment and training services, vocational rehabilitation and other support services necessary to achieve an employment goal. Each CareerCenter in the state has staff available to assist people with disabilities.

To register or to learn more, people interested should contact their regional CareerCenter. The contact information for each CareerCenter’s Ticket-to-Work liaison is listed along with the fall workshop date and time. Additional employment resources for individuals with disabilities are available at http://www.employmentforme.org . TTY users should call Maine Relay 711.

Augusta CareerCenter, October 29, 2014, 9 to 11 a.m. Contact: Lisa Woods, 207-624-5120 or 1-800-760-1573, Lisa.Woods@maine.gov

Bangor CareerCenter, October 23, 2014, 1 to 3 p.m. Contact: Mike Johnson, 207-561-4050 or 1-888-828-0568, Michael.J.Johnson@maine.gov

Lewiston CareerCenter, October 27, 2014, 9 to 11 a.m. Contact: Linda Roberts, 207-753-9000 or 1-800-741-2991, Linda.J.Roberts@maine.gov

Presque Isle CareerCenter, October 22, 2014, 1 to 3 p.m. Contact: Peter Lento, 207-760-6300, Peter.Lento@maine.gov , 1-800-635-0357

Portland CareerCenter: October 15, 2014, 1 to 3 p.m. Contact: Senja St. John, 207-771-5627 or 1-877-594-5627, Senja.St.John@maine.gov

Wilton CareerCenter, October 16, 2014, 1 to 3 p.m. Contact: Cheryl Moran, 207-753-9030, Cheryl.A.Moran@maine.gov

York County CareerCenter, Springvale October 20, 2014, 1 to 3 p.m. Contact: Allen Blackstone or Helena Ferland, 207-324-5460 or 1-800-343-0151, Allen.Blackstone@maine.gov or Helena.C.Ferland@maine.gov

Maine’s statewide network of CareerCenters provides one-stop employment resources, including computers and Internet access, for job seekers and employers. Services for job seekers include job referrals, career counseling, job hunting workshops, labor market information, skills assessment and information on training. CareerCenters also offer specialized employment services for people with disabilities.

For more information, visit your local CareerCenter or call 1-888-457-888 (TTY users dial Maine Relay 711) or visit http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

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Department of Labor Update on Rapid Response Actions at Verso in Bucksport Bookmark and Share

October 9, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 9, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, cell: 557-1483

Rapid Response team has scheduled sessions, employers coming forward to hire workers

AUGUSTA – The Rapid Response team of the Maine Department of Labor has met with and continues to be in close contact with the management and unions of Verso Paper Corp. in Bucksport, planning and implementing assistance for the more than 500 affected workers.

“The department hit the ground running by taking immediate action to assist during this difficult time,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Our team submitted the TRADE petition to the federal government within 24 hours of learning about the layoff. Assisting these workers and their families is our number one priority as we continue to look for a buyer for the facility.”

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “This effort is all about coordination and communication between our Rapid Response staff in Augusta, our CareerCenter in Bangor, the company, the unions, the workers, and community partners. I have been heartened by the outpouring of support from regional employers and organizations that want to connect these workers with new jobs. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you want to help.”

The Rapid Response team met with the union and company officials on Oct. 6. At that meeting, department officials distributed the needs assessment forms, which will be collected and processed over the next two weeks. The needs assessment asks workers to self-disclose information such as skills, certifications, degrees, desired training, as well as veteran status and other details that will aid in identifying the next steps for each affected worker.

As workers complete and return that information, other assistance will be provided. Scheduled events (subject to change) include resume assistance workshops the week of Oct. 13 and Rapid Response Information Sessions on site at Verso during the week of Oct. 20 with both afternoon and evening sessions. A job fair will be held on site on Monday, Oct. 27.

In addition, the 17th Annual Fall Career Fair will be held at the Bangor Mall, 663 Stillwater Ave, Bangor from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15.

Following these events, additional meetings addressing healthcare options, possible TRADE assistance, workshops and job and resource fairs will be scheduled. A regional transition team is already in place and has been addressing the needs of workers affected by the other recent mill layoffs in the region. They will be meeting on Oct. 14 in response to the Verso situation and will assist in planning and providing additional support and follow up.

“We remind employers that the department’s first place to look for jobs for affected workers is the Maine Job Bank, which had 8,400 jobs listed late Tuesday, an all-time high. We thank all employers who have let us know of their openings and suggest that they post them on the Job Bank at http://www.mainecareercenter.com ,” said Commissioner Paquette. “We want workers to understand the support that is here for them as they make the best decisions for themselves and their families. They do not have to make this transition alone.”

The Bangor CareerCenter will be the point of contact for those affected. The CareerCenter, located at 45 Oak Street, Suite 3, Bangor is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are equal opportunity providers. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.

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Disability Mentoring Day Highlights Opportunities for Students with Disabilities Bookmark and Share

October 10, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 10, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, cell: 557-1483

Focus on increasing opportunity and businesses awareness on October 15

AUGUSTA—Disability Mentoring Day, a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities and part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, is a nationwide effort celebrated on October 15 to promote career development for students with disabilities through hands-on career exploration. The Maine Department of Labor continues to raise awareness of the benefits of employing people with disabilities and to further the theme of the month: “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

“I encourage Maine businesses to look for opportunities to connect everyone with meaningful employment,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Everyone who wants to work should have a job, and the Department of Labor is encouraging this by focusing on what people can do, not what they can’t. Disability Mentoring Day is a way for employers to look at their own opportunities in a similar manner. Let’s look at possibilities, not barriers, and empower all of our people with a good-paying career.”

The department's Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) partners with businesses interested in including people with disabilities in their work. The bureau offers no-cost services that include consultation, recruiting talented job seekers with disabilities; training; job support, coaching, and training for job seekers with disabilities; providing assistance with workplace accommodations, job retention/return-to-work services and financial incentives.

“We know that employment is a bridge that builds self-esteem and relationships while eliminating isolation and dependency,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “We can do more as a society to help people with disabilities find work and support them when they do. Please contact the Department of Labor if your business would like to learn more about our mentoring and job shadowing programs. We are about connecting the right employee with the right job to the benefit of all.”

Bates College and Bank of America’s Support Services worked with BRS over the summer on job-shadowing events that introduced students to opportunities with their organizations

On August 8, youth, family members, community rehabilitation providers and BRS staff toured the campus of Bates College in Lewiston and listened to presentations on career opportunities from the manager of dining services and head of security. An attendee who said he wanted to work outdoors was encouraged to apply for an open groundskeeper position with Bates and was later hired.

“Bates has recognized that reaching out to individuals from untapped labor pools is essential to our workforce in the coming years as we face a looming labor shortage,” said Amie Parker, director of employment. “Youth Disability Mentoring Day was a great way for us to reach out to youth and demonstrate that we are a vibrant and inclusive campus, an employer seeking to hire individuals of all abilities and ages.”

Youth and staff from the bureau visited the Belfast facility of Bank of America on August 28. The bank’s Support Services program provides people with cognitive and developmental disabilities full-time jobs within their community. Attendees toured the facility, job shadowed staff and performed tasks in the data entry, quality assurance and special projects division. Over the past two years, six vocational rehabilitation clients have been hired by Bank of America.

In 2014, Maine’s vocational rehabilitation program assisted 1,003 individuals with disabilities in finding employment. In 2013, the 921 clients the program help employ earned combined wages totaling almost $18 million.

Maine residents with disabilities considering employment options are encouraged to access Maine’s network of CareerCenters as well as the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services at (207) 623-6799 . To find your local CareerCenter, call 1-888-457-888 or visit http://www.mainecareercenter.com . TTY users please use Maine Relay 711.

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Strouts Point Wharf and Rumery’s Boat Yard Earn Safety Awards Bookmark and Share

October 10, 2014

For Immediate Release: October 10, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Businesses recognized for workplace safety

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that Strouts Point Wharf of South Freeport and Rumery’s Boat Yard of Biddeford have each earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) in recognition of their rigorous safety programs.

Acceptance into SHARP by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes each business as a model for worksite safety and health standards.

“Businesses earn SHARP recognition by operating their facility under strict safety and health management standards,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We congratulate these two marine businesses for earning SHARP certification. They demonstrate to the industry that making safety a priority pays off for everyone.”

A banner and certificate were presented to each business at separate ceremonies on Oct. 1, 2014.

Commissioner Paquette stated, “SHARP companies know that a safer facility is not only good for Maine workers, but also good for their businesses. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.”

Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification. These awards bring Maine’s total to 71 SHARP worksites.

To qualify for SHARP, companies must undergo a comprehensive audit, correct all hazards identified during an onsite health and safety consultation, demonstrate that effective safety and health programs are in place and maintain injury rates below the industry average for the last year of completed data. After awarding the SHARP designation, OSHA removes the worksite from its general scheduled inspection list for two years. If the company continues to meet all conditions of the program, the SHARP designation may be renewed for another two years.

Employers interested in learning more about the SHARP designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com .

SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with federal OSHA regulations and identifying training needs.

SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year.

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Supporting documents

Pamela Megathlin, director of the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards, presents Sean Tarpey of Rumery’s Boat Yard in Biddeford with the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program award.

More Than 8,400 Jobs Available This Month on the Maine Job Bank Bookmark and Share

October 13, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, cell: 557-1483

Number of open positions hits all-time high

AUGUSTA—The Maine Job Bank at http://www.mainecareercenter.com had more than 8,400 total job openings on October 8, an all-time high.

“I have spent time over the past several weeks visiting businesses that are expanding in Maine, including St. Croix Tissue in Baileyville, The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Central Maine Cold Storage in Bucksport, Lincoln Logs in Burnham and Jotul in Gorham,” Said Governor Paul LePage. “We know the economy in Maine is improving, and similar opportunities are reflected on the Maine Job Bank. It is a priority of my administration to connect people with well-paying careers; using the Job Bank is a good place for job seekers to start.”

The jobs on the Job Bank include positions in healthcare, manufacturing, business services and many other industries, ranging from entry-level to senior executives and professionals. For example, MaineGeneral Medical Center posted 170 positions in Augusta, Waterville, Winthrop and Jackman this past week.

Job seekers can also find temporary or year-round, full-time, part-time or assignment work throughout the state with staffing firms at the Job Bank with Adecco, BONNEY Staffing, and Maine Staffing Group.

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette explained how the department uses the Job Bank to help laid-off, unemployed or underemployed workers, “We remind employers that the department’s first place to look for jobs for affected workers is the Maine Job Bank. We thank all employers who have let us know of their openings in light of recent layoffs and suggest that all employers post positions on the Job Bank; there they can post and access their account 24/7 at no charge. There is also no cost to job seekers to search or post their resumes.”

About Maine Job Bank

All job listings on the Maine Job Bank have been posted within the last 90 days by employers and dedicated staff at the Department of Labor. The team at the department reviews each employer that registers and its respective postings before activating the job live on the site. CareerCenter staff follow up with employers after two weeks to review the listing's response, make any adjustments or take the listing down when filled.

Those who register for a no-cost job seeker account will be able to add their resume, enter their skills and experience and create email alerts to receive jobs that most closely match their profile. The Maine Job Bank includes a custom matching system that connects the requirements of the job opening with the skills and experience of a job seeker.

Registered job seekers have accepted 35,000 of these referrals since the beginning of the program year on July 1, 2014; accepting the referral is the first step in applying for the job.

The Maine Job Bank is one of many no-charge services provided by the CareerCenters; all services and workshops help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O*Net software for skills assessment. Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

The Maine Job Bank incorporates a high level of security and user confidentiality and is put through rigorous testing for ADA compliance.

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White House to Recognize Falmouth Resident for Leadership in Employing People with Disabilities in Maine Bookmark and Share

October 13, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, cell: 557-1483

Highlights Procter & Gamble’s model partnership with the Maine Department of Labor

AUGUSTA—On October 14, 2014 at 1:30 p.m., the White House will honor David Bartage of Falmouth, plant finance manager of Procter and Gamble’s facility in Auburn, as a "Champion of Change"—part of a focus on people doing extraordinary work to create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

A video describing the employment program at the P&G plant is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_R9xoRSdeM&feature=youtu.be .

“Fewer than one third of working-age Mainers with disabilities are employed. Of those seeking work, nearly 20 percent are unemployed,” said Governor Paul LePage. “Procter and Gamble’s partnership with our Department of Labor’s vocational rehabilitation program to identify, train and employ people with disabilities continues to gain national recognition and serves as a role model for other Maine employers looking to diversify their workforce. Our goal is to connect everyone who wants to work with meaningful employment and all of the benefits that come with a good job.”

Bartage’s leadership helped develop accessible employment opportunities at the Auburn plant’s FlexiCenter, where 40 percent of employees are individuals with disabilities. Since the FlexiCenter’s inception, there has been an increase in customization productivity and workforce morale across the entire plant.

“The Tambrands plant in Auburn is the first P&G plant to undertake such an initiative,” stated Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “David and P&G have been helping us promote disability inclusion in Maine by sharing their business process, results and lessons learned. We are proud to be a partner in employing people in good-paying jobs with the team at P&G in Auburn.”

The Auburn plant used an existing part-time hiring model that fit the staffing needs of the FlexiCenter. All employees have the same work expectations, as well as pay, without exception.

This model enables people with disabilities to find meaningful work and has been recognized by Disability Matters with their 2012 Workforce Award. The FlexiCenter employment model has also received statewide recognition from the Maine Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s Award, and the Employer of the Year Award from the Disability Rights Center.

The Champions of Change event will be live-streamed on the White House website at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

Maine’s vocational rehabilitation program is part of the department’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. In 2014, it assisted 1,003 individuals with disabilities in finding employment. In 2013, the 921 clients the program help employ earned combined wages totaling almost $18 million.

Maine employers who are interested in learning more about the benefits of diversifying their workforce can contact the Business Relations Team at 1-855-ALL-HIRE. At no charge to the employer, BRS can provide access to prescreened, qualified job applicants; assistance with determining workplace accommodations; job retention and return-to-work services; information about financial incentives for hiring persons with disabilities and additional resources.

People can access services through Maine’s statewide network of CareerCenters or by visiting http://www.employmentforme.org and http://www.mainecareercenter.com/employment/disabilities/index.shtml .

To find out the location of your local CareerCenter, call 1-888-457-888 (TTY users dial Maine Relay 711) or visit http://www.mainecareercenter.com . Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Correction: The spelling of Procter was corrected from an earlier version.

Hiring Maine’s Heroes Job Fair November 12 in Brunswick Bookmark and Share

October 14, 2014

For Immediate Release: October 14, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009, Leon Ouimet 207-373-4000

The job fair is open to the public; the first hour is dedicated to Veterans, service members and their families.

BRUNSWICK—The Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber and the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter are co-sponsoring the third annual Hiring Maine's Heroes job fair on Wednesday, November 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 2 Columbus Drive, Brunswick.

To honor our veterans, the fair will open to veterans, service members and their families at 10 a.m. and will feature an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Statement of Support Signing hosted by Brigadier General Gerard Bolduc, Maine Air National Guard commander.The general public is welcome starting at 11 a.m.

"We've set a record this month with 8,435 jobs on the Maine Job Bank; we know employers are looking for help," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "This job fair features different types of occupations and industries. Come prepared to interview with Midcoast-area employers and highlight the skills you will bring to their business."

Employers interested in participating in this job fair should contact Michael Dyer in the CareerCenter's Brunswick office at 373-4010 or Michael.P.Dyer@maine.gov.

“Job fairs are a great way for people to learn about many types of jobs in many different industries,” said Maine Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “They are also a great opportunity for job seekers to make a strong first impression with an employer.”

Employers with immediate job openings and representing a wide variety of industries will be in attendance including: Bonney Staffing; Cianbro; Primerica Financial; Reed & Reed Construction; SUPSHIP Bath; Bath Iron Works; Granite Bay Care; Lowe’s; Bank of America; Home Care for Maine; Providence Human Services; State of Maine, Department of Administrative & Financial Services; Goodwill of NNE; Panera; Merrymeeting Behavioral Health; U.S. Cellular; State of Maine, Department of Corrections; Catholic Charities of Maine; Oxford Casino; Direct Community Care; Maine Staffing Group; Mid-Coast Hospital; CDI Corporation; Stericycle, Inc.; and Family Respite Program | NAMI Maine

Additional sponsors of the job fair include Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Hero 2 Hired and Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc.

Recently separated or transitioning veterans can attend a Mini Transition Assistance Program workshop starting at noon. The workshop, available on a first-come, first-served basis and facilitated by Wendy Moody, transition assistance advisor for the state of Maine with Skyline Unlimited, will cover a wide range of topics to help with the reintegration process.

Job seekers should bring a resume and, more important, should be prepared to have an “interview-like” conversation with employers to discuss skills, knowledge and abilities. Attendees should also be dressed for an interview.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of workshops and services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O*Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are no-cost.

Job seekers call (207) 373-4000 or 1-888-836-3355 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information. You can also find more information at the CareerCenter website, www.mainecareercenter.com. For booth information, employers may call the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter at 207-373-4010.

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Maine Unemployment Rate 5.8 Percent in September Bookmark and Share

October 21, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 21, 2014
Contact: Glenn Mills, Glenn.A.Mills@maine.gov, 207-621-5192

State Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette released September workforce estimates for Maine.

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in September was up slightly from 5.6 percent in August and down from 6.6 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 6,000 over the year to 40,700.

The employment to population ratio estimate of 60.9 percent remained above the U.S. average (59.0 percent) for the 84th consecutive month.

Our analysts advise recent estimates are correction from unusually favorable estimates earlier in the year. Similar patterns occurred in previous years, which can be seen in the charts here: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/revisions.html and described in note 1. Additionally, the larger employer payroll survey indicates workforce conditions continue to improve.

The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 5.9 percent was down slightly from 6.1 percent in August and down from 7.2 percent one year ago. The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 5.9 percent was down slightly from 6.1 percent in August and down from 7.2 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 6.0 percent. Rates for other states were 4.3 percent in New Hampshire, 4.4 percent in Vermont, 6.0 percent in Massachusetts, 7.6 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.4 percent in Connecticut.

Labor force and unemployment data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus1.html .

Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for September of 611,800 is up 9,400 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 9,300, primarily in the leisure and hospitality, education and healthcare, professional and business services, and retail trade sectors. The estimate for government was little changed, up 100 from one year ago (see note 2).

Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces1.html .

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in September, down from 5.8 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 4.2 percent in Cumberland County to 7.6 percent in Washington County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties.

Among metro areas the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (4.2 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (4.9 percent) and close to the statewide average in Bangor (5.3 percent).

This release is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html .

October estimates will be released Friday, November 21 (Data Release Schedule http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).

NOTES:

  1. Preliminary labor force estimates, including unemployment and employment to population ratios for Maine tend to move in a direction for several months and then reverse course. Those directional trends are largely driven by a smoothing procedure and may not indicate a change in underlying workforce conditions. Annual revisions (to be published in March 2015) will eliminate those directional patterns. A comparison of preliminary and annually revised unemployment rates is available at http://cwri.blogspot.com/2014/03/workforce-data-revisions-part-1.html.

  2. Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates tend to be volatile from month to month. Users should look to the trend over multiple months rather than the change from one specific month to another. Estimates for the period from October 2013 to September 2014 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2015. Those benchmark revisions are likely to show less volatility than preliminary estimates.

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Augusta Area Job Fair to be Held October 27 at the CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

October 22, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 22, 2014
Contact: Peter Diplock, Augusta CareerCenter Manager, 624-5183; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, cell 557-1483

Job fair will run from 3 to 6 p.m. to accommodate job seeker schedules

AUGUSTA—About two dozen employers will hiring for positions in manufacturing, retail, health care, construction and customer service at the Augusta CareerCenter on Oct. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m. The CareerCenter is located at 21 Enterprise Drive, suite 2 in Augusta.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; there are about 8,500 open jobs on our Job Bank right now,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “My administration knows that we still have more to do to get all Mainers back into the workforce in a good-paying career. Our CareerCenters are the first step for those who want a job or want to change paths, and this job fair is a good place to start. Don’t hesitate to ask them for the help that can change your future for the better.”

Participating employers include Catholic Charities, Bath Iron Works, Sequel Care of Maine, Maine-ly Elder Care, Formed Fiber Technologies, Great Falls Marketing, Maine Revenue Service, Tex Tech Industries, Dish Network, Providence Human Services, Woodlands Senior Living of Waterville and Hallowell, Stericycle, Integrated Sales Solutions, Sears, Arcadia Health Services, Care and Comfort, Home Care for Maine, The Children’s Center, Chipotle, Target, MAS Homecare of Maine, Maine Conservation Corp., Carbonite, Labor Ready, City of Lewiston Police Department, Bonney Staffing and Mount Saint Joseph Residence and Rehabilitation.

All are seeking qualified employees to fill current positions. Job seekers are encouraged to dress appropriately, bring a current resume and be prepared to interview.

The Augusta CareerCenter holds monthly jobs fairs and also offers recruitment opportunities for individual employers.

The November Job Fair is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 624-5120 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711). More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Participating employers list updated as of October 23.

Katahdin Health Care Earns Safety Award Bookmark and Share

October 22, 2014

For Immediate Release: October 22, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009, cell: 557-1483

Millinocket facility recognized for workplace safety

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that Katahdin Health Care in Millinocket has earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) in recognition of its rigorous safety achievement program. Katahdin Health is a 36-bed facility specializing in long-term, skilled rehabilitation and dementia care.

Acceptance into SHARP by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes this facility, part of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, as a model for worksite safety and health standards.

“Employers earn SHARP recognition by operating their facility under strict safety and health management standards,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We congratulate Katahdin Health Care for earning SHARP certification. They demonstrate to their peers that making safety a priority pays off for not only their patients but also their workers.”

A banner and certificate will be presented in a ceremony on Oct. 28, 2014.

Commissioner Paquette stated, “SHARP companies know that a safer facility is not only good for Maine workers, but also good for their businesses. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.”

Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification. Maine currently has 71 SHARP worksites.

To qualify for SHARP, companies must undergo a comprehensive audit, correct all hazards identified during an onsite health and safety consultation, demonstrate that effective safety and health programs are in place and maintain injury rates below the industry average for the last year of completed data. After awarding the SHARP designation, OSHA removes the worksite from its general scheduled inspection list for two years. If the company continues to meet all conditions of the program, the SHARP designation may be renewed for another two years.

Employers interested in learning more about the SHARP designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com .

SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with federal OSHA regulations and identifying training needs.

SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year.

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Job Fair in Lewiston on November 3 Bookmark and Share

October 23, 2014

For Immediate Release: October 23, 2014
Contact: Mary LaFontaine, 753-9094; Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

25 employers are hiring for a wide range of positions

LEWISTON—The Lewiston CareerCenter is hosting a Job Fair on Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, from 9 to 11 a.m. at its building on 5 Mollison Way, Lewiston. About two dozen employers will be hiring.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; there are about 8,500 open jobs on our Job Bank right now,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “My administration knows that we still have more to do to get all Mainers back into the workforce in a good-paying career. Our CareerCenters are the first step for those who want a job or want to change paths, and this job fair in Lewiston is a good place to start. Don’t hesitate to ask them for the help that can change your future for the better.”

Employers participating in the job fair are ADECCO, Bath Iron Works, Clover Health Care, Dish Network, FedEx, Geiger, Great Falls Marketing, Industrial Roofing Companies, J. F. Murphy Homes, Kelly Services, Labor Ready, MAS Home Health Care, Maine Conservation Corps, Maine Revenue Service, Manpower, Panera Bread, Oxford Casino, SequelCare of Maine LLC, United Fabricants Strainrite, Wal-Mart, the Small Business Administration, Unum, Home Care for Maine and Xerox.

Positions include stitching, carpenters, customer service, production, CNAs, personal support specialist, roofing, direct care, retail, manufacturing, technicians, machinists, revenue agent and drivers.

Information will also be available from the Professional Development divisions of the Maine Community College System regarding Comp TI A+ training for at least 150 laid-off Maine residents who qualify. Classes will be at no charge to the students. Jobs that use Comp TAI A + include technical support specialists, field service technicians, IT support technicians, IT support administrators and IT support specialists.

Attendees should bring a resume and be prepared to have an “interview-like” conversation with employers to discuss skills, knowledge areas and abilities. Job seekers should also be dressed for an interview.

French, Spanish and Somali interpreters will be available but requests should be made in advance to the CareerCenter.

CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of workshops and services to help people find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 753-9005 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 5 Mollison Way in Lewiston, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also find more information at the CareerCenter website, www.mainecareercenter.com .

Maine CareerCenters are an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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Steel-Pro Earns Safety Award Bookmark and Share

October 23, 2014

For Immediate Release: October 23, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009, cell: 557-1483

Rockland manufacturer recognized for workplace safety

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that Steel-Pro, Inc., in Rockland has earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) in recognition of its rigorous safety achievement program. Steel-Pro is a custom manufacturer of ASME pressure vessels, biopharmaceutical equipment, modular skids, vacuum chambers, storage tanks and other custom designed equipment and stainless steel applications.

Acceptance into SHARP by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes this worksite as a model for safety and health standards.

“Employers earn SHARP recognition by operating their facility under strict safety and health management standards,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We congratulate Steel-Pro for earning SHARP certification. They demonstrate to their industry that making safety a priority pays off.”

A banner and certificate will be presented in a ceremony on Oct. 29, 2014.

Commissioner Paquette stated, “SHARP companies know that a safer facility is not only good for Maine workers, but also good for their businesses. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.”

Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification. Maine currently has 71 SHARP worksites.

To qualify for SHARP, companies must undergo a comprehensive audit, correct all hazards identified during an onsite health and safety consultation, demonstrate that effective safety and health programs are in place and maintain injury rates below the industry average for the last year of completed data. After awarding the SHARP designation, OSHA removes the worksite from its general scheduled inspection list for two years. If the company continues to meet all conditions of the program, the SHARP designation may be renewed for another two years.

Employers interested in learning more about the SHARP designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com .

SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with federal OSHA regulations and identifying training needs.

SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year.

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