Rapid Response Sessions Scheduled for Workers Affected by the Meat House Closures Bookmark and Share

February 21, 2014

For Immediate Release: February 21, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

Sessions will be held in York and Portland next week

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor has scheduled two sessions for workers affected by the closing of the Meat House locations in Scarborough and York. Workers who have lost their job may be eligible to collect unemployment benefits and other services.

“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 sessions will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1 to 2 p.m. at the York Public Library, 15 Long Sands Road in York and on Wednedsay, Feb. 26, 1 to 2 p.m. at the Portland CareerCenter, 85 Lancaster Street in Portland.

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 jobseekers 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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Department of Labor Launches New System to Capture Unemployment Overpayments through Federal Income Tax Refunds Bookmark and Share

February 24, 2014

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Amounts owed from a 10-year lookback will be offset from refunds

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor is launching a new system to recover unemployment benefit debt from the past 10 years by offsetting federal income tax refunds in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. The debt resulted from either fraud on the part of the claimant or a claimant’s failure to report earnings while collecting benefits. The department expects to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next year through the Treasury Offset Program (TOPs).

“This new offset offers the department a way to recapture millions of dollars it is owed and return it to the unemployment trust fund,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The Department of Labor has improved several of its reporting systems to identify potential fraud more quickly. Fraud prosecution and prevention help us keep taxes lower for employers and preserve benefits for those who truly need them.”

Letters have been sent to people who need to repay benefits for which they were not eligible. The letter warns them that they owe funds, are eligible for this offset and offers the opportunity to pay the department directly or set up a payment plan. In response to this letter, more than 375 people have taken advantage of the payment plan, totaling more than $70,000 in payments.

The department will continue to add interest and other charges to the unpaid debt until the balance is paid in full. The U.S. Department of the Treasury charges a fee to debtors if their federal income tax refund is offset.

TOPs is authorized by the Debt Collection Act of 1982 and the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996. The department is launching TOPS by offsetting federal tax refunds but is authorized to offset other types of federal payments in the future.

The principal owed the department will be deposited in the unemployment trust fund where it will be used to pay future unemployment benefits. Fees from penalties and interest are deposited into a separate fund that is used to fund improvements to the unemployment system and cover payments made out of the state’s Wage Assurance Fund.

The Department of Labor actively pursues the collection of benefit overpayments and any associated fines and interest. The collection process usually begins by contacting claimants to request repayment or establish a repayment schedule. The department may offset federal income tax refund payments through TOPS, state tax refunds, lottery winnings, future unemployment benefits or garnish wages to recover the overpayment along with accrued interest and legal expenses.

People who believe that they owe the Department of Labor money related to an overpayment or who believe that they received this letter in error should contact a collection representative at (207) 621-5154 or division.uccollections@Maine.gov. TTY Users should call Maine Relay 711.

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette explained what constitutes unemployment fraud. “For people claiming benefits, unemployment insurance fraud usually involves someone misrepresenting information to collect benefits,” she said. “An individual may continue to claim benefits after returning to work or while incarcerated. 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 or earning wages that may not have been reported, 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 also cross-matches the active claimant list against a list of people incarcerated in state correctional facilities.

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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Statement from Commissioner Paquette: Growing Medicaid Budget Forces Cuts That Prevent Mainers from Getting Trained for New Jobs Bookmark and Share

February 25, 2014

For Immediate Release: February 25, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette has issued the following statement describing the effects of the growth of DHHS’s budget on the Department of Labor’s ability to assist the long term unemployed and the underemployed.

Growing Medicaid Budget Forces Cuts That Prevent Mainers from Getting Trained for New Jobs

Governor Paul R. LePage has said that because Maine already expanded welfare a decade ago, “Medicaid is now cannibalizing funding from all other state agencies.” This is particularly true in the Department of Labor, where loss of General Fund revenue has prevented many of our citizens from getting a hand up—not a handout—with a good job.

Many of DOL’s job training programs and other initiatives to help businesses hire skilled workers were once funded by General Fund revenue or a mix of state and federal funding. But state funds have been cut drastically, leaving DOL dependent on shrinking federal dollars—dollars that come with many restrictions.

Investments in job training targeted to high-wage, in-demand jobs provide a significant return; in general, trainees earn higher wages with better benefits than they did upon entering the program. The department’s programs are needed the most during economic downturns, yet our funding has declined, while demand for our services has increased.

The department has not been able to sustain a number of programs that help people transition from unemployment and welfare back into the workforce.

Forced by state funding cuts, DOL in 2007 and 2008 had to close almost half of its 22 CareerCenters, including sites in Rumford, Dover-Foxcroft, Ellsworth, Houlton, Belfast, Saco and Waterville, as well as satellite locations in Newcastle, South Paris and Madawaska. Little did the state realize how critical this decision would be just a few years later as these communities dealt with the recession.

These closures severely limited Maine’s ability to assist the unemployed, making job-search support and job-training services much harder to access.

Funding for another program, the Maine Enterprise Option, is gone. This program helped unemployment recipients start their own businesses by providing business management training. Running this program requires our staff to track and evaluate participants to ensure compliance with program requirements.

Between 2006 and 2012, 2,730 people were trained to start businesses, including web and graphic design, bookkeeping, restaurants, dog grooming and bed and breakfasts. But federal Workforce Investment Act funding for this program went away, and we have no state resources to fund it. So DOL stopped enrolling people in 2012.

The Department of Labor no longer upskills workers through the Governor’s Training Initiative, which was funded at a little more than $3 million in 2004, fell to $501,984 in 2010, then dropped to zero dollars in 2011.

Just this year, the Legislature swept $2.5 million from the Competitive Skills Scholarship Program fund to balance the budget. This fund, paid by employers through an offset to unemployment taxes, helps low-income individuals train for high-wage, in-demand jobs. That $2.5 million would have trained an additional 360 people in 2014.

Funding for the Maine Apprenticeship Program fell from a high of $622,907 in 2004 to $436,040 in 2013. In fact, current funding will not meet the needs of the existing sponsors/apprentices in our state. Focusing apprenticeship expansion efforts in Maine’s high-growth, high-wage industry sectors—healthcare, energy and precision manufacturing, for example—could increase training opportunities for unemployed or underemployed adults and teens. Apprentices earn while they learn; therefore, these people could be earning wages instead of collecting benefits.

There are other programs that DOL cannot implement due to a lack of state funding. These are programs that would help develop Maine’s economy by creating a pipeline of skilled workers—something businesses look for when deciding to locate in a state or region.

  • The department could offer a subsidized wage program to wean people off unemployment while allowing them to receive on-the-job training in a new career or with a new employer.

  • The department could conduct an annual job vacancy survey of employers. This would provide real-time data to ensure that our scarce training resources are invested in skills and occupations that employers are actually looking for and hiring.

  • The state could implement the industry partnership program for workforce development—a program included in last year’s budget by the legislature but not funded. Industry partnerships have been effective in other states to leverage private-sector support to develop industry-specific training. Maine’s recent healthcare sector grant showed that we have the ability to do this and our people and our businesses can reap huge rewards from implementing this collaborative training model.

It’s the same refrain. No money for training. But training is an investment with a return—better jobs with benefits, higher wages and a career ladder for future promotions, economic growth and a brighter future for our children.

Sadly, Maine has to forego this investment to feed the beast that is DHHS. The department has utilized best practices and streamlined where ever possible—doing more with less.

But if Medicaid expansion continues to absorb a greater portion of the state’s General Fund dollars, departments like Labor will ultimately be doing “less with less”—the opposite of the best interests of unemployed and underemployed Maine citizens.

Commissioner Jeanne S. Paquette brings more than 20 years’ experience in human resources and workforce development to the Department of Labor. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management Maine State Council’s HR Hall of Fame.

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Commissioner of Labor Receives USDOL Report on Maine’s Unemployment System Bookmark and Share

February 27, 2014

For Immediate Release: February 27, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Findings confirm concerns about the appeals process

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced today that she has received the final report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) review of the unemployment appeals process in the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, part of the Maine Department of Labor, and the Unemployment Insurance Commission (UIC), which is an independent state agency appointed by and reporting to the governor.

The eight-page letter from Holly C. O'Brien, regional administrator of the Employment and Training Administration of the USDOL, reviews both Maine's performance against applicable national standards and particular areas of concern raised initially by a memo sent from Jennifer Duddy, chair of the UIC. The findings of the review corroborate Duddy's concerns about inconsistent admission of business records, inconsistent admission of witnesses in hearings, and a lack of agreement about what constitutes a precedent and how that should be applied at the lower levels.

“Last year, both members of the Unemployment Insurance Commission and I raised concerns about the need for improvements and consistency in the way the unemployment system functions, especially the appeals process. Many of these concerns were echoed by complaints received by Governor Paul LePage,” said Commissioner Paquette.

She continued, “The concerns that we discussed with the hearings officers last spring, related to the admission and weighting of hearsay testimony and business records, were not only supported by the findings of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission, but also are the same findings of the USDOL's independent review. My responsibility as commissioner is to ensure that the law is applied fairly and to manage the staff of the department. The findings of both these independent and non-partisan reviews confirm that Maine's appeals system has not been consistent in applying the law. We are addressing this serious issue."

The report states the evidentiary procedures put in place by the division after the meeting with the Governor last year, including holding the record open to receive documents discussed but not presented in the hearing, "are limited and not sufficient to cure what appears to be a long standing prejudice against certain types of evidence." The report specifies a number of other problems in the system, including a need for a review of state statutes and rules and consideration of federal recommendations, more training, establishment of uniform standards, more communication between the appeal levels and the establishment of a precedent manual.

The findings of the USDOL review concur with and expand upon the findings release last December, by The Unemployment Reform Blue Ribbon Commission http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Gov+News&id=610110&v=article2011 . The Blue Ribbon Commission report provided unanimous recommendations identifying reforms to improve the unemployment system and specifically called out the need to bring consistency to the application of the law on business records.

“Although this process has generated much controversy, the outcome is positive for both workers and businesses. No one benefits when either employees or employers abuse the system," stated Commissioner Paquette. "Maine's unemployment system by statute gives the authority and responsibility for its adminsistration to the appointed commissioner and the appointed members of the UIC. As commissioner, my job is to ensure not only due process for both employers and employees, but also that the unemployment system is fair, efficient and responsive and follows the law. I appreciate the concerns that both the USDOL and the Blue Ribbon Commission have raised, and I will do my utmost to continue to safeguard both the integrity of the system and the confidence of Maine’s people.”

Governor LePage said that the letter from O'Brien, “confirmed several of my concerns, as did the Blue Ribbon Commission report, concerning the appeals process. The department is taking steps to ensure the law is fairly applied to both employers and employees, as is only just.”

The Department of Labor has already begun to implement the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations, including improving staffing, increasing communication between the different parts of the system and ensuring consistency in the application of the law—especially surrounding business records in the appeals process.

In January, the department hired a new chief hearing officer of the Division of Administrative Appeals. Former Chief Justice Daniel Wathen, a co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission, participated in the interviewing of the candidates for that position to make sure that the finalists for the position had relevant knowledge of appeals and employment law.

In addition, the department is working with the Governor’s Office to propose an emergency bill this session that will improve the unemployment system’s efficiency. This bill is LR 2772, An Act To Allocate a Portion of the Reed Act Distribution of 2002 To Use for the Administration of the Unemployment Insurance and Employment Services Programs.

This bill would authorize use of money that had been dispersed to the states by the federal government and is currently held within the Unemployment Trust Fund. The federal government rebated these funds back to the states to fund improvements to the operations of unemployment systems and employment services programs, including upgrading technology infrastructures and maintaining staffing levels.

Maine has an opportunity to use these funds to bring improvements to the unemployment system, as recommended in the Blue Ribbon Commission report, which will reduce fraud and increase responsiveness without requiring General Funds or an increase in payroll taxes for employers.

The letter from O'Brien can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=615390&an=1

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Supporting documents

Letter from Holly O'Brien, USDOL

Spring Jobs Fairs Scheduled Around the State Bookmark and Share

April 3, 2014

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

Employers can reserve tables while job seekers brush up resumes

AUGUSTA— Spring has sprung, and so too will many opportunities to find a new job. 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. Two are scheduled for the first week of March.

“Job fairs highlight the different companies and types of jobs a region offers,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Job seekers who attend can learn which types of jobs are available in their area as well as what skills employers need. With our economy improving and our unemployment rate falling, now is a great time to participate in a job fair as an employer or a job seeker.”

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 .

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “For those who might need training to make a career change or get a dream job, the job fairs and the CareerCenters can help people make those connections.” She added, “People do not have to try to navigate the job search process on their own. In fact, people can visit a CareerCenter at any time to learn about job search strategies, improve computer skills and learn about training and apprenticeship opportunities.”

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:

  • Lewiston/Auburn: 11th Annual Androscoggin County Job Fair, Friday, April 4, 9 a.m. to noon at Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner Street, Auburn. Employers should register online at http://www.androscoggincounty.com .

  • Presque Isle: April 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Northeastland Hotel. Sponsored by the Presque Isle CareerCenter, the Maine Department of Labor and Northern Maine Development Corporation. For employer registration information, call the Presque Isle CareerCenter at 760-6300 or 1-800-635-0357.

  • Calais: April 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Washington County Community College Gymnasium. Employers, call Dodie at 255-1933 to register; space is limited. Sponsored by the Calais CareerCenter, the Maine Department of Labor and Northern Maine Development Corporation.

  • Augusta: April 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hiring Maine’s Heroes (general public welcome) at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Ave. Partnering with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and Heroes to Hired (H2H).

  • Lincoln: April 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mattanawcook Academy, 33 Reed Drive, Lincoln. Employers contact Amanda Woodard at 207-794-3372 for registration information.

  • South Paris: April 24, 9 a.m. to noon at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in the cafeteria. Employers, contact Diane at 743-7763 ext 1. If you are a job seeker, get your resume updated and sign up for "Prepare for a Job Fair" workshop at the Lewiston CareerCenter.

  • Dover-Foxcroft: May 1, Regional Job and Resource Fair, 1 to 5 p.m. at Foxcroft Academy. Employers and resource providers, call Sheree at 974-2440 to register or complete the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12uLgnNQy80JW0etohHaWXXN76E-sbM75kBI6eFe5Ovo/viewform .

  • Pittsfield: May 14, Pittsfield Area Regional Job Fair, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Warsaw Middle School Gym and Cafeteria, 167 School Street. Registration form available at http://www.pittsfield.org . Sponsored by the Ken-Som (Kennebec-Somerset) Transition Team and the Town of Pittsfield.

  • Portland: May 21, Portland Job Fair, 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Portland CareerCenter, 185 Lancaster Street. Contact Mark Casifo at 347-3244 or mark.j.cafiso@maine.gov.

  • Farmington: May 22, Western Maine Community Job and Resource Fair, 9 a.m. to noon at the Fitness and Recreation Center at UMF, 152 Quebec St. Employers, contact John Wagner at John.W.Wagner@maine.gov or 753-9086.

  • Bangor: May 28, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Spectacular Event Center, 395 Griffin Rd, Bangor. Sponsored by the Bangor CareerCenter.

  • Augusta: June 17, First Annual State of Maine Government and Maine Municipal Government Job Fair for Veterans at the Augusta Armory.

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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This release has been updated as of April 3 to reflect the additional job fair in Portland.

Free Workshop Explains Starting a Business at Rockland CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

March 3, 2014

For Immediate Release: March 3, 2014
Contact: David Grima, Rockland CareerCenter, 207-596-2600, Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

ROCKLAND – People interested in exploring the basics of starting up their own business are invited to a free informational workshop at the Rockland CareerCenter, 1 to 3 p.m. on Monday, March 17.

Maine Small Business Development Center Director and Business Counselor David Hill will describe 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?

There is no cost for this workshop, but people planning to attend should register by calling the CareerCenter at 596-2600 (Select Phone System Option #1), or by going to the CareerCenter in person at 91 Camden St., Suite 201, Rockland. Please register early as there is a 12-seat limit.

Rockland CareerCenter is part of the Maine Department of Labor. In collaboration with its non-profit partners, it offers a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade their skills and to help employers to find qualified workers.

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

The Rockland CareerCenter is located at 91 Camden St. and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. Call 207-596-2600 or 1-877-421-7916 for more information; 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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Maine Department of Labor Launches Economic Data App for Android Bookmark and Share

March 3, 2014

For Immediate Release: March 3, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

App for Apple devices coming soon

AUGUSTA—The Center for Workforce Research and Information (CWRI) of the Maine Department of Labor has created a mobile app for accessing economic data. The Maine Labor Stats application is available through Google Play and can be found on CWRI’s website, http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/mobile/ .

“Improving our citizens’ access to information is one of my administration’s priorities,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I am pleased that Maine is leading the nation in making economic data available to job seekers, workers and businesses on their mobile phones. People can look up average wages for various occupations and keep tabs on our falling unemployment rate and other demographic and economic data.”

CWRI developed the Maine Labor Stats application to fill a need for mobile users who want to use information about employment, unemployment and wage levels by occupation, industry or geography. CWRI plans to provide the latest data through this app as an on-the-go mobile-enabled mini-version of CWRI’s more extensive website.

The Maine Labor Stats app provides the most up-to-date numbers for the following statistics published by CWRI:

  • Unemployment rates by geography.
  • Labor force data.
  • Monthly nonfarm job estimates.
  • Employment by industry and geography.
  • Unemployment insurance claims.
  • Income and wages.
  • Demographics (population, poverty, education and veterans, and geography).

Users who download this app will have immediate access to CWRI’s latest published numbers and most recent unemployment news release. The Android version is available on the Google Play store now. An iOS version for Apple devices will be available soon in the iTunes store.

The Center for Workforce Research and Information, http://www.maine.gov/labor/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.

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Maine Department of Labor Submits Public Comment in Opposition to Proposed OSHA Regulation Bookmark and Share

March 6, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 6, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Proposed rules for online reporting could violate individual privacy of injured workers and create additional burdens for businesses

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced today that the Maine Department of Labor is submitting public comment opposing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed rule changes related to the OSHA 300 form. The department’s subject-matter experts have recommended opposing the changes after reviewing the rules and their potential effect on Maine workers and businesses.

The proposed changes would require about 250,000 businesses nationally to submit their workplace injury and illness reports to OSHA electronically, allowing the information to be posted online.

Governor Paul R. LePage supported the decision to oppose these rules. “Posting information online to embarrass workers and employers who have had accidents is the wrong way to encourage workplace safety, especially when it can violate the privacy of an individual who is already suffering from a workplace accident,” he stated. “Maine chooses to be a role model for others by incentivizing workplace safety rather than burdening employers with more regulation, and our track record stands for itself.”

Commissioner Paquette provided background on the department’s position. “Small businesses make up the majority of our employers,” she stated. “These rules would require businesses to submit data about injured workers that OSHA would post online. When there are only a few employees in a company or at a specific location, it can be easy to piece together the information to identify injured workers even though their names are not posted.”

Paquette noted, “The proposal contains no assurances that enough personal information would be scrubbed from the records so that individuals would not be able to be identified. Posting this information online could create a potentially embarrassing or even hostile situation for the injured worker.”

The proposed rules would also change which businesses and industries are required to submit these reports. Under current rules, certain industries are partially or ordinarily exempt from maintaining the OSHA 300 forms. These changes would add an additional regulatory reporting burden for these employers. Individuals or businesses wishing to submit public comment may do so by March 10, 2014, at http://www.regulations.gov or by fax at (202) 693–1648. All submissions must include the docket number (Docket No. OSHA–2013–0023) or the RIN (RIN 1218–AC49). Additional information on the rule and submitting public comment is available at https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/proposeddataform.html .

“Opposing these rules does not mean that we are de-emphasizing workplace safety,” stated Commissioner Paquette. “Maine has a strong record on workplace safety and injury reporting. The training programs we provide serve as a national model. Employers can take advantage of the free safety courses taught by the department in Augusta and locations statewide, as well as customized courses taught at an employer’s worksite and online.”

The U.S. Department of Labor has recognized Maine as a leader in teaching injury record-keeping to employers, which increases their reporting accuracy. When injuries do occur, these records provide important data about the types, conditions and frequency of injured workers in specific occupations and industries. This helps the state and businesses identify areas of concern and target training to prevent or avoid injuries.

Maine’s businesses also participate in the national Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Maine has more active SHARP worksites, 63 to date, than in all other New England states combined. SHARP companies, and public sector employers in the sister program, “SHAPE”—Safety and Health Award for Public Employers, must undergo a comprehensive audit and meet several safety standards. After awarding the SHARP designation, OSHA exempts the employer from its general scheduled inspection list for two years. This program supports best practices, keeps injury rates low and saves businesses time and money.

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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Free Workplace Safety Training Courses in March Bookmark and Share

March 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Courses offered in Presque Isle, Portland, Springvale, Augusta, Calais and Westbrook

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor’s SafetyWorks! training and safety consultation program announces free training courses for February.

“In addition to these free course, SafetyWorks! will come to a business and provide free training and health and safety consultations,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Investing in safety protects employees, improves morale and reduces costs. It just makes good business sense.” All courses are held in the Central Maine Commerce Center at 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta unless otherwise noted. To register, call (207) 623-7900 or register online at http://www.safetyworksmaine.com . Businesses with several employees requiring the same training course should contact SafetyWorks! to ask about the free onsite training program.

March 10: Combustible Dust Safety Training – It is now well known that OSHA is focused on enforcing current recognized and generally accepted engineering practices for dust prevention. This half-day course, running from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., provides an overview of OSHA standards and the hazards associated with combustible dust generation in the workplace.

March 11 and 25: Mine Safety and Health Administration: Refresher – The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) requires all surface mining (i.e., stone crushing, gravel pit, etc.) employees to receive eight-hour annual training. This one-day course will cover generic MSHA training. However, site specific training will also need to be conducted once you return to your respective job sites. March 11 will be held at the Springvale CareerCenter and March 25 will be at Washington County Community College; both run 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

March 11: Safety Officer Training – This half-day training, running from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Seasons Event Center in Portland, 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.

March 13: Lockout/Tagout Procedures – This half-day training session, running 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., covers the OSHA requirements and procedures to be used in the Lockout/Tagout process to ensure safety and protection during repair and maintenance of equipment.

March 14: Forklift Operator Training – This half-day class is designed for new operators. The instruction will involve classroom and hands-on trainings. This training does not meet the requirements to qualify participants to be a “qualified operator.” Only the employer can provide such certification. Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 17 to 21: 30-Hour Construction Standards – 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. Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., day one through day five. Note: OTI charges $5 per card.

March 24: Scaffolding and Fall Protection – In this full-day class you will learn the types of scaffolding and proper setup. While learning how to protect workers from falls and when you must use fall protection. 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. Attendees must wear the appropriate PPE to class. Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

March 25: Hazard Communication/Global Harmonization – GHS stands for the “Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.” GHS is a system that defines and classifies the hazards of chemical product and communicates health and safety information on labels and material safety data sheets (called Safety Data Sheets, or SDSs, in GHS). Come learn what you need to do to prepare for the GHDS and the impact it will have on you and your workers. Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Presque Isle CareerCenter located at 66 Spruce Street.

March 27: Machine Guarding – Participants in this half-day 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. Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

March 27: OSHA Recordkeeping – This full-day class provides 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. Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m at Westbrook Public Safety.

March 28: Noise/Hearing Protection – This half-day session will cover the effects of noise on hearing. Students will learn about the anatomy of the ear, the physics of sound the effectiveness of hearing protectors and show workers how they can protect themselves against hearing loss from the noise exposure on and off the job. Class runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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 .

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March Workshops at the Presque Isle CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

March 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Patty Perry, Presque Isle CareerCenter, 760-6300; Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

PRESQUE ISLE - The Presque Isle CareerCenter announces March programming for job seekers and those who are considering training for a new career.

“Employers will be hiring at job fairs all over the state this spring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “CareerCenter staff and services can help you prepare.”

Job seekers and businesses interested in connecting with one another can also “like” the CareerCenter on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Presque-Isle-CareerCenter . Workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. Maine Veterans receive priority of service in all CareerCenter programs.

Creating Winning Resumes – March 12, 19 and 26 at 9 a.m. Learn how to create a professional resume and walk out the door with one in hand after this three-hour workshop.

Financial Aid – March 12, 19 and 26, 9 a.m.to noon. Get assistance with college planning and financial aid. Please pre-register at 1-800-281-3703 or http://meoc.maine.edu .

Gateways to Employment – Workshops offered in two locations: Houlton on March 18 at 9 a.m. and in Presque Isle on March 21 at 9 a.m. Want to jump start your job search? Learn new strategies, proper interviewing skills and the correct way to fill out a job application.

Veterans Educational and Training Benefits – March 19 at 9 a.m. Come in to see what benefits you may be eligible for and confirm you are in the correct program for you.

SafetyWorks! Hazard Communication / Global Harmonization – March 25, 9 a.m. to noon. Identification, classifications, labeling of hazardous chemicals.

Computer Boot Camp – March 28 at 9 a.m. Do you have difficulty working with computers? Would you like to spruce up your technological skills? Call today and reserve your seat for the next computer boot camp. Contact Pete Lento at 760-6318

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 760-6300 or 1-800-635-0357 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 66 Spruce Street in Presque Isle, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 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.

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March Programs at the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

March 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 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, in conjunction with its partners offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills, and help employers to find qualified workers.

“Employers will be hiring at job fairs all over the state this spring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “CareerCenter staff and services can help you prepare.”

Each of the 12 statewide centers provides public-access computer workstations equipped with Microsoft Office, resume writing and cover letter software. In addition, Internet access and O’Net software is available for individual skills assessment. Employers can list their open positions on the Maine 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 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 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.

Resume & Cover Letter Writing Workshop—Wednesday, March 12, 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, March 19, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

GATEways to Employment—Thursday, March 20, 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)

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

Essentials of College Planning Workshop – Tuesday, March 11 and 25, noon to 2 p.m. Christy Le from the Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) offers free workshops 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, http://meoc.maine.edu .

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 373-4000 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.

Small Business Start Up Workshop – Wednesday, March 20, 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 start up and management, focusing on the business plan: What is it? Why do you need one? What can it do for you?

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 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.

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 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.

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March Programs at the Rockland CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

March 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 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 in conjunction with its partners offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills and employers to find qualified workers. 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 is available for individual skills assessment. Employers can list their open positions on the Maine 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.

“Employers will be hiring at job fairs all over the state this spring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “CareerCenter staff and services can help you prepare.”

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.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – Wednesday, March 12, 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.

GATEways to Employment – Tuesday, March 18, 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.

Resume & Cover Letter Writing – Wednesday, March 19, 9 a.m. to noon. Shows the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter.

Effective Interviewing Skills – Wednesday, March 26, 9 a.m. to noon. Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

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

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.

Small Business Start Up Workshop – Monday, March 17, 1 to 3 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 two-hour afternoon session, where Maine Small Business Development Center Certified Master Business Counselor, David Hill will walk you through the keys to successful business start up and management, focusing on the business plan: What is it? Why do you need one? What can it do for you?

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 Bath at 386-1664 or go to http://www.womenworkandcommunity.org .

Rockland CareerCenter is located 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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Spring Programs for Job Seekers at the Lewiston CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

March 7, 2014

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

Over 60 employers will be hiring at the Androscoggin County Job Fair on Friday, April 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner Street in Auburn.

LEWISTON – The Lewiston CareerCenter is offering free programs throughout March, and taking part in April's Androscoggin County Job Fair, for job seekers and those interested in training for a new career.

“Employers will be hiring at job fairs all over the state this spring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Use the CareerCenter services to make sure that you are ready for the Androscoggin County job fair this April.”

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.

Resume Reviews – Every Thursday, 8 to 10 a.m. – Already have a resume and want someone to review it for you? CareerCenter staff can help! Every Thursday morning, a resume expert will be on hand to review resumes “on the spot”. Need a review before Thursday? We can help with that, too. Drop off your resume and we will review it within two business days.

Career Decision Making – March 10 and 14, and March 24 and 28 – 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 your career goals. To register please call 753-9005

Mock Job Interviews – March 11, 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. To register call 753-9005.

Resumes & Interview Skills-Part I – March 13, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Lewiston CareerCenter and March 26, 2 to 5 p.m. at the Auburn Public Library – An in-depth exploration of job search, resumes, applications, & 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. To register for March 13 call 753-9005. To register for March 26 call 753-9066.

Job Search Skills – March 18, 9 to 11 a.m. – 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, call 753-9005

Professionals Moving Ahead! – Employer Panel – March 20, 9 a.m. to noon. – Employers will be on hand to discuss your concerns about job search: ageism, references, tips on resumes, interviews, and more. These workshops are held on the first and third Thursday of each month; registration is not required

GATEway to Employment – March 20, 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

Maintaining Self-Confidence During the Job Search – March 24 and 31, and April 7, 10 a.m. to noon – Has long-term unemployment got you down? Do you feel your confidence lagging? Attend this three-session class to help you assess your self-confidence and learn some concrete tools that can help you to keep your confidence strong throughout your job search or transition. To register, call Laurie at 753-6612.

Resumes Part II – March 26, 10 a.m. to noon at the Lewiston CareerCenter – This workshop supplements our traditional resume workshop. Attendance at Resumes-Part I and a completed resume are required for attendance. In this workshop, the facilitator will review your resume and give feedback and comments so that you can send your resume to employers with confidence that it will get noticed!

Preparing for a Job Fair – March 27, 2 to 4 p.m. at CMCC and March 31, 3 to 5 p.m. at the Lewiston CareerCenter – Job Fairs can be a valuable job search tool. In this age of online applications, meeting with employers face-to-face is rare and a Job Fair gives you the chance to do that! Attend this workshop to learn how you can make Job Fairs a successful tool during your job search journey. To register for March 27 call 755-5239. To register for March 31 call 753-9005.

Resume Writing Work Group – March 31, 3 to 5 p.m. – Have you attended a Resume Workshop? Do you have questions about resume formatting but don’t know who to ask? Do you have a list of your employers, dates of employment, and job skills for the jobs you have had in the past 10 to 15 years? If you answered yes, to those three questions, this work group is for you! During this work group, you will be at a computer to compose your resume; staff will be on hand to answer your questions. To register call 753-9005.

Training & 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.

An Adult Education Representative will help you explore options to improve your job skills and which adult education programs or classes will best meet your needs based on your interests and career goals. Available every Wednesday 10:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Orientation for People with Disabilities – March 21, 1 to 2:30 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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March Programs for Job Seekers at the York County CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

March 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dawn Self-Cooper, York County CareerCenter, 207-324-5460; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

The York County Regional Job Fair will be held on Friday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nasson Community Center, 457 Main Street in Springvale

SPRINGVALE – The York County CareerCenter in Springvale continues its workshop programs for job seekers and those considering training to upgrade their skills and increase their employability.

“Employers will be hiring at job fairs all over the state this spring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Use the CareerCenter services to make sure that you are ready for the York County job fair this month.”

CareerCenters can assist businesses by offering workshops on location, at local businesses or other organizations at no cost. The following workshops and programs will be held at the CareerCenter in Springvale unless otherwise noted.

Interview Workshop – Tuesday, March 18, 9 a.m. to noon. Learn new interviewing techniques by role playing interviews. Registration required.

How to Navigate a Job Fair – presented by York County Community College, Wells, Maine – Wednesday, March 19 at 5 p.m. Join us as we provide you with some tips and tools in order to effectively navigate our upcoming job fair. Remember, it only takes one piece of information to lead you to your next opportunity! Space will be limited: FMI and to register please call 646-9282.

GATEways to Employment – Monday, March 24, 9 a.m. to noon. Join us for the beginning installment of our “workshop trilogy.” Learn how assessments can identify abilities, interests and skills and discover the unadvertised job market. Other topics include Job Search Strategies, Resumes, Cover Letter Tips and Interviewing. Registration Required.

The 4th Annual York County Regional Job Fair will be held on Friday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nasson Community Center, 457 Main Street, Springvale. For more information and to see a list of confirmed employers, please visit the CareerCenter web site at: http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

York County NetWorks: How to Navigate a Job Fair – Tuesday, March 25 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Join us as we provide you with some tips and tools in order to effectively navigate our upcoming job fair. Remember, it only takes one piece of information to lead you to your next opportunity! Space will be limited; call 324-5460 or 1-800-343-0151 to reserve your seat for this workshop.

Essentials of College Planning Workshop – Monday, March 31, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Randi Paine from the Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) will be offering a free workshop for adults 19 and older covering topics on College Awareness and Planning along with the Federal Financial Aid process. The instructor will assist participants in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Space is limited please call Karen Hadley Keim at 1-800-281-3703 or 581-3736 to register or visit MEOC’s website, http://meoc.maine.edu.

Employer Recruitments for March – please check our website for additions and updates.

Springborn Staffing – Monday, March 10 and March 24 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. A representative from Springborn Staffing will be recruiting at the York County CareerCenter. Openings are available for experienced production, assembly & warehouse personnel. Applicants must have reliable transportation. Please bring two valid forms of ID and resume to interview. Health insurance benefits are available.

Leddy Group – Tuesday, March 18 from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. A representative from Leddy Group will be recruiting at the York County CareerCenter. No Appointment needed.

Adecco Staffing – Every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An Adecco representative will be recruiting at the York County CareerCenter in Springvale. Current openings are in Sanford, Biddeford, Saco and Portland areas. No appointment required.

The York County CareerCenter will also feature several sessions led by these partner organizations in March:

Women Unlimited – Non-Traditional Occupations Specialist consultations for those interested in exploring non-traditional occupations (NTO) for women, and who are considering a potentially better-paying job. Contact Sue LeClair, NTO specialist at 215-6992.

Goodwill Workforce Solutions administers federally funded employment and training programs through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Certain eligibility requirements apply. If you think you might qualify or could benefit from this program, please call the Workforce Solutions Center in Biddeford at 571-3301 to schedule a date for a training orientation.

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 Ruth Graves in Saco at 286-1722.

Follow and keep track of our latest events on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. To find us on LinkedIn, go to LinkedIn.com and search for York County Maine CareerCenter. To find us on Facebook, go to Facebook and search York County Maine CareerCenter. To follow us on Twitter, go to Twitter.com and search for York CareerCenter.

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.

The York County CareerCenter, located at 9 Bodwell Court in Springvale, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and can be reached at 324-5460 or 1-800-343-0151 (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.

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

March 7, 2014

For Immediate Release 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 March. All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To register for sessions held at the CareerCenter, call 645-5800.

“Employers will be hiring at job fairs all over the state this spring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “CareerCenter staff and services can help you prepare.”

GATEway to Employment – Wednesday, March 19, 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!

Resumes and Interview Skills – 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.

Essentials of College Planning for Adults – Thursday, March 20, 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.

ONet Ability Profiler – Please call if interested; this workshop requires five or more participants to run. ONet is a career exploration tool that helps individuals plan work livelihood 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.

Community College Advisor – 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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Center for Workforce Research and Information Launches Blog Bookmark and Share

March 12, 2014

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

Economists will provide context for workforce conditions and trends

AUGUSTA—The Center for Workforce Research and Information (CWRI) of the Maine Department of Labor has launched a non-partisan blog on Maine’s economy. Economists will use it to provide context for workforce conditions and trends. The blog is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/blog.html .

“Understanding both the changing nature of our economy and what forces are at play is essential to moving Maine forward,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Education, knowledge and skill demands are changing rapidly as technology affects how we work. Aging is impacting workforce growth.”

“Business leaders, policymakers and job seekers must examine these trends to make informed decisions. Economic data sometimes provides conflicting signals about growth. Our analysts provide some clarity and context to the changing dynamics for those who want to use this information,” the Governor added.

The initial posts include profiles of Who Is Not Participating in the Labor Force? and Union Membership in 2013 as well as a short excerpt of a national study on The Rising Cost of Not Going to College and a look at recently published annual unemployment-rate revisions for Maine.

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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Maine Unemployment Rate 6.2 Percent in January Bookmark and Share

March 17, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 17, 2014
Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192

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

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Highlights: Maine continued to have a lower unemployment rate and higher share of employed population than national and New England averages. Over the last year, job growth occurred primarily in the following sectors: professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, finance and insurance and retail trade.

Workforce estimates, including unemployment and payroll jobs data, have been revised for prior years. Information about unemployment revisions is available here, http://cwri.blogspot.com/2014/03/workforce-data-revisions-part-1.html .

Survey of Households - The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate estimate for Maine was 6.2 percent in January, down from a revised 6.4 percent in December and 7.0 percent one year ago. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 43,900 were unemployed, down 5,600 over the year.

The share of the population that is employed continued to outpace the national average–61.2 percent for Maine and 58.8 percent for the nation. January was the 76th consecutive month the employment to population ratio exceeded the national average.

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

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 6.7 percent, little changed from 6.6 percent in December and down from 7.7 percent one year ago. The New England estimate was 6.7 percent. Rates for other states were 4.9 percent in New Hampshire, 4.0 percent in Vermont, 6.8 percent in Massachusetts, 9.2 percent in Rhode Island, and 7.2 percent in Connecticut.

Survey of Employer Payrolls – The preliminary estimate of nonfarm payroll jobs was 605,500 in January, up 6,500 from one year ago according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of private sector jobs has gradually trended higher since 2010, while jobs in federal, state, and local government have declined. Over the last year job growth was strongest in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, finance and insurance and retail trade.

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

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in January, down from 8.2 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 5.0 percent in Cumberland County to 11.2 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.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metropolitan areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (5.4 percent), Bangor (6.3 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (6.1 percent).

This release is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html . Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas; nonfarm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas and much more is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/data.html .

February estimates will be released Friday, March 28 (Data Release Schedule: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).

NOTES:

  1. Preliminary unemployment estimates 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 rate 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. Estimates for the period from October 2013 to September 2014 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2015. The job count is likely to show less volatility than preliminary estimates.

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Job Fair in Ellsworth on March 20 Bookmark and Share

March 18, 2014

For Immediate Release: March 18, 2014
Contact: Ed Upham, Bangor CareerCenter; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

Dozens of employers hiring for seasonal and year-round positions

ELLSWORTH—The 2014 Hancock County Spring Job Fair will be held on Thursday, March 20, from 9 a.m. to noon at Mill Mall, 248 State Street.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; our state gained 6,500 jobs in 2013,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “2014 is looking promising with several job fairs scheduled around the state, including this one in Hancock County. Come out, meet employers and learn what the area has to offer if you are looking for a new job.”

The Bangor CareerCenter, Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, Jackson Laboratory, Tri-County Workforce Investment Board, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Willey’s Sport Center, Wallace Tent and Party Rental and the Maine Department of Labor are sponsoring the job fair. Sylvia’s Café will be offering specials to job fair participants that morning.

Participating employers include: AC Parsons Landscaping and Garden Center, Aroostook/Atlantic Mental Health Center, Athenahealth, Bangor Area Staffing Solutions, Bangor Police Department, Birch Bay Village, Bonney Staffing, Care and Comfort, Community Health and Counseling Services, Cool As A Moose, Green Mountain Concert Services, Hancock County Jail, the Hinckley Company, Home Care for Maine, the Home Depot, Jackson Laboratory, KidsPeace, Learning Works-Ameri-Corps, Living Innovations, Maine Army National Guard, Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Fair Trade Lobster, MaineStream Finance, Manpower, MAS Home Care of Maine, MERT Enterprises, Newland Nursery and Florist, Penobscot Community Health Care, RSU 24 Adult Education, Seawall Motel, Securitas Security Services USA, Springborn Staffing, St. Joseph Healthcare, U.S. Cellular, Witham Family Hotels and Woodlands Senior Living of Brewer.

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). 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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Jorge Acero Named State Monitor Advocate Bookmark and Share

March 20, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 20, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor is pleased to announce that the Bureau of Employment Services (BES) has named Jorge Acero to the position of state monitor advocate for migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs).

“The state monitor advocate ensures that migrant and seasonal farmworkers are afforded equal access to employment services,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “I welcome Jorge back to the department, and I encourage agricultural employers to reach out to him. Migrant and foreign workers play a vital role in harvesting crops, like wild blueberries and broccoli, that are important to Maine’s economy.”

As part of his new duties, Acero will conduct field checks in the agriculture industry and assist migrant and seasonal farmworkers with issues relating to wages, housing and discrimination. Most recently, he served as state director of the Migrant Education Program with the Maine Department of Education.

Prior to that position, Acero worked for several years in the Department of Labor, beginning in the Portland CareerCenter as the first bilingual Spanish/English consultant. There he conducted outreach to the Latino community, collaborated with service providers and conducted field visits to nearby farms where MSFWs were working. Most recently, Acero oversaw the Foreign Labor Certification program, ensuring compliance with federal regulations.

Acero’s nine years with the Department of Labor afforded him the opportunity to build a strong network with not only state and federal agencies, but also the groups that assist MSFWs, the employers who hire them and the workers themselves. In addition to his monitor advocate duties, Jorge will continue to oversee the Foreign Labor Certification-related activities and the Job Service Complaint System.

Acero was born in Colombia, South America and immigrated with his mother to the United States more than fifty years ago, settling in the San Francisco Bay area of California, where he grew up. Jorge received an Associate’s Degree in Agricultural Production from Shasta College in California, a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson in Cultural Anthropology, and a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from New York University.

“While attending the U of A in Tucson, studying cultural anthropology – I crossed into Sonora, Mexico with faculty to conduct research and met families that migrated regularly. It is here where I found the appreciation for the hard life of migrant workers – one that I continue to hold with utmost respect,” Acero stated. “I’m pleased to have this opportunity to continue serving the migrant community.”

Acero began his new position on March 17. More information about the state monitor advocate is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/laborlaws/mainemonitor_advocate.html . Information about the Foreign Labor Certification program is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/careerctr/services-programs/hiring/foreign/index.shtml .

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

Jorge Acero, state monitor advocate, Maine Department of Labor

Portland CareerCenter Participating in the Job Fair in Portland on March 25 Bookmark and Share

March 20, 2014

For Immediate Release: March 20, 2014
Contact: Mike Roland, Portland CareerCenter, 771-5627; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

More than 40 employers will be hiring

PORTLAND—The 2014 Maine Sunday Telegram/Monster Spring Career Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Italian Heritage Center, 40 Westland Ave. in Portland

Attendees can visit the Portland CareerCenter’s booth to have their resumes reviewed by career consultants. Veterans can also speak to veterans representatives about training and other opportunities available to them at the CareerCenter’s booth.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; our state gained 6,500 jobs in 2013,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “2014 promises continued growth with several job fairs scheduled around the state. Come out, meet employers and learn what the Greater Portland area has to offer if you are looking for a new job.”

Participating employers include: Academy of Medical Professionals, Adecco, Avita of Stroudwater, Berlin City Toyota of Portland, Bonney Staffing, Cape Memory Care, Catholic Charities, Community Partners, Co Worx, Corizon/Cumberland County Sheriff, CN Brown Co., Big Apple Food Stores, Creative Work Systems, Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Family Independence, Dr. Newton’s Naturals, Etiquette Solutions, Genesis Healthcare, Kaplan University, Hawthorne House, Home Care for Maine, Hospice of Southern Maine, HW Staffing, Lawn Dawg, Inc., Maine Department of Corrections, Manpower, MAS Homecare, MEMIC, Modern Woodman Fraternal Financial, NAMI Maine Family Respite Program, New York Life, Prudential, Providence Service Corporation, PSL (Strive), Robert Half, Qivana, Securitas, Sigco, St. Joseph’s Manor, Sweetser, Time Warner Cable, Tri-County Mental Health VIP, VTECH Training and Walgreens.

This job fair is presented by MaineJobs.com and the Press Herald/Sunday Telegram and is cosponsored by Big Apple Food Stores, Providence Human Services, Genesis HealthCare and Walgreens.

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). 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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6,900 Jobs on Maine’s Job Bank Bookmark and Share

March 24, 2014

For Immediate Release: March 24, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Hiring is picking up this spring with job fairs scheduled across the state

AUGUSTA—Maine’s Job Bank, at www.mainecareercenter.com, has posted about 6,900 open positions, up around 1,000 positions since the beginning of March. The job bank, a service of the Maine Department of Labor, is an online job board that is free for both employers and jobseekers.

“In addition to the openings on Maine’s Job Bank, employers are hiring at job fairs all over the state,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The Department of Labor is coordinating or participating in 13 job fairs between now and June, and more are in development. Now is a great time to get a job in Maine.”

Three jobs fairs will be held the week of March 24 in Portland, Springvale and Machias. Hundreds of employers will be hiring for both permanent and seasonal positions.

“The Department of Labor’s network of 12 CareerCenters provide free, expert assistance to job seekers who are looking for a job or need advice about their career choices,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “They also host free networking events, workshops about financial aid for education and how to start a business. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help people learn how to use a computer, create a free email address, apply for jobs online and register with Maine’s Job Bank.”

“Maine’s economy is growing, and we can make sure that you are part of that growth,” she stated. “You do not have to look for work on your own, and if your job search has hit a rut, our staff can get you back on track. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh approach and some encouragement.”

People who need to update their resume or practice their interviewing skills should contact a CareerCenter for free help. To find more information about how to prepare for a job fair, update a resume, and other job-search programs and to locate the closest CareerCenter, visit the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

Businesses interested in participating in these events and taking advantage of other free hiring services the department provides, such as the job bank, interviewing space, and referrals, should contact their local CareerCenter.

The following job fairs have been scheduled to date around the state:

  • Portland: March 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Maine Sunday Telegram/Monster Spring Career Fair at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.

  • Machias: March 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Lee-Pellon Event Center.

  • Springvale: March 28, 4th Annual York County Regional Job Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nasson Community Center, 457 Main Street.

  • Lewiston/Auburn: April 4,11th Annual Androscoggin County Job Fair, Friday, 9 a.m. to noon at Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner Street, Auburn.

  • Presque Isle: April 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Northeastland Hotel.

  • Calais: April 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Washington County Community College Gymnasium.

  • Lincoln: April 24, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mattanawcook Academy, 33 Reed Drive, Lincoln.

  • South Paris: April 24, 9 a.m. to noon at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in the cafeteria.

  • Augusta: April 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hiring Maine’s Heroes (general public welcome) at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Ave.

  • Pittsfield: May 14, Pittsfield Area Regional Job Fair, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Warsaw Middle School Gym and Cafeteria, 167 School Street.

  • Farmington: May 22, Western Maine Community Job and Resource Fair, 9 a.m. to noon at the Fitness and Recreation Center at UMF, 152 Quebec St.

  • Bangor: May 28, 9 a.m. to noon at the Spectacular Event Center, 395 Griffin Rd.

  • Augusta: June 17, First Annual State of Maine Government and Maine Municipal Government Job Fair for Veterans at the Augusta Armory.

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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Four Maine Businesses Recognized for Workplace Safety Bookmark and Share

March 24, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2013
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Pleasant River Lumber, Community Living Association, Artisan Boatworks and Yachting Solutions receive SHARP certification

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that four businesses have earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP), bringing Maine’s total SHARP worksites to 66.

Pleasant River Lumber in West Enfield, Community Living Association (Green Center) in Houlton, Artisan Boatworks in Rockport and Yachting Solutions in Rockland have voluntarily undertaken a rigorous safety achievement program. Their acceptance into SHARP by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes these businesses as models 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 four worksites for earning SHARP certification. They demonstrate to their industry peers that making safety a priority pays off for everyone.”

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne 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.”

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. Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification.

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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Machias Area Job Fair March 27 Bookmark and Share

March 25, 2013

For Immediate Release: March 25, 2014
Contact: Nicole Jamison, Machais CareerCenter, 255-1933; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

More than 40 employers will be hiring

MACHIAS—The 2014 Machais Area Job Fair will be held on March 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Lee-Pellon Event Center. The fair is sponsored by the Machias CareerCenter, the Maine Department of Labor and Northern Maine Development Corporation.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; our state gained 6,500 jobs in 2013,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “2014 promises continued growth with several job fairs scheduled around the state. Come out, meet employers and learn what Washington County has to offer if you are looking for a new job.”

A GATEways to Employment Workshop will be held at the Machias CareerCenter that morning at 9 a.m. and will focus on preparing for the job fair.

Participating employers include: 4 Corners Supermarket, Acadian Seaplants, BBS Lobster Trap, Care & Comfort, Community Health & Counseling, Down East Community Hospital, EBS, Hannaford, HomeCare for Maine, Learning Works, Living Innovations, Maine Army National Guard, Maine Conservation Corps, Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Child and Family Services, Maine Fair Trade Lobster, Maine State Police, Maine Veterans Home, Marshall Healthcare Facility, MAS Homecare of Maine, McDonald’s, NAMI Maine, Neighbors Care Volunteer Center of Washington County, Northeast Safety, Inc., Pat's Pizza, Regional Medical Center at Lubec, Sequel Care of Maine, Sunrise County Economic Council, Sunrise Opportunities, The By Us Company, The Lane Construction Corp, UCP of Maine/Washington County Children’s Program, the VA of Maine, Walmart, Washington County Community College and Wings for Children and Families, Inc.

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). 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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York County Job Fair in Springvale on March 28 Bookmark and Share

March 25, 2014

For Immediate Release: March 25, 2014 Contact: Dawn Self-Cooper, Springvale CareerCenter, 324-5460; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

More than 80 employers will be hiring

SPRINGVALE—The 4th Annual York County Regional Job Fair will be held on March 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Nasson Community Center, 457 Main Street in Springvale.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; our state gained 6,500 jobs in 2013,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “2014 promises continued growth with several job fairs scheduled around the state. Come out, meet employers and learn what York County has to offer for seasonal and year-round jobs.”

Participating employers include: Adecco, All Med Staffing of New England, Anchorage by the Sea, Anchorage Motor Inn, AVX Tantalum, At Work Personnel Services, Bonney Staffing, C K Cleaning, Canvasworks, Casco Bay Molding, Cianbro, Community Partners, Corning Life Science, CoWorx Staffing Services, Creative Work Systems, Express Employment Professionals, Fiber Materials Inc., Getchell Bros. Ice Co., Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, Graham Behavioral Services, Great Falls Marketing, H D R, Inc., H & R Block, Hannaford Supermarkets, Home Care for Maine, Home Depot, Home Instead Senior Care, Hospice of Southern Maine, Hussey Seating, Insphere Insurance, Job Placement Services, Key Auto Group/Portsmouth Chevrolet, Lakeview Neuro Rehabilitation Center, Leddy Group, Lowe’s, Maine Army National Guard, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Veterans Home, Marden's, Manpower, MAS Home Care, Metrocast Cablevision, NAMI Maine, National Able Network, Nestle Waters/Poland Spring, New York Life Insurance Company, North American Power, Oceanside Rubbish, Pike Industries, Portland Police Department, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Pratt & Whitney, Providence Services, Springborn Staffing, Support Solutions, Sweetser, T.C. Hafford Basement Systems, The Legends, The Pier Restaurant, Tom's of Maine, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, , Waban Projects, Water Country, Wentworth Technology, Inc., Woodfords Family Services, Xpress Natural Gas, and the York County Sheriff's Department.

The fair is sponsored by the York County CareerCenter, the Maine Department of Labor, York County Maine Military Community Network, Sanford Regional Technical Center, York County Community College, Sanford/Springvale Chamber of Commerce and Goodwill Workforce Solutions.

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). 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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Maine Unemployment Rate 6.1 Percent in February Bookmark and Share

March 28, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2014
Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192

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

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Workforce conditions in Maine continued to improve in February. The number of payroll jobs was up 6,300 from a year ago, driving the employment to population ratio to a five-year high, and the unemployment rate to a five-year low. Over the last year, net job growth was dispersed across a number of sectors.

Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in February, little changed from 6.2 percent in January and down from 6.9 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 6,000 over the year to 43,100. The unemployment rate was the lowest since October 2008.

The share of the population that is employed reached 61.5 percent, the highest since December 2008, and remained higher than the 58.8 percent national average for the 77th consecutive month.

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 6.7 percent, little changed from 6.6 percent in January and down from 7.7 percent one year ago. The New England estimate was 6.4 percent. Rates for other states were 4.7 percent in New Hampshire, 3.7 percent in Vermont, 6.5 percent in Massachusetts, 9.0 percent in Rhode Island, and 7.0 percent in Connecticut.

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

Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for February of 605,400 is up 6,300 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 7,400, primarily in the retail trade, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, education and healthcare, and finance and insurance sectors. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 1,100 jobs in government.

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

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data

The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in February, down from 8.0 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 5.2 percent in Cumberland County to 11.4 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.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metropolitan areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (5.5 percent), Bangor (6.4 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (6.3 percent).

This release is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html . Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas; nonfarm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas and much more is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/data.html .

March estimates will be released Friday, April 18 (Data Release Schedule: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).

NOTES:

  1. Preliminary unemployment estimates 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 rate 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. Estimates for the period from October 2013 to September 2014 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2015. The job count is likely to show less volatility than preliminary estimates.

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

March 28, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2014 Contact: Mary LaFontaine, Lewiston CareerCenter, 753-9094; Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

Over 60 employers will be hiring at the Androscoggin County Job Fair on Friday, April 4.

LEWISTON – The Lewiston CareerCenter is offering free programs throughout April and will be taking part in the Androscoggin County Job Fair on April 4. The job fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner Street in Auburn. Job seekers are encouraged to take advantage of CareerCenter services listed below, like the resume review, prior to the job fair.

“Although Maine’s unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing for the past few years and private sector jobs are growing, I know that many people are still looking for good jobs,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I urge you to connect with a CareerCenter to get free help in finding a good paying job that matches your interests and skills. Our staff can help you create a great resume, practice interviewing, and improve your job search strategy. Don’t get left behind, help is here for you.”

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.

Resume Reviews – Every Thursday, 8 to 10 a.m. – Already have a resume and want someone to review it for you? CareerCenter staff can help! Every Thursday morning, a resume expert will be on hand to review resumes “on the spot”. Need a review before Thursday? We can help with that, too. Drop off your resume and we will review it within two business days.

GATEway to Employment – April 3 and 17, 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! – Employer Panel #1 – April 3, 9 a.m. to noon. – Three local employers will discuss your concerns about job search: ageism, references, tips on resumes, interviews, and more. There will be a lengthy Q& A to address your specific job search concerns. Registration not required.

Career Decision Making – April 7 and 11, and April 28 and May 2 – This two-part workshop reviews the factors involved in making career decisions, assessment tools used, and other resources. Apply the information gain from assessments to identify career & training steps to achieve career goals. To register please call 753-9005

Job Search Tips for People with a Criminal History – April 10, 9 to 10 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.

Resumes & Interview Skills – Part I – April 10, 9 a.m. to Noon and April 23, 2 p.m. 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. April 10 will be held at the Lewiston CareerCenter; call 753-9005 to register. April 23 will be held at the Auburn Public Library at 49 Spring Street in Auburn; call 753-9066 to register.

Professionals Moving Ahead! – Employer Panel #2 – April 17, 9 a.m. to noon. – Another set of employers will be on hand to discuss your concerns about job search, including a question and answer segment to ensure your questions are addressed. Registration not required.

Resumes Part II – April 18, 10 a.m. to noon at the Lewiston CareerCenter – This workshop supplements our traditional resume workshop. Attendance at Resumes-Part I and a completed resume are required for attendance. In this workshop, the facilitator will review your resume and give feedback and comments so that you can send your resume to employers with confidence that it will get noticed!

Job Search Skills – April 24, 9 to 11 a.m. – 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

Mock Job Interviews – April 24, 2 to 4 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.

Training & 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.

An Adult Education Representative will help you explore options to improve your job skills and which adult education programs or classes will best meet your needs based on your interests and career goals. Available every Wednesday 10:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Orientation for People with Disabilities – April 18, 1 to 2:30 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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Maine Department of Labor and DHHS Collaborate on Welfare-to-Work Initiative Bookmark and Share

April 1, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2014
Contact: John Martins, DHHS, 287-5012; Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

Joint effort provides ASPIRE program participants with training needed for successful employment

AUGUSTA— Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services have launched a program designed to successfully transition those on welfare to meaningful employment.

Through its programs for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment (ASPIRE), DHHS is working with DOL’s CareerCenters on this joint initiative to develop an individual's skills that are essential for employment.

“I commend the staff of both DHHS and Labor for collaborating to provide people on welfare the opportunity to get work experience,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This is a critical step in ending the generational poverty that welfare dependence feeds. I encourage Maine employers who are concerned about welfare to provide work experience for one of these participants. Everyone benefits when Mainers join the workforce and are able to support themselves and their families.”

Work experiences are planned, structured learning experiences that take place in a workplace for a limited period. The placement of participants in work experiences is based on an individual worker’s vocational interests and focuses on developing employability and occupation-specific skills. The TANF program requires participants to work or be engaged in a defined work-related activity. The work participation rate is monitored by the federal government.

Governor LePage has submitted legislation to eliminate Maine’s lengthy list of state rules that exempt TANF recipients from meeting this work requirement because failure to meet the federal standard leads to significant financial penalties.

“The primary goal of this work experience is the development of participants in meaningful and lasting ways that prepare them to enter the workforce,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “Each CareerCenter will have a staff person working with local businesses and non-profits to identify worksites and assist the business or non-profit in providing the work experience.”

A team of professionals will work together to provide the environment required for this learning experience. Core team members include the participant, the ASPIRE program specialist from DHHS, the worksite development specialist from the CareerCenter and a worksite supervisor from the business or non-profit offering the work experience. ASPIRE program staff will provide the coaching and support required for participants to succeed in the workplace, while the worksite supervisor will play a critical role in the work environment.

The joint program is just one of the positive developments in a two year-long effort by Maine DHHS, DOL, adult education and other local and regional partners to help transition TANF recipients to the workforce. Now, each TANF recipient receives a vocational assessment to determine the individual’s skills and work-readiness.

Barriers to work are identified and eliminated, then staff works with each individual to clear a pathway to employment.

“For many participants, this work experience may be their first chance to test their abilities, learn about their career preferences and understand what must be accomplished to achieve their employment goals,” said DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. “ASPIRE participants will have the opportunity to gain confidence and practice the basic skills common to almost all jobs. These include workplace behaviors, expectations, work standards and problem-solving skills, along with marketable occupational skills.”

With nearly 7,000 job listings already on the Maine Job Bank, 2014 looks to be a strong year for hiring and creating thousands of opportunities for welfare recipients to transition to employment.

“Some of our participants are ready to return to work almost immediately; others will take some time to learn the behaviors and expectations involved in working,’’ said Mayhew. “We encourage both participants and worksites to celebrate the small victories along the way and to recognize that not everyone will be successful on the first try.”

Commissioner Paquette asked worksite supervisors to remember his or her first job and the mistakes they may have made due to the unfamiliarity with the job or workplace expectations. “We should avoid associating inexperience with age, and we must focus on readying the participant for work,’’ she said.

Before being placed, ASPIRE participants will be assessed to identify their knowledge, skills and career interests as part of the development of their individualized employment plans. The participants will then be referred to the resources or workshops that will provide them with the training or other skills they need to be prepared for their work experiences.

Work experiences with participating employers may last up to 26 weeks. Employers who choose to hire their participants for permanent positions may be eligible to claim federal tax credits.

For more information about this new welfare-to-work program, visit: http://www.maine.gov/labor/bes/aspire/ .

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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?

Androscoggin County Job Fair in Auburn on April 4 Bookmark and Share

April 2, 2014

For Immediate Release: April 2, 2014
Contact: Mary LaFontaine, Lewiston CareerCenter, 753-9094; Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

More than 60 employers will be hiring

AUBURN—The 11th Annual Androscoggin County Job Fair will be held Friday, April 4 from 9 a.m. to noon at Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner Street, Auburn.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; our state gained 6,500 jobs in 2013 and we are starting April with about 7,000 jobs on Maine’s Job Bank,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “2014 promises continued growth with several job fairs scheduled around the state. Come out, meet employers and learn what Androscoggin County and the surrounding area has to offer.”

Job fair attendees can have their resumes reviewed on-site by HR professionals and hiring managers. Those attending should bring multiple copies of their resume and be prepared for a job interview.

Employers should register online at http://www.androscoggincounty.com .

Participating organizations include: Academy of Medical Professions, Adecco, Androscoggin Bank, Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice, Argo Marketing Group, Assistance Plus, Bates College, Bonney Staffing Center, Carbonite, Catholic Charities Maine, Central Maine Community College, Central Maine Medical Center, Cianbro, Community Concepts, Creative Innovations, Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Express Employment Professionals, FISC Solutions, Geiger, Great Falls Marketing, Hilton Garden Inn Auburn, Riverwatch, International Paper–Auburn, Kaplan University, Kelly Services, Lee Auto Malls, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Local Union 669, Looking Ahead Clubhouse, Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Staffing Group, Manpower, Marshwood Center, Merrymeeting Behavioral Health Associates, Modern Woodmen of America, NAMI Maine Family Respite Program, New Balance Athletic Shoe, NotifyMD, Oxford Casino, Providence Service Corporation, PRP Insurance, Robert Half, Southern New Hampshire University, Spurwink Services, St. Mary's d'Youville Pavilion, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center, Staff Management, Support Solutions, SymQuest Group, TD Bank, Time Warner Cable – Portland, Tri-County Mental Health Services, U.S. Small Business Administration, US Cellular, VA Maine Healthcare System (U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs), Voice Teleservices, Women Unlimited and Woodfords Family Services.

The fair is sponsored by the Lewiston CareerCenter, the Maine Department of Labor, Central Maine Community College, the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce, Gleason Media Services and the Sun Journal.

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). 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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Free Courses on Employment Law for Employers Bookmark and Share

February 14, 2014

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

Upcoming Classes in Lubec, Farmington, Rockland and Scarborough

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor will offer sessions of its popular free course that educates employers and the public about regulations governing the workplace. The Laws Governing Workplace Rights classes are taught by staff of the Wage and Hour Division of the Bureau of Labor Standards.

The Lubec course will be held April 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Lubec Town Office, 40 School Street. The other courses will be held May 20 in Farmington on the University of Maine campus, June 13 in Rockland at the Rockland CareerCenter, and June 19 in Scarborough at the Scarborough Municipal Building.

Although the courses are free, registration is required because seating is limited.

“We are pleased to be offering these no-cost and popular courses all over the state to make it more convenient for small business owners and HR staff to attend,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Understanding the law prevents businesses from making costly mistakes. This course helps Maine’s business managers save time, money and aggravation when complying with state regulations.”

This course covers wage and hour laws, including minimum wage, overtime, youth employment, severance pay, equal pay, leave requirements (family medical leave and domestic violence) and break requirements. It addresses commonly asked employment-related questions and offers participants an opportunity to ask questions. The course also includes a discussion of employer services offered by the CareerCenters.

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette said, “The department wants to help Maine employers by giving them the answers before we give them the test. This course is designed for small business owners or staff who handle human resources and payroll functions. This is about education, not investigation. Come with your questions.”

To register, call the Maine Department of Labor at (207) 623-7900 or visit http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Safetyworks_Classes&v=ListAll . Space is limited so reservations are required.

The Wage and Hour Division is Maine’s regulatory agency overseeing labor and employment law; 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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Commissioner of Labor Disappointed over Defeat of Youth Permit Bill Bookmark and Share

April 2, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Director of Communications, 207-621-5009

Partisan politics creates missed opportunity to help teens, families and businesses

AUGUSTA—Labor Commissioner Jeanne S. Paquette has issued a statement expressing her disappointment on the Legislature’s failure to pass LD 1698, "An Act To Streamline the Work Permitting Process for Minors and To Conform Allowable Places That Minors May Work to Federal Law." Despite an amendment that gained unanimous support in the Senate last week, the House insisted on its action of Ought Not to Pass, killing the bill on Monday, March 31. A previous vote in the House, 85 to 58, was largely along party lines.

“LD 1698 encouraged 14- and 15-year-olds to develop work skills earlier by removing some of the existing barriers in current law. It streamlined the permitting process—during the summer months—and opened new job opportunities for teens,” Commissioner Paquette said.

“People under the age of 24 have the highest levels of unemployment in Maine,” Paquette noted. “The LePage Administration believes that we can improve our employment opportunities for teens by helping them get jobs and making it easier to obtain their work permits in the busy summer season. The common-sense changes in the bill would have given young people the opportunity to earn money, explore different types of occupations and industries and gain important soft skills.”

Teens traveled to the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development committee to support LD 1698 at its public hearing. The Departments of Labor and Education, as well as the Maine School Management Association, which represents superintendents, supported it. No one offered opposing testimony, making the majority party’s decision to reject the bill mystifying.

Federal law allows teens to perform non-hazardous work in movie theatres and bowling alleys. Maine is one of only three states that prohibits minors from working in theaters and only six that prohibits them from working in bowling alleys.

“If parents do not want their teen to work, they retain final approval of employment because they must sign the permit application,” said Paquette. “This outcome saddens me. Our young people represent the workforce of the future. Making it easier for them to access their first job can reap positive benefits for future employers and can equip teens with valuable skills that will guide them throughout their careers.”

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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

April Programs at the Augusta CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

April 4, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2014 Contacts: Peter Diplock, Augusta CareerCenter Manager, 624-5183; Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

AUGUSTA––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.

“Although Maine’s unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing for the past few years and private sector jobs are growing, I know that many people are still looking for good jobs,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I urge you to connect with a CareerCenter to get free help in finding a good paying job that matches your interests and skills. Our staff can help you create a great resume, practice interviewing, and improve your job search strategy. Don’t get left behind, help is here for you.”

Registration in advance is suggested, as space may be limited in most workshop sessions, and scheduled dates and times are subject to change. Phone the Augusta CareerCenter to register at 624-5120 or 1-800-760-1573, unless otherwise noted. TTY users use Maine Relay 711.

Interview Skills and Techniques – April 7, 9 to 11 a.m.

Gain the confidence needed to the ace that interview and get the job! Go in thoroughly prepared and positive you are the applicant the employer needs! Interviewing Skills and Techniques covers communication techniques, before-the-interview research, attitude and appearance, examples of questions you may be asked, what you can ask the employer, post interview follow-up, and more. Discuss all the do's and dont's and what to expect of the process.

Basic Computer Skills and Maine Job bank Registration – April 7, 1 to 4 p.m.

This course, offered the first Monday of each month, is designed for the novice user and will cover the basics to get you up and running with your job search, the basics of typing a document using Microsoft Word, navigating the Internet for online job searching, and registration and understanding of the Maine Job bank.

Job Search Skills – April 14, 9 to 11:00 a.m.

It’s a competitive job market; this workshop, offered the second Monday of each month, 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 is all about marketing yourself!

Resume Writing – April 14, 1 to 3 p.m. and April 30, 9 a.m. to noon.

This workshop provides some valuable tips on applications, cover letters, resume content and format, resume writing on computers and much more. Learn why having a great resume is so important in today's job market. This workshop provides valuable tips on resume content and formatting, completing job applications, the importance of cover letters, resume writing software programs and much, much more. A well written resume can get your foot in the door, and the interview––the next step to employment.

Essentials of College Planning & Financial Aid – April 18, May 2 and 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Workshop 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 1-800-281-3703. Bring last year’s income tax forms to the appointment.

Resume Writing Work Group – April 21, 9 to 11 a.m.

Have you attended a Resume Workshop? Do you have questions about resume formatting but don't know who to ask? Do you have a list of your employers, dates of employment, and job skills for the jobs you have had in the past 10 to 15 years? If you answered yes, to those three questions, this work group is for you? During this work group, you will be at a computer to compose your resume; staff will be on hand to answer your questions.

Veterans' Networking Group – April 21, 1 to 3 p.m.

Meet with fellow veterans and discuss interesting monthly topics, share ideas and network with others. Guest speakers vary by month. Take the opportunity to share experiences with other job seeking Veterans, share a cup of coffee, and learn some new things that just might help your next career move. Please contact Doug Hudson, Local Veterans' Employment Representative, at douglas.c.hudson@maine.gov or phone 624-5156.

Job Search Tips for People with a Criminal History – April 23, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Do you have a criminal back ground? Are you having trouble finding work? Looking for tips on how to respond to those hard to answer questions? This workshop, offered the fourth Wednesday of each month, will help you become a successful job seeker.

Gateway to Employment – April 24, 1 to 3:30 p.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.

Additional Programs

Career Planning

This two-part workshop, offered 9 a.m. to noon the first and second Wednesday of each month, assists those thinking about a career change or unsure about what job would best suit their needs. It explores the different factors that affect career decisions; helps people identify interests, aptitudes and experience; discusses the tools available to research education and labor market information; and, guides people in developing a career plan. You will examine personal values, skills, and personality styles. The focus is on self-awareness in order to make better career choices. How change affects each individual is explored. Job loss and change are very much like grief. They are examined for better understanding, resulting in the positive movement forward, which you are seeking. This session introduces various career exploration resources, including written and computerized software form.

Introduction to Starting a Business – Starting in June.

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 two-hour afternoon session, to be offered the fourth Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon. Maine Small Business Development Center's Director and Business Counselor David Hill will walk you through the keys to successful business start-up and management, focusing on the business plan: What is it? Why do you need one? What can it do for you?

The CareerCenter, located at 21 Enterprise Drive #2, Augusta, 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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More Than 7,100 Real Jobs on Maine’s Job Bank Bookmark and Share

April 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Entry-level to professional positions available for job seekers from businesses all over Maine

AUGUSTA—Maine’s Job Bank, at http://www.mainecareercenter.com , has added more jobs in the beginning of April to bring the total to over 7,100 openings available. The job bank, a service of the Maine Department of Labor, is an online job board that is free for both employers and job seekers.

“The staff of the Maine Job Bank and CareerCenters work hard to ensure real jobs with real companies are available for Maine's citizens,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I urge job seekers and employers to learn more about this recruiting tool.”

Employers on the job bank have a variety of opportunities, entry level to professional, with some of Maine's most high-profile companies and small businesses throughout the state. A few of the recent business to join include MedWorks Staffing, hiring a Nurse Practitioner–Psychiatric, S.A. Risk Management, LLC in Bangor, hiring six part-time security guards, and Veillieux Concrete of Belgrade hiring full-time concrete laborers.

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. Job seekers who register for a free account will be able to add their resume, enter their skills and experience, and create email alerts to receive jobs that are the closest match to their profile.

Jobs are filled and posted every day by Maine employers and dedicated staff at the Department of Labor. The team at the Department of Labor reviews each employer who registers and their 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 once filled. No job listing on the Maine Job Bank is older than 90 days.

CareerCenter staff can help employers and job seekers connect with the Job Bank. CareerCenters offer a variety of workshops and services to 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. 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.

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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Presque Isle Area Job Fair on April 9 Bookmark and Share

April 7, 2014

For Immediate Release: April 7, 2014
Contact: Patty Perry, Presque Isle CareerCenter, 760-6300; Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

Dozens of employers will be hiring

PRESQUE ISLE—The Presque Isle CareerCenter is co-sponsoring a job fair on April 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Northeastland Hotel. Sponsored by the Presque Isle CareerCenter, the Maine Department of Labor and Northern Maine Development Corporation. For employer registration information, call the Presque Isle CareerCenter at 760-6300 or 1-800-635-0357.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; our state gained 6,500 jobs in 2013 and we are starting April with 7,100 jobs on Maine’s Job Bank,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “2014 promises continued growth with several job fairs scheduled around the state. Come out, meet employers and learn what the County has to offer.”

Job fair attendees should bring multiple copies of their resume and be prepared for a job interview.

Participating employers include: U.S. Border Patrol, Care and Comfort, Manpower, TEMPO, Lane Construction, Maine State Police, ABLE, Home Care for Maine, Caribou Vet Center, Townsquare Media, the Northern Lighthouse, Wal-Mart, Irving Woodlands, Ecoshel, Project Flagging, Columbia Forest, Acme Monaco, Northern Maine General, Sears, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Aroostook Medical Center, R.H. Foster and Lowe’s.

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 (207) 760-6300 or 1-800-635-0357 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 66 Spruce Street in Presque Isle, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 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.

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Maine Department of Labor Launches Data Dashboard on Maine Workers with Disabilities Bookmark and Share

April 10, 2014

For Immediate Release: April 10, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

Provides state-specific information on employment

AUGUSTA—The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services and Center for Workforce Research and Information have launched a new webpage, Maine Workers with Disabilities. The webpage, found at http://maine.gov/labor/cwri/disabilities/ , updates the data contained in the report, "Snapshot 2012: Maine Workers with Disabilities."

“Workers with disabilities play an important role in our workforce,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We are working collaboratively across the departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services to provide an employment-first approach. We want to make sure that everyone who wants to work has access to the assistance and training that will help them find work. This data will help our efforts be more effective and ensure that Mainers are afforded the benefits a job provides—not just the financial benefits, but the improved self-esteem and ties to the community that make work rewarding both personally and professionally.”

In this electronic format, Maine Workers with Disabilities is the latest in a series of annual publications summarizing basic facts about employment status and services for people with disabilities in Maine.

The annual Snapshots and the Maine Workers with Disabilities webpage were developed in response to concerns from Maine’s disability community about a lack of state-specific information. Maine Workers with Disabilities presents information collected by agencies serving people in Maine and from improved national surveys such as the American Community Survey (ACS), which has been expanded and revised in recent years to more accurately capture information for individual states.

Wherever possible, statistics describing Maine workers are compared to those for the United States as a whole, providing context and meaning to a diverse set of descriptors. New this year, a breakout by gender is provided for many metrics.

Maine Workers with Disabilities provides multiple views of a population that different data sources define and measure in different ways. Since each source has a distinct constituency, target population and methodology, the data produced is not necessarily comparable. The intent of Maine Workers with Disabilities is to describe rather than explain. Its intended audience includes people with disabilities, advocates, policymakers, employers and other stakeholders.

In 2013, Maine’s vocational rehabilitation program assisted 921 individuals with disabilities find employment, resulting in combined wages of $17,927,412. Maine residents with disabilities considering employment options are encouraged to access Maine’s network of CareerCenters (then give contact info) as well as the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services at (207) 623-6799 (TTY users please use Maine Relay 711) for information about vocational rehabilitation services.

In general, people are eligible for services if they have a significant impairment that impedes their ability to work, and if they require vocational rehabilitation services to attain or maintain employment. Additional information for job seekers with disabilities can also be found by visiting: http://www.employmentforme.org/

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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Center for Workforce Research and Information Publishes Healthcare Workforce Report Bookmark and Share

April 14, 2014

For Immediate Release: April 14, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

Examines employment and projected workforce need for Maine’s largest industry sector

AUGUSTA—The Center for Workforce Research and Information of the Maine Department of Labor has published its “2014 Health Occupations Report.” This comprehensive publication provides an overview of workforce trends in Maine’s health sector and compiles an array of data for more than 50 health and social-service occupations. The report is available online at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/pubs.html .

“This is our state’s largest economic sector in terms of employment and wages, so it’s important to understand its underlying dynamics,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Healthcare has been an important driver of job growth and vital services. That’s why I made it my highest priority to pay the state’s $750 million debt to the hospitals. Due to the aging of our population, as well as changing regulations, we must monitor this sector closely and ensure that we have a workforce that can meet the state’s healthcare needs.”

The health sector plays a central role in the economy. In addition to being a provider of essential services, the sector represents nearly 106,000 jobs and $4.4 billion in annual payroll, making it the largest segment of the economy in terms of employment and wages.

Paul Leparulo, principal economic research analyst with CWRI, the report’s lead author, will present the findings at the Maine Health Workforce Forum’s meeting, Maine's Health Workforce: What Does the Data Tell Us?, on April 15, 2014, at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette will discuss the needs of the industry and ways in which the department is working to address those training needs through industry partnerships and such programs as apprenticeship.

The health sector has contributed to job growth in significant and steady fashion. From 2001 through 2011, more net jobs were produced in healthcare than in all other job-producing sectors combined. Healthcare has also been resilient to downswings in the economy. Barring a slight decline in 2010, employment has increased every year for two decades. Going forward, an aging population, technological innovations and heightened attention toward preventative care should continue to support strong demand for health services.

The employment outlook for healthcare jobs is particularly bright. In Maine, jobs for healthcare practitioners and support workers are projected to grow a combined 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, higher than for all other major occupational groups and well above the 6 percent increase expected for all occupations.

In addition to new growth, employment opportunities will arise from the need to replace those who retire or transition into different occupations. Over the coming decade, nearly one out of five individuals currently employed in the health workforce may need to be replaced. Given the age structure of the workforce, high replacement needs are not surprising. Two-thirds of dentists and psychologists are aged 50 or older, as are nearly half of the practitioners in a variety of other occupations, including pharmacists, nurse practitioners and licensed practical nurses. CWRI’s report indicates that, overall, job opportunities due to replacement needs are expected to exceed those resulting from growth.

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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Calais Area Job Fair April 17 Bookmark and Share

April 1, 2014

For Immediate Release: April 14, 2014
Contact: Nicole Jamison, Washington County CareerCenters, 454-7551; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009

More than 25 employers will be hiring

CALAIS—The 2014 Calais Area Job Fair will be held on April 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Washington County Community College Gymnasium. The fair is sponsored by the Calais CareerCenter, the Maine Department of Labor and Northern Maine Development Corporation.

“Maine’s employers are hiring; our state gained 6,500 jobs in 2013 and there are more than 7,500 open jobs on our Job Bank right now,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “2014 promises continued growth with several more job fairs scheduled this spring. Come out, meet employers and learn what Washington County has to offer if you are looking for a new job.”

Participating organizations include: AMHC, Calais Regional Hospital, Care and Comfort, Catholic Charities, City of Calais, Community Health and Counseling, Hero-2-Hired, HomeCare for Maine, Label Shopper, Living Innovations, Maine Army National Guard, Maine Staffing Group, Maine State Police, Maine Veterans Home, Marshall Healthcare Facility, MAS Homecare of Maine, Millennium Marine USA, NAMI Maine, Neighbors Care Volunteer Center of Washington County, NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement, Pratt Chevrolet Buick, Sunrise County Economic Council, Lane Construction, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Navy, UPC of Maine/Washington County Children’s Program, VA Maine, VIP, Walmart, Washington County Community College, Washington County Jail, Washington County Sheriff's Office and Women Unlimited.

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 454-7551 (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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May Programs for Job Seekers at the Wilton CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

April 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 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 May.

“Our unemployment rate is falling and our businesses are hiring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “If you are searching for work but haven’t been getting interviews, I encourage you to contact a CareerCenter for free help in improving that resume and practicing job interviews. CareerCenters will help you be in the best position to take advantage of our economic growth.”

All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To register for sessions held at the CareerCenter, call 645-5800.

GATEway to Employment: Wednesday, May 7 and 21, 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, May 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This workshop 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 1-800-281-3703. Bring last year’s income tax forms to the appointment.

Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation: Thursday, May 1, 9 a.m. to noon

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

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. This workshop requires five or more participants to run.

Community College Adviser

Discuss your college options and explore college choices based on your interests and career goals. Call Randy Berry at 207-740-0112 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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May Programs at the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

April 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 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 in conjunction with its partners, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills and employers to find qualified workers.

“Our unemployment rate is falling and our businesses are hiring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “If you are searching for work but haven’t been getting interviews, I encourage you to contact a CareerCenter for free help in improving that resume and practicing job interviews. CareerCenters will help you be in the best position to take advantage of our economic growth.”

Each of the 12 statewide centers 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.

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 www.mainecareercenter.com or call 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: Thursday, May 8, 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, May 14, 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, May 21, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

GATEways to Employment: Thursdays, May 1, 15 and 29, 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)

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

Essentials of College Planning Workshop: Tuesdays, May 13 and 27, noon to 2 p.m. Christy Le from the Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) offers free workshops 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 .

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 373-4000 to reserve a seat in training orientation sessions offered every week on Monday afternoons. WIA applications for those interested 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.

Small Business Start Up Workshop: Thursday, May 22, 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 two-hour afternoon session, where Maine Small Business Development Center Certified Master Business Counselor, Brad Swanson will walk you through the keys to successful business start up and management, focusing on the business plan: What is it? Why do you need one? What can it do for you?

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 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.

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 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.

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May Programs at the Rockland CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

April 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 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 in conjunction with its partners offer a variety of services to help people find employment or upgrade skills and employers to find qualified workers.

“Our unemployment rate is falling and our businesses are hiring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “If you are searching for work but haven’t been getting interviews, I encourage you to contact a CareerCenter for free help in improving that resume and practicing job interviews. CareerCenters will help you be in the best position to take advantage of our economic growth.”

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.

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, May 6 and 20, 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, May 7, 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, May 14, 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, May 14, 9 a.m. to noon Shows the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter.

Effective Interviewing Skills: Wednesday, may 28, 9 a.m. to noon Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

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

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.

Small Business Start Up Workshop: Monday, May 19, 1 to 3 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 two-hour afternoon session, where Maine Small Business Development Center Certified Master Business Counselor David Hill will walk you through the keys to successful business start up and management, focusing on the business plan: What is it? Why do you need one? What can it do for you?

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.

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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May Workshops at the Skowhegan CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

April 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15, 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 May.

“Our unemployment rate is falling and our businesses are hiring,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “If you are searching for work but haven’t been getting interviews, I encourage you to contact a CareerCenter for free help in improving that resume and practicing job interviews. CareerCenters will help you be in the best position to take advantage of our economic growth.”

All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To register for sessions held at the Skowhegan CareerCenter, call 474-4950.

GATEway to Employment—Mondays, May 5 and 19, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. This workshop will provide 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 1 and Cover Letter Writing—Tuesday, May 6, 1 to 3:30 p.m. This workshop provides valuable tips on cover letters, resume writing, including contents, format and much more. Learn to make a new, highly effective resume using the techniques taught in this workshop.

Essentials of College Planning for Adults — Wednesdays, May 7 and 21, at 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. It is the same building but go through the DHHS entrance doors.

Successful Interviewing Skills—May 13, 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.

Resume 2—Thursday, May 15, 1 to 3 p.m. Now that you have learned the basics in Resume 1, sign-up for the Resume 2 session. Bring your resume on a thumb drive and we will help you take it from good to great! Reserve your spot to work on a laptop computer and receive guidance from the experts.

Effective Communication Skills—Tuesday, May 20, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Discover your own communication style and be able to recognize the style of others; communicating clearly can help improve your relationship with supervisors, coworkers, friends and family.

Open Computer Lab—Thursday, May 22, 1 to 3:00 p.m. Reserve your spot to use one of the laptop computers to receive one-on-one help with Basic Computer Skills 101, Maine Job Bank registration and other job search tutorials.

Set your Goals—Tuesday, May 27, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Manage your time! Set goals! When you know how to manage your time effectively, you can achieve your personal and professional success!

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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Maine's Job Bank Surpasses 7,500 Real, Local Jobs Bookmark and Share

April 16, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 16, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA—Maine’s Job Bank, at http://www.mainecareercenter.com , continues to increase its number of job listings with more than 7,500 available for applicants. The Job Bank, a service of the Maine Department of Labor, is an online job board that is free for both employers and job seekers.

“Employers and job seekers all over Maine are connecting through the Maine Job Bank,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Job openings will become more competitive as our unemployment rate continues to fall. Now is the time to take advantage of this tool in your job search.”

Last week, Assistance Plus was one of hundreds of Maine employers who posted jobs with the job bank. The social services and medical agency currently has openings in behavioral health management, personal support specialist, nursing and for licensed mental health counselors.

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. Job seekers who register for a free account will be able to add their resume, enter their skills and experience, and create email alerts to receive jobs that are the closest match to their profile.

Jobs are filled and posted every day by Maine employers and dedicated staff at the Department of Labor. The team at the Department of Labor reviews each employer who registers and their 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 once filled. No job listing on the Maine Job Bank is older than 90 days.

CareerCenter staff can help employers and job seekers connect with the Job Bank. CareerCenters offer a variety of workshops and services to 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. 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.

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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Maine Unemployment Rate 5.9 Percent in March Bookmark and Share

April 18, 2014

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

Workforce conditions continue to improve. Payroll job growth of 8,000 over the year drove the unemployment rate to the lowest since September 2008 and the employment to population ratio to highest since November 2008. Job growth was spread across a number of sectors.

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data

Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in March, down from 6.1 percent in February and 6.8 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 6,700 over the year to 41,800.

The share of the population that is employed reached 61.8 percent, well above the U.S. average of 58.9 percent. March was the 78th consecutive month the employment to population ratio was above the national average.

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 6.7 percent, unchanged from February and down from 7.6 percent one year ago. The New England estimate was 6.3 percent. Rates for other states were 4.5 percent in New Hampshire, 3.4 percent in Vermont, 6.3 percent in Massachusetts, 8.7 percent in Rhode Island, and 7.0 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 March of 607,100 is up 8,000 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 9,100, primarily in the professional and business services, retail trade, leisure and hospitality, education and healthcare, and financial activities sectors. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 1,100 jobs in government.

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 6.6 percent in March, down from 7.5 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 5.0 percent in Cumberland County to 11.1 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.

The unemployment rate was below the statewide average in all three metropolitan areas: Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (5.2 percent), Bangor (6.1 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (6.0 percent).

This release is available at www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html . Detailed labor force and unemployment data for the state, counties, and 31 labor market areas; nonfarm jobs data for the state and the three metropolitan areas and much more is available at www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/data.html .

April estimates will be released Friday, May 16 (Data Release Schedule available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).

NOTES:

  1. Preliminary unemployment estimates 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. Estimates for the period from October 2013 to September 2014 will be replaced with actual payroll data in March 2015. The job count is likely to show less volatility than preliminary estimates.

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