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

August 14, 2014

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

Session will be held in Old Town next week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 3, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Training and Education Resources and Information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Job Fair in Lewiston on September 8 Bookmark and Share

September 3, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 4, 2014

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

Space is available for the safety classes in Augusta and Bangor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Department of Labor Launching Job Vacancy Survey Bookmark and Share

September 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 24, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Where: Sheepscot Harbour Village and Resort, Edgecomb, ME

Notice of Rulemaking: 12 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, 172 MAINE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMMISSION; Chapter 10: WORK SEARCH REQUIREMENTS Bookmark and Share

November 20, 2014

Note: To access a copy of the proposed rules changes, interested parties should click on the following link http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/notices/2014/111914.html

AGENCY: Department of Labor – Unemployment Insurance Commission

CHAPTER NUMBER AND TITLE: 12-172 Work Search Requirements

PROPOSED RULE NUMBER: 2014-261

CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING:
Susan Wasserott
Director of Legislative Affairs/Rulemaking Liaison
54 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0054
207-621-5095

CONTACT PERSON FOR SMALL BUSINESS INFORMATION (if different):

PUBLIC HEARING (if any): No public hearing

COMMENT DEADLINE: Friday, December 19, 2014

BRIEF SUMMARY: Modification of this rule is sought to update the rule to adequately reflect the current work search methods utilized by claimants, to provide clearer guidelines regarding claimants’ duty to track their work search efforts and present evidence of these efforts to the Bureau upon request, to include additional grounds for waiver of the requirement, and to modify the disqualification process.

IMPACT ON MUNICIPALITIES OR COUNTIES (if any) N/A

STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR THIS RULE: 26 MRS §1082(2) and §1192(3)

SUBSTANTIVE STATE OR FEDERAL LAW BEING IMPLEMENTED (if different):

E-MAIL FOR OVERALL AGENCY RULE-MAKING LIAISON: Susan.Wasserott@maine.gov

Supporting documents

Proposed Rules - Chapter 10 Work Search Requirements

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

December 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2014 Contact: Anita Dunham, Wilton CareerCenter, 645-5800; Media Contact: 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 jobseekers in January. All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted.

"The CareerCenters provide Mainers with tools for an effective job search," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Along with workshops that will help you fine tune your resume or interviewing skills, they can help with Maine Job Bank registration and often hold job fairs. I encourage job seekers to start the new year off right and visit the CareerCenter online or at your local office."

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

GATEway to Employment: Wednesdays, January 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!

Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation: Thursday, January 8, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

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

Essentials of College Planning for Adults: Thursday, January 15, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

Resumes and Interview Skills: Call to Schedule

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

O*Net Ability Profiler: Call to Schedule

Please call if interested; this workshop requires five or more participants to run. 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.

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, 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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Janaury Workshops at the Skowhegan CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

December 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 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 January.

"The CareerCenters provide Mainers with tools for an effective job search," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Along with workshops that will help you fine tune your resume or interviewing skills, they can help with Maine Job Bank registration and often hold job fairs. I encourage job seekers to start the new year off right and visit the CareerCenter online or at your local office."

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

GATEway to Employment: Mondays, January 5 and 26, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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

Resume and Cover Letter Writing: Tuesday, January 6, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

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

Successful Interviewing Skills: Tuesday, January 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.

Essentials of College Planning for Adults: Wednesdays, January 14 and 28, 10 a.m.

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

CareerCenter Application Session

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

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

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, 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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January Programs at the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

December 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2014

Contact: Leon Ouimet, Southern Midcoast CareerCenter, 207-373-4000 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

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

"The CareerCenters provide Mainers with tools for an effective job search," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Along with workshops that will help you fine tune your resume or interviewing skills, they can help with Maine Job Bank registration and often hold job fairs. I encourage job seekers to start the new year off right and visit the CareerCenter online or at your local office."

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 207-373-4000.

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

Career Directions / Putting the Pieces Together: Monday, January 12, 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.

GATEways to Employment: Thursdays, January 8 and 22, 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)

Resume and Cover Letter Writing Workshop: Wednesdays, January 7, and Friday, January 23, 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, January 21, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

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

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

Essentials of College Planning Workshop: Tuesday, January 13, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Christy Le from the Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) offers a free workshop for adults 19 and older covering College Awareness and Planning along with the Federal Financial Aid process. She will assist participants in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To register for the next available session or for more information, call 1-800-281-3703 or visit MEOC’s website, meoc.maine.edu .

Small Business Start Up Workshop: Thursday, January 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 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?

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

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

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

The Southern Midcoast CareerCenter, located at 275 Bath Road in Brunswick, is open 8 a.m.to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and can be reached at 207-373-4000 or 1-888-836-3355 (TTY users should dial Maine Relay 711). You can also find more information at the CareerCenter website, 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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January Programs at the Rockland CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

December 15, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2014 Contact: David Grima, Rockland CareerCenter, 207-596-2600; Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

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

"The CareerCenters provide Mainers with tools for an effective job search," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Along with workshops that will help you fine tune your resume or interviewing skills, they can help with Maine Job Bank registration and often hold job fairs. I encourage job seekers to start the new year off right and visit the CareerCenter online or at your local office."

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

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

GATEways to Employment: Tuesdays, January 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, January 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, January 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.

Small Business Start-up: Tuesday, January 20, 1 to 3 p.m. Details how to approach a business plan, for people interested in opening a small business.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing: Wednesday, January 21, 9 a.m. to noon Shows the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter.

Effective Interviewing Skills: Thursday, January 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. By appointment only.

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

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

Maine Centers for Women, Work & Community 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 at 386-1664 or go to www.womenworkandcommunity.org.

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

Rockland CareerCenter is located at 91 Camden St. and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. They 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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Department of Labor Offering Workplace Safety Classes in Janaury Bookmark and Share

December 16, 2014

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

Space is available for the safety classes in Augusta and Bangor

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

"Making Maine more business friendly is a constant priority of this administration," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "One of the ways we do this is through education of workplace safety hazards that help employers provide a safe place for Mainers to work and be prepared in the case of a federal OSHA audit. Investing time and energy in safety helps everyone, I encourage businesses to connect with SafetyWorks! for one of these no-cost trainings or to schedule an on-site consultation."

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

Automotive Lift/Jack Stand Safety and Compliance: January 5, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This half-day course provides training on the proper operation of multiple types of automotive lifts, jacks and jacks stands, inspection, compliance reporting, training and documentation required by various inspecting agencies. The course will provide the information needed for a safer workplace, which helps eliminate citations and can possibly lower a company’s workers compensation insurance. The course will have both classroom and hands-on training.

Forklift Operator Training: January 12, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This class is designed for new operators. The instruction will involve classroom and hands-on training. Training will include performing a forklift inspection and use of the department's "new forklift simulator." This training does not meet the requirements to qualify the participant to be a "qualified operator." Only the employer can provide such certification.

Accident Investigation/Injury Analysis: January 13, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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

10-Hour Construction Standards: January 15-16, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Trenching and Excavation, January 20, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Bangor CareerCenter, 45 Oak Street, Suite 3, Bangor

You will learn the dangers to employees, soil classifications, OSHA requirements and the types of protective systems to prevent cave-ins. You will also learn what is meant by “competent person.”

Noise/Hearing Protection: January 21, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

This 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 will show workers how they can protect themselves against hearing loss from the noise exposure on and off the job.

Safety Officer Training: January 22, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Bangor CareerCenter, 45 Oak Street, Suite 3, Bangor

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

Bloodborne Pathogens Train-the-Trainer: January 23, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

If your job responsibilities involve occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens, this course is for you. This class will instruct you on how the OSHA standard (29 CFR 1910. 1030) applies to non-healthcare employers. This training is designed to provide an understanding of bloodborne pathogens, common modes of transmission, methods of prevention, developing an exposure control plan, and required training for employees. Training materials will be provided.

Scaffolding and Fall Protection: January 27, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In this 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.

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

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

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

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Unemployment Claimants Reminded to File Online and Register with the Maine Job Bank Bookmark and Share

December 17, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 17, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Unemployment filings peak annually after the holidays; system upgrade will require an extra step

AUGUSTA—Maine Department of Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette urges people who anticipate that they will be filing unemployment claims now through early in the new year to file online and to make sure that they are fully registered on the Maine Job Bank.

The first week of January is usually the busiest week of the year for unemployment claims as post-holiday seasonal layoffs occur at businesses around the state. This year, the Department will be upgrading part of the claims process in January, and with that will come an additional step to ensure claimants are registered on the Job Bank before they will be allowed to file an initial or continuing claim.

Governor Paul R. LePage advised, “Our goal is to help people who have lost a job return to the workforce as soon as possible, especially during the winter. If you are laid off, the best way to apply for unemployment is to file online at the Department of Labor’s unemployment website at http://www.file4ui.com . You must also register with the Maine Job Bank.”

Paquette stated, “Although laid-off workers can phone in their unemployment claims, high call volumes mean longer wait times. Our website offers the most convenient way to file a claim 24 hours a day and also connects job seekers to resources that will help them get a new job.”

She added, “As part of the process for filing an unemployment claim on the website or by phone, all individuals will be checked for an active and complete Job Bank registration. Those who do not have an active or completed Job Bank account will be required to register with the Maine Job Bank before filing their next claim."

"People who have already taken that step will be able to file their claim more quickly and may avoid having to call the department and experience a long wait time on the phone. We urge you to activate your Job Bank account as soon as possible and use it to accept referrals for job opportunities,” Commissioner Paquette emphasized.

Federal law requires all individuals collecting unemployment benefits to be registered with the employment service of their home state. For Maine residents, that service is the Maine Job Bank, part of the department’s Bureau of Employment Services and the CareerCenter network. People who do not have access to a computer or Internet are encouraged to use a computer at their local CareerCenter or public library. CareerCenter staff can help claimants sign up for a free email address, register for the Job Bank, learn how to create a resume and apply for jobs online.

Workers should use the correct website to file their claims. The department warns that there are many websites that offer to help laid-off workers file an unemployment claim. Some charge fees for the service, while others attempt to gather personal data on the people who use the sites. The safest way to file a claim online is by visiting http://www.file4ui.com .

Seasonal layoffs most often occur in the tourism, construction and retail sectors. Although claims typically increase right after Christmas, they drop off significantly in late winter as people begin to return to work.

In order to qualify to collect unemployment benefits, workers must have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, be actively seeking work and be able to accept new work. Workers who do not participate in a suitable, verifiable work search, who have not completed their Job Bank registration and are not actively accepting referrals or who do not document their work search risk losing unemployment benefits and could be required to pay back benefits they have received.

For more information about unemployment benefits, please visit http://www.file4ui.com . Information and support for job seekers or those interested in changing careers, including the link to the Maine Job Bank, are available at 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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January Programs for Job Seekers at the Lewiston CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

December 19, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2014 Contact: Mary LaFontaine, Lewiston CareerCenter, 753-9094 Media Contanct: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

LEWISTON –The Lewiston CareerCenter is offering no-cost programs throughout Janaury, including a job fair with more than 20 employers on January 5. The job fair will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the CareerCenter, 5 Mollison Way in Lewiston.

"The CareerCenters provide Mainers with tools for an effective job search," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Along with workshops that will help you fine tune your resume or interviewing skills, they can help with Maine Job Bank registration and often hold job fairs. I encourage job seekers to start the new year off right and visit the CareerCenter online or at your local office."

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.

Job Search Tips for People with a Criminal History – January 2, 10 to 11 a.m.: Do you have a criminal back ground? Are you having trouble finding work? This workshop will give job search tips, suggestions on how to respond to those hard-to-answer questions and where best to seek employment which will lead to a successful job search.

Job Fair – January 5, 9 to 11 a.m.: More than 20 employers, all of whom are hiring, will be on hand to talk with job seekers. Be prepared with a resume and to have an “interview-like” conversation. And dress to impress!

Career Decision-Making – Two-Part Workshop, January 5 and 9, and January 26 and 30, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Review the factors involved in making career decisions, assessment tools used, and other resources. Apply the information gained from assessments to identify career and training steps to achieve career goals. Registration required.

Mock Job Interviews – January 7, 9 to 11 a.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.

Resumés and Interview Skills – Part I – January 8, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and January 21, 2 to 5 p.m.: An in-depth exploration of job search, resumes, applications and interviews. Learn how to stand out in a positive way by marketing yourself—in person and on paper—in a way that directly matches employer needs. “Tough” interview questions will be discussed so that you can answer them with confidence. The January 8 class will be held at the Lewiston CareerCenter; call 753-9005 to register. The January 21 class will be held at the Auburn Public Library at 49 Spring Street in Auburn; call 753-9066 to register.

Professionals Moving Ahead! Staffing Firms: To Use or Not to Use – January 14, 9 a.m. to noon: Have you used a staffing firm in your job search? Do you really know how they operate? Did you know that over 80 percent of employers use staffing firms for recruitment? Here is your opportunity to hear from the firms directly and ask your questions…learn more about this resource and if it is right for you. Representatives from Bonney Staffing, Kelly Services and All Temp Services will on hand to help you learn more about the staffing firms and how to use them effectively.

GATEway to Employment – January 15, 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.

New Mainers Workshop: Completing Paper and Online Job Applications – January 22, 9 to 11 a.m.: This workshop will be offered in Somali. If you would like/need this information in another language, please let us know.

Job Search Skills – January 26, 1 to 3 p.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.

Training and Education Resources and Information

Introduction to Self-Employment – January 8, 10 a.m. to noon: This workshop will help you decide if self-employment is the right choice for you. The class covers the pros and cons of owning your own business, the steps needed for start-up, the major elements of a business plan and the many resources available to help you succeed. Offered by Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community. Register with Karleen at 557-1885.

Orientation for People with Disabilities – January 28, 2 to 3 p.m.: For those who are considering vocational rehabilitation services, these sessions are held the fourth Wednesday of the month. Service providers are also welcome to attend. Registration not required.

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.

Jeremy Hiltz, Addiction Specialist – Every Friday Morning, 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Is your addiction, or that of a family member, keeping you from getting and/or keeping a job? If so, Jeremy may be able to offer resources to help. No registration 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 7:30 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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Department of Labor Releases Report: Maine Workforce Outlook 2012 to 2022 Bookmark and Share

December 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 23, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

Examines projected growing and declining fields of work and demographic constraints to growth

AUGUSTA— The Center for Workforce Research and Information (CWRI), part of the Maine Department of Labor, has released Maine Workforce Outlook, 2012 to 2022 ( http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/publications/pdf/MaineWorkforceOutlook2012to_2022.pdf ). The report provides a broad view of expected workforce trends to 2022. The report is complimented by in-depth data on the CWRI website at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/outlook.html.

Job growth is expected to slow significantly as baby boomers age to retirement and smaller numbers of young people come of age to enter the labor force. Advances in technology at work and home will continue to provide the means to do old things better, faster and less expensively and to do new things that, not long ago, few imagined could be done.

“This report highlights the need for Maine to continue economic reforms that will help us address our demographic and workforce challenges,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “As technology changes, the skills workers need change. We are taking the needed steps now to reform our economy, reform and expand our workforce development programs, attract new workers and connect all workers with the skills employers need to ensure Maine remains globally competitive.”

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “This report underscores our continuing efforts to connect people who are out of work or underemployed, including people on welfare and people with disabilities, with the skills in demand by our employers now and in the coming decade. Our goal is to connect every Mainer who wants to work with a good paying job and give them continuous opportunities to develop their skills; this improves workers’ ability to move up their career ladder and provides employers with a pipeline of skilled workers. Meeting our workforce challenges is a priority for the Department of Labor.”

The report indicates that employment will continue to shift away from production of goods to providing services, with nearly all net growth in the education and healthcare, professional and business services and leisure and hospitality sectors. The reallocation of jobs across industries has major implications for the types of occupations that will be available. Though most jobs currently do not require education beyond high school, most job growth is expected in occupations that do require a degree or some form of post-secondary credential or certification.

The nature of work increasingly will demand higher levels of literacy and more sophisticated technology competencies. Performance attributes of jobs will increasingly be concentrated around critical thinking, problem solving, reading comprehension, effective communication and decision making with less concentration around handling and moving objects, controlling machines and clerical functions.

The information in the report provides important insights for young people planning a career path, laid-off or underemployed workers seeking re-employment in a new field of work and education institutions developing and revising curriculum.

Interactive charts at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/outlook.html allow users to drill down to detailed projections for industries and occupations and provide much greater detail than the report.

CWRI, part of the Maine Department of Labor, develops and disseminates state and area labor market information to assist in making decisions that promote economic opportunity and efficient use of the state’s labor resources. The full report can be accessed on the CWRI website at http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/pubs.html .

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Department of Labor and Verso Agree on Severance for Affected Workers Bookmark and Share

December 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 23, 2014
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, cell: 557-1483

Agreement requires 50% payment on January 8 with penalties for non-payment of balance by March 19

AUGUSTA – As the workers enter their last pay period of employment with the Verso mill in Bucksport, the Maine Department of Labor and the Attorney General’s office have announced the filing of paperwork in Kennebec County Superior Court today that will both enforce state law on severance pay and to bring immediate relief in the form of a partial payment to the affected workers next month.

Under the legal order, Verso agrees to pay one half of the severance pay to each of the affected hourly employees by January 8, 2015, and agrees to pay the remaining severance on either the fifth business day after the completion of any sale of the Verso Bucksport Mill or by March 19, 2015. The January payment will also include final wages and any unused 2014 vacation pay. The payment due by March 19 will also include the 2015 vacation pay per the collective bargaining agreement. The total of all payments is expected to be at least $18 million.

“These workers are due every penny of severance they are owed under state law,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The agreement provides the affected workers with 50 percent of what is owed them up front with legal requirements and penalties if Verso does not meet the deadline for the balance of the payment. Rather than wait for court decisions that could be months away with uncertain outcomes, these workers will have money on hand to help them get through the holidays and the winter months while they make plans for their futures.”

“This agreement does not end the work that my administration is doing to keep the Bucksport facility as a viable asset,” the Governor added.

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “If Verso should violate the terms of this agreement, the Department remains prepared to enforce the severance law to the extent allowed by law. Since the Department can’t enforce a law until it is broken, and enforcement actions can take a long time, this agreement is better for the workers because it gives them immediate relief with additional compensation to come. I appreciate the efforts of all the parties involved to reach these terms and give peace of mind to families who are already facing a difficult situation.”

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills stated, “My office is pleased to help the administration and the workers resolve the outstanding issues regarding severance and accrued vacation pay to the benefit of all hourly employees. We will monitor the situation very carefully in the coming months to ensure full compliance with the court order. This order will go a small way to softening the financial blow to these hard working men and women from the Bucksport mill.”

“The United Steelworkers, Local 555 of the Office and Professional Work, which represent about 90 percent of the workforce, support the actions of the State of Maine and its Attorney General,” stated Duane Lugdon, staff representative of the United Steelworkers. “The settlement was the product of difficult and occasionally contentious negotiations where all participants sought to protect their interests. The Steelworkers, Local 555 of the Office Workers, and Local 1777 of the IBEW came to understand the advantages of a negotiated resolution, which will deliver payments to jobless Bucksport workers in the near term. This negotiated resolution is superior to litigation, which extends uncertainty for workers who should receive the benefits to which they are entitled.”

In the event of violation of the payment of the severance pay pursuant to the consent order, the state would file actions for severance under 26 M.R.S. § 625-B against Verso and potentially any parent corporation or direct or indirect owner, including shareholders. Penalties would include a fine of $1,000 per affected employee payable to the state and additional liquidated damages payable to the affected employees.

The state’s severance pay law is enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the Bureau of Labor Standards of the Maine Department of Labor. Affected workers who do not believe that the severance pay provided to them as part of this agreement is accurate have 60 days in which to file a complaint with the bureau director.

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Unemployment Claimants Reminded to File Online to Avoid Long Wait Times on Phone Bookmark and Share

January 2, 2015

January is the busiest month for our unemployment system. Please be patient if you are calling the department. Many Unemployment services are available on the web at http://www.file4ui.com :

  1. File an initial claim or add/reopen claims: You will need to reopen your claim if you have not filed for two weeks or longer.

  2. File weekly claims: Once you establish a benefit year, you need to file a claim for each week. Do not wait for the department to contact you before you start filing weekly claims.

  3. View recently filed claims activity such as the date of filing or the benefits payment date.

  4. Change your address.

  5. Change your Personal Identification Number (PIN).

  6. Appeal a decision. You may also appeal a decision by calling 207-621-5001. You MUST have the decision number with you when filing an appeal. That number will have been mailed to you with the decision.

  7. Download and print forms.

  8. Obtain general information about unemployment.

Unemployment benefit services available by calling 1-800-593-7660 and using the interactive phone system include:

  • File weekly claims.
  • Check the status of your claims from the last four weeks.
  • Change your address.
  • Change your Personal Identification Number (PIN).

If you are calling to use the interactive phone system, calling before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. on weekdays will ensure faster access to the system.

As part of the process for filing an unemployment claim on the website or by phone, all individuals will soon be checked for an active and complete Job Bank registration.

Coming in January, those who do not have an active or completed Job Bank account will be required to register with the Maine Job Bank before filing their next claim. They will also be required to be using that account to accept referrals and for other activities as part of their search for work.

Department of Labor Issues Preliminary Report on Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2013 Bookmark and Share

January 6, 2015

AUGUSTA—According to a new report recently issued by the Research and Statistics Unit of the Bureau of Labor Standards, 19 Maine workers died from occupational or work-related injuries in 2013.

That year, the national occupational fatality rate was 3.4 per 100,000 workers. In contrast, Maine’s rate of occupational fatalities was 3.2 per 100,000 workers. Research regarding 2013 fatal occupational injuries indicates a 1 percentage-point decrease in Maine’s occupational fatality rate, falling from 4.2 in 2012. All of the fatalities in 2013 were men.

“Any death of a worker on the job is a tragedy. We are continuing our efforts to make both businesses and workers aware of the importance of workplace safety,” explained Governor Paul R. LePage. “This report both raises awareness and aids decision makers and businesses in addressing safety improvements to protect Maine’s workers.”

In 2013, the most common cause of death in the workplace was transportation accidents (32 percent). These deaths include motorized accidents, collisions involving other people, animals or objects and aircraft accidents. Tools, Instruments and Equipment, were secondary causes involved in 3 of the 19 occupational fatalities.

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program is a cooperative program between the federal government and the state of Maine.

The Research and Statistics Unit manages and analyzes data on workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses and issues summary reports that help employers identify areas for improvements in safety and health protection. Their reports and data visualizations using Tableau are located on the Department of Labor’s website at www.maine.gov/labor/laborstats/research.html . The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report can be accessed at http://www.maine.gov/labor/laborstats/publications/cfoi/index.html .

Businesses interested in confidential and no-charge assistance in reducing workplace injuries should visit the SafetyWorks! website at http://www.safetyworksmaine.com .

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 6, 2015 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009 *Nineteen workers died from work-related injuries in Maine*

Town of Scarborough Receives SHAPE Award for Safety Bookmark and Share

January 8, 2015

SHAPE honors public-sector employers and employees who provide a safe workplace

AUGUSTA— Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that the town of Scarborough has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE). Scarborough is only the seventh municipal employer to receive the safety award for all town departments.

SHAPE recognizes public-sector organizations that voluntary undertake a rigorous safety achievement program for their workers.

“We congratulate the town of Scarborough for becoming SHAPE certified,” Governor Paul R. LePage said. “These departments know that keeping workers safe is not only good for the people of Maine, but also good for their communities and their taxpayers. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.”

The Town of Scarborough received its award on January 7. Scarborough is the seventh municipal employer to become SHAPE certified for all town or city all departments; the others are Brunswick, Fairfield, Presque Isle, Jay, Kennebunk and Caribou. The total number of SHAPE worksites, including the seven towns, is 44.

The SHAPE award was conceived in 2005 as a way to recognize public-sector employers and employees who are striving to provide a safe and healthful workplace. It is given only to exemplary public-sector employers after a thorough review and inspection of the employer’s safety and health policies and procedures by a SafetyWorks! consultant.

Municipalities and other public entities interested in learning more about the SHAPE 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 regulations and identifying training needs.

The Maine Department of Labor has enforcement authority of health and safety standards for public-sector employers in Maine and is responsible for inspecting workplace injuries or fatalities suffered by public employees.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 8, 2015 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Bangor CareerCenter and Libraries Team Up to Assist Unemployment Claimants with Maine Job Bank Registration Requirement Bookmark and Share

January 8, 2015

BANGOR––Maine unemployment security law requires all individuals filing for Unemployment Insurance benefits to be registered with the Maine Job Bank. The Bangor CareerCenter has teamed up with local libraries in Hancock, Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties to offer support and assistance to people collecting unemployment and need help with Job Bank registration.

CareerCenter staff are available at libraries in these towns to assist walk-ins with Maine Job Bank registration.

January 13: Sullivan, 1 to 4 p.m. January 16: Greenville, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. January 20: Southwest Harbor, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. January 22: Newport, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. January 23: Milo, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. January 27: Lincoln, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. January 28: Bar Harbor, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

No appointment is necessary. Citizens in need of this assistance will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis at each library. More information on Maine Job Bank registration and unemployment benefits is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/mjb.html .

Assistance is also available at the following locations:

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bangor CareerCenter

Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon at the Eastern Maine Development Corporation offices at the Penquis Higher Education Center in Dover-Foxcroft

Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon at the Mill Mall in Ellsworth

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the higher education center in East Millinocket

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.at the Orland Transition Center

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 561-4050 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for additional information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The CareerCenter, located at 45 Oak Street, Suite 3 in Bangor is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

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

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 8, 2015 Contact(s): Ed Upham, Bangor CareerCenter Manager, 561-4050; Julie Rabinowitz, Communication Director, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009 Assistance available in Bangor, Bar Harbor, Dover-Foxcroft, East Millinocket, Ellsworth, Greenville, Lincoln, Milo, Newport, Orland, and Southwest Harbor

Spring Job Fairs Scheduled Around the State Bookmark and Share

January 12, 2015

AUGUSTA—Spring job fair season is beginning to take shape around Maine, providing an opportune time for job seekers looking for work. The Department of Labor’s network of 12 CareerCenters will be sponsoring or participating in several career fairs. Hundreds of employers will be hiring for both permanent and seasonal positions.

"Job fairs give job seekers and employers a way to meet face to face and learn about each other," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Be prepared. Visit your local CareerCenter for resume and interviewing workshops."

Job seekers who need to update their resume or practice their interviewing skills should contact a CareerCenter for no-cost 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 .

"Many people may avoid going to a job fair to apply to their dream job because they doubt their skills or their ability to pay for training or returning to school," said Labor Commissioner Jeanne S. Paquette. “Whether you have a dream job in mind or just want to improve your career prospects, we urge you contact your local CareerCenter. There may be ways we can help you prepare for a job fair, brush up your skills with a specific course we recommend or retrain for an entirely different career. We have many programs right now that can assist job seekers at any stage of their career, including the long-term unemployed."

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

January 27: Madison Area Job Fair, Madison Junior High School, 3 to 7 p.m.

January 27: Mini Job Fair at the York County CareerCenter, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

February 2: Job Fair at the Lewiston CareerCenter, 4 to 6 p.m.

February 18: Job and Resource Fair, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., Warsaw Middle School, Pittsfield

February 23: Job Fair at the Augusta CareerCenter, 3 to 6 p.m.

February 24: Mini Job Fair at the York County CareerCenter, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

March 2: Job Fair at the Lewiston CareerCenter, 4 to 6 p.m.

March 4: Job Fair at the Greater Portland CareerCenter, Noon to 3 p.m.

March 26: Job Fair at the Machias CareerCenter, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

March 27: 5th Annual York County Regional Job Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nasson Community Center, Springvale

March 30: Job Fair at the Augusta CareerCenter, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

April 2: Career Fair, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield

April 10: Androscoggin County Community Job Fair, 9 a.m. to Noon, Central Maine Community College, Auburn

April 16: Job Fair at the Calais CareerCenter, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

April 16: Job Fair at the Greater Portland CareerCenter, Noon to 3 p.m.

April 27: Job Fair at the Augusta CareerCenter, 3 to 6 p.m.

May 4: Job Fair at the Lewiston CareerCenter, Time TBD

May 6: Job Fair at the Greater Portland CareerCenter, Noon to 3 p.m.

May 13: 8th Annual Regional Job Fair, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., Warsaw Middle School, Pittsfield

Businesses interested in participating in these events and other no-cost hiring services that the department provides, such as Maine’s Job Bank, should contact their local CareerCenter.

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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 12, 2015 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009 Employers can reserve tables while job seekers brush up resumes

Madison Area Job Fair January 27 Bookmark and Share

January 13, 2015

SKOWHEGAN—The Madison Business Alliance, in conjunction with the Maine Department of Labor and Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, is hosting the Madison Area Job Fair on Tuesday, January 27 at Madison Junior High School, 205 Main Street, Madison. The recruiting event will be held 3 to 7 p.m.

"Job fairs give job seekers and employers a way to meet face to face and learn about each other," said Governor Paul LePage. "Be prepared. Visit the Skowhegan CareerCenter for resume and interviewing workshops."

More than 30 businesses from Madison, Anson, Skowhegan and surrounding towns are signed up to participate in the job fair, including:

@ Work Personnel Arcadia New England Assistance Plus Backyard Farms Bob's Cash Fuel Care and Comfort Catholic Charities Maine Cousineau Wood Products of Maine LLC Crisis & Counseling Centers Crossway LLC Genesis Healthcare Cedar Ridge Genesis Healthcare Sandy River Hearth and Home Realty Home Care of Maine Home Depot Integrated Sales Solutions Kennebec Behavioral Health Kennebec Valley Community College MAC Residential Services Madison/Skowhegan Fire Department Maine Behavioral Health Organization Maine Staffing Group Manpower Maine Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center MCD Communities NAMI Maine National Able Network Penobscot Job Corps Skills Inc. Small Business Administration Springborn Staffing Services T-Mobile University of Maine at Augusta Walmart All have job openings that they are looking to fill. For an up to date listing of businesses participating, visit http://www.mainecareercenter.com/employment/job-fairs/index.shtml .

If your business would like to host a table at the job fair, please email mba@madisonmaine.com.

To assist job seekers in getting the most from attending the job fair, MBA is hosting a workshop on how to effectively network and stand out on Thursday, January 15, 5 to 7 p.m. at 52 Main Street in Madison. This workshop is free and open to any job seeker who wants to gain an edge when meeting potential employers face to face.

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 no cost.

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, 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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2015 Contact: Anita Dunham, Skowhegan CareerCenter, 474-4950 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

No-Cost CNA Training Program Holding Orientation at Augusta CareerCenter on January 16 Bookmark and Share

January 13, 2015

AUGUSTA--Maine citizens who have lost their job through no fault of their own and who have been out of work for six months or more may qualify for a new, no-cost training program being offered through the Augusta CareerCenter and MaineGeneral Health. The Ready2Work pilot program facilitates customized, on-the-job training that, upon successful completion, could lead to employment as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

“I encourage people who have been out of work to explore these training opportunities,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “You may qualify for a program that can train you for a new career at little or no cost to you, and this particular program pays you while you train. Some of our training programs are more hands-on, while others incorporate classes with on-site training, so it is worth a conversation to find out what programs fit your skills, interests and learning styles. We want all of Maine’s citizens to have a good-paying career with a future.”

The CareerCenter is hosting an orientation on January 16 at 1 p.m. at 21 Enterprise Drive, Suite 2, Augusta, where attendees can learn more about the program and sign up for an eligibility assessment.

Participants determined eligible for Ready2Work will begin the first step of the program on January 26, with CNA training to follow on February 19. Curriculum is designed in collaboration between the Department of Labor, Adult Education, and MaineGeneral Health. Qualified candidates accepted into the Ready2Work program will participate in MaineGeneral’s Earn and Learn program, that pays a minimum wage for 32 hours while in training, of which 16 hours will work with a nursing team.

Ready2Work is one of many available no-cost training programs offered at Maine CareerCenters to help eligible Maine residents find employment or upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume writing and cover letter software, Internet access and O’Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge.

Call 624-5120 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711). More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com/employment/ready2work/index.shtml .

Employers interested in sponsoring Ready2Work programs in their industry and/or area should contact Kimberly Campbell, program manager, at 623-7935.

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

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Note: This release was revised to indicate that the program is open to all eligible Maine residents, not exclusively citizens.

MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

2015 Prevailing Wage Rates in Construction Released by Department of Labor Bookmark and Share

January 13, 2015

Prevailing wage rates are the minimum rates contractors must pay on State-contracted public works projects estimated to cost $50,000 or more.

AUGUSTA--The Bureau of Labor Standards at the Maine Department of Labor has released its Prevailing Wage Rates for Maine state-funded construction projects in 2015. Each construction project led by a State agency that is over $50,000 and funded with State money is required to have a prevailing wage determination attached to the bid document, which includes the minimum hourly wages and benefits the construction workers are to receive while working on that particular project. The official determination must be posted at the work site where the wages apply.

The bureau's Construction Wage Survey (CWS) collected 2014 data for 11,891 employees from 2,903 employers for the purpose of setting the prevailing wages. More information is available online at http://maine.gov/labor/labor_stats/publications/wagerateconst/index.html .

The Bureau of Labor Standards’ Wage and Hour Division provides oversight of Maine’s labor laws, including laws on minimum wage, overtime, youth employment, prevailing wage, breaks, leave, hours and dismissals. The bureau’s Workplace Safety and Health Division manages SafetyWorks!, the department’s on-site health and safety consultation and training program for Maine businesses, and enforces workplace safety regulations for public-sector employers.

Workers or employers with questions or concerns about either workplace safety or wage and hour issues should contact the department at 623-7900 or http://www.maine.gov/labor . Frequently asked questions about wage and hour laws are available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/labor_laws/faqs.html , and free labor law posters are available for download at http://www.maine.gov/labor/posters/index.html .

Employers interested in free safety training, labor law classes, and the safety recognition programs that exempt employers from federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections should visit http://www.safetyworksmaine.com/index.shtml .

The Maine Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 13, 2015 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz

Maine Department of Labor Issues Results of Employer Survey on Drug-Testing Statute Bookmark and Share

January 16, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 16, 2015 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

Report highlights areas for potential reform

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor has issued the results of its recent employer survey about the state’s regulations regarding workplace drug testing. During the summer of 2014, the department solicited the input of Maine businesses and other organizations regarding the current statute governing employee-testing for alcohol and drug use in the workplace. The report is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/labor_stats/publications/substanceabuse .

“The Department has been proactive in seeking feedback to reform the drug-testing statute in light of frequent workplace-safety concerns raised over the medical marijuana law and the movement toward municipal ‘legalization’,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “This survey will help the department make the right changes to ensure that employers and their customers, other employees and equipment are protected from dangerous situations.”

During the last legislative session, the department proposed LD 1669, “An Act To Standardize and Simplify the Process for Employers to Provide a Drug-free Workplace,” which did not pass; however, during the discussions, a number of issues were raised concerning drug testing in the workplace. As a result, the department sought feedback to formulate future changes to the law and its rules to address employer and employee concerns. Employers wanting to enact a drug-testing program must have a policy approved by the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards, with the exception of federally covered employees.

The department solicited participation in the survey from all employers with approved drug-testing policies, insurance providers and organizations with a relationship to the issue, including medical marijuana organizations and providers, as well as other businesses and interested parties. As a result, 247 organizations responded to the survey.

Eighty-five of the surveyed organizations have not experienced drug-related incidents in their workplaces, although another 65 of the survey participants indicated they had not had an incident, but expected to have one at some point in the future and 81 had had a substance-related incident in the workplace, to include property and equipment damage, injury to the worker, and frightening situations such as violent threats. About a quarter of the substance-abuse related incidents resulted in no damages but the impaired worker needed to be escorted home due to incapacitation, and the same number resulted in injury to the impaired worker.

Maine law currently requires employers that want to provide a drug-free workplace by testing applicants and/or employees for substance use to develop and file a drug-testing policy with the Bureau of Labor Standards. The bureau reviews this policy to ensure compliance with state laws and rules before officially approving the policy, which then allows the employer to put it into effect. Prior feedback, which is largely supported by the results of this survey, has indicated that some of the mandated requirements are cost prohibitive for many small- and medium-sized employers, which deters many employers from implementing a policy. Several employers suggested alternative testing programs and policies in the survey feedback, which the department is considering as it proposes legislation to reform the existing statute.

While more than half of other states have drug testing statutes and regulations, Maine’s existing substance-testing law is an outlier in a number of ways. Maine is the only state that requires employers with more than 20 full-time employees to pay for employee assistance programs; fully exempts employers who have just one employee subject to federal testing; does not allow probable-cause testing for the first accident; and requires that the costs of drug rehabilitation be equally divided between the employer and employee. Survey results provide guidance on possible changes to these regulations.

More information on Maine’s workplace drug-testing laws is available on the Department of Labor’s website at http://www.maine.gov/labor/laborlaws/substanceabuse_testing .

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Maine Cat Earns Safety Award Bookmark and Share

January 16, 2015

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that Maine Cat in Bremen has earned the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program Award (SHARP) in recognition of its rigorous safety achievement program. Maine Cat Maine is a family run business that has been building high performance composite sailing and power multihulls since 1993.

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

“Employers earn SHARP recognition by operating their facility under strict safety and health management standards,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “We congratulate Maine Cat for earning SHARP certification. They demonstrate to their industry that making safety a priority pays off.” A banner and certificate was presented in a January 6 ceremony.

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

Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification. Maine currently has 68 SHARP worksites. To qualify for SHARP, companies must undergo a comprehensive audit, correct all hazards identified during an onsite health and safety consultation, demonstrate that effective safety and health programs are in place and maintain injury rates below the industry average for the last year of completed data. After awarding the SHARP designation, OSHA removes the worksite from its general scheduled inspection list for two years. If the company continues to meet all conditions of the program, the SHARP designation may be renewed for another two years.

Employers interested in learning more about the SHARP designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com . SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with federal OSHA regulations and identifying training needs.

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

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For Immediate Release: January 16, 2015 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009 *Bremen boat builder recognized for workplace safety*

February Workshops at the Skowhegan CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

January 20, 2015

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 February.

"CareerCenters hold monthly workshops that help Mainers improve their job search and employment prospects," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "They also offer several training programs that teach or improve job skills or develop new career paths after a job loss. I encourage job seekers to visit their local CareerCenter and let us know how we can help them get back into the workforce."

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

GATEway to Employment: Mondays, February 9 and 23, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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

Resume and Cover Letter Writing: Tuesday, February 3, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

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

Successful Interviewing Skills: Tuesday, February 10, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

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

Essentials of College Planning for Adults: Wednesdays, February 11 and 24, 10 a.m.

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

CareerCenter Application Session

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

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

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, 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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2015 Contact: Anita Dunham, Skowhegan CareerCenter, 474-4950 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

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

January 20, 2015

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 February. All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted.

"CareerCenters hold monthly workshops that help Mainers improve their job search and employment prospects," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "They also offer several training programs that teach or improve job skills or develop new career paths after a job loss. I encourage job seekers to visit their local CareerCenter and let us know how we can help them get back into the workforce."

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

GATEway to Employment: Wednesdays, February 4 and 18, 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!

Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation: Thursday, February 5, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

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

Essentials of College Planning for Adults: Thursday, February 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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

Resumes and Interview Skills: Call to Schedule

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

O*Net Ability Profiler: Call to Schedule

Please call if interested; this workshop requires five or more participants to run. 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.

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, 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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2015 Contact: Anita Dunham, Wilton CareerCenter, 645-5800; Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009

February Programs at the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

January 20, 2015

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

"CareerCenters hold monthly workshops that help Mainers improve their job search and employment prospects," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "They also offer several training programs that teach or improve job skills or develop new career paths after a job loss. I encourage job seekers to visit their local CareerCenter and let us know how we can help them get back into the workforce."

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 207-373-4000.

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

Career Directions / Putting the Pieces Together: Wednesday, February 4, 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.

GATEways to Employment: Thursdays, February 5 and 19, 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)

Resume and Cover Letter Writing Workshop: Wednesday, February 11, and Thursday, February 26, 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, February 18, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

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

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

Essentials of College Planning Workshop: Tuesdays, February 3 and 17, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Christy Le from the Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) offers a free workshop for adults 19 and older covering College Awareness and Planning along with the Federal Financial Aid process. She will assist participants in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To register for the next available session or for more information, call 1-800-281-3703 or visit MEOC’s website, meoc.maine.edu .

Small Business Start Up Workshop: Wednesday, February 25, 10 a.m. to noon 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?

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

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

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

The Southern Midcoast CareerCenter, located at 275 Bath Road in Brunswick, is open 8 a.m.to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and can be reached at 207-373-4000 or 1-888-836-3355 (TTY users should dial Maine Relay 711). You can also find more information at the CareerCenter website, 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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2015 Contact: Leon Ouimet, Southern Midcoast CareerCenter, 207-373-4000 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

February Programs at the Rockland CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

January 20, 2015

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

"CareerCenters hold monthly workshops that help Mainers improve their job search and employment prospects," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "They also offer several training programs that teach or improve job skills or develop new career paths after a job loss. I encourage job seekers to visit their local CareerCenter and let us know how we can help them get back into the workforce."

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

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

GATEways to Employment: Tuesdays, February 3 and 17, 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, February 4, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Explores your career interests, aptitudes, values, personality, and motivations, and shows how each transfers to today’s job market.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Wednesday, February 11, 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.

Small Business Start-up: Tuesday, February 17, 1 to 3 p.m. Details how to approach a business plan, for people interested in opening a small business.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing: Wednesday, February 18, 9 a.m. to noon Shows the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter.

Effective Interviewing Skills: Thursday, February 25, 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. By appointment only.

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

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

Maine Centers for Women, Work & Community 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 at 386-1664 or go to www.womenworkandcommunity.org.

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

Rockland CareerCenter is located at 91 Camden St. and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. They 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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2015 Contact: David Grima, Rockland CareerCenter, 207-596-2600; Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

Unemployment Insurance Scam Identified in Maine Bookmark and Share

January 21, 2015

Individuals receive false emails and ask for claimant’s credit card number

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) warns people filing for unemployment insurance benefits of a scam that attempts to obtain credit card information.

Labor Commissioner Jeanne Paquette warned claimants, “This scam is targeting people who are vulnerable because they may be in a difficult financial situation due to being unemployed. Beware of suspicious emails and call us anytime if you have questions. There is no charge for filing for unemployment in Maine and we will never ask for your credit card number.”

The scam attempts to lure claimants into responding to an email looking as if it is sent from the “Unemployment Advisory Department” with the email address “support@us-benefits.org.” The email has the subject line “Required Documents to File Unemployment in ME,” and references a specific town in Maine in the body of the email.

The email contains several spelling errors. It states that, by clicking the link in the email, the claimant can avoid a delay in benefits and “maxize [sic] the amount of benefits.” The email is signed, “Support Team, Employment Advisory Department” and says that, “You are receiving this email because you requested information online.”

“Don’t respond or click on the link in any email from support@us-benefits.org. Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone by email unless you know that you have an open and active claim with the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation of the Maine Department of Labor. All our departmental email addresses end with ‘@maine.gov,’” Paquette advised.

The filing of unemployment claims in Maine peaks each year in January, so during this time of year, claimants should expect wait times if they have to call the department. Companies purporting to provide faster service for unemployment filing are not legitimate, although claimants may find the idea of having someone else take care of the filing attractive.

The department is also preparing to launch an upgrade to the unemployment computer and phone claims systems. Accordingly, the department has sent several messages to claimants reminding them to be prepared for the upgrade and warning that when the upgrade is launch there will be longer wait times if a claimant needs to call the department. These messages are sent via the department’s gov.delivery mass email system with the email address MaineDOL@subscriptions.maine.gov.

The department advises any person who believes he or she has been compromised to contact local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s Office.

Maine’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation (BUC) does not send out unsolicited emails requesting confidential information. BUC’s emails are signed by a person employed by the BUC with their contact information and use the “@maine.gov” email address.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2015 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Supporting documents

A scanned image of emails received during the process used to carry out the scam.

Labor Commissioner Sends Letter in Opposition to OSHA Safety Program Changes Bookmark and Share

January 21, 2015

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced today that the Maine Department of Labor is opposed to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) changes related to the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program award (SHARP) after reviewing the rules and their potential effect on Maine workers and businesses.

Governor Paul R. LePage supported the decision to oppose these changes. “Maine is committed to being business friendly and creating opportunity for our workers,” stated the Governor. “The SHARP program does both by keeping workers safe and lowering associated costs. We want to attract businesses and new workers to our state. Telling businesses you’re in one day and then you’re out is the wrong way to show our appreciation for their presence in our state and their commitment to worker safety.”

Commissioner Paquette provided background on the department’s position. “This program is only open to worksites that employ a certain number of employees. Often, what is considered a larger business in Maine is rather small in other states,” she stated. “We want our businesses that choose to locate a business in Maine to know that we are committed to helping them become a safer place to work.”

Paquette noted, “Maine has the highest number of SHARP certified worksites in New England; our program is strong and this change would undercut the great strides we have made in lowering worker injury rates. The federal government is looking to make money off these smaller worksites and, as a result, discouraging workplace safety.”

Fewer than 2,000 worksites in the United States have earned SHARP certification. Maine currently has 68 SHARP worksites. Current Maine SHARP worksites that would be eliminated from participating in their program include Jotul in Gorham—the company’s only North American location, Lucas Tree’s maintenance facility, One-Steel’s locations in Bangor and Augusta, and the Hinckley Company in Trenton.

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

Employers interested in learning more about the SHARP designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com . SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with federal OSHA regulations and identifying training needs.

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

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 21, 2015 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009 *Occupational Safety and Health Administration decision to limit employer participation in SHARP safety program will hurt workplace safety in Maine.*

Greater Portland CareerCenter Opens its Doors on January 26 Bookmark and Share

January 22, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 22, 2015
Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

Located in the new State Offices building with DHHS, the facility will better connect people looking for work and help those seeking a way out of generational poverty

PORTLAND—The Portland CareerCenter on Lancaster Street is moving to the new State Offices building, co-located with DHHS and the Bureau of Veterans Services, at 151 Jetport Boulevard, Portland on Monday, January 26. Now known as the Greater Portland CareerCenter, the facility will open at 8 a.m. to offer employment services to Maine citizens eager to get back into the workforce and hiring employers.

“This building consolidates these agencies under one roof and provides Mainers with easily accessible resources and services to help them succeed,” said Governor LePage. “Our Administration looks forward to serving Mainers at this new location and continuing to offer the training and assistance they need to successfully transition them from welfare to a career they enjoy.”

“Our new location will make it easier for us to connect with more people in Cumberland County and vice versa,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne S. Paquette. “Being right there, with DHHS, we’re able to better serve the people of Greater Portland who are looking to get a job, who need training and who may not have previously been exposed to the services we provide. By offering the CareerCenter’s employment and vocational rehabilitation services down the hall from DHHS, we’re facilitating that warm hand-off while avoiding the delay and confusion of sending them to another facility at a later date.”

“Our new facility also offers flexible space for job fairs. Our monthly job fairs and frequent employer recruitments will not only attract employers and jobseekers, but will also be open to DHHS clients. This is a win-win for each agency and the people we serve,” Commissioner Paquette stated. “In addition to our services for job seekers, we will hold a special open house for employers on February 26. Come discover how we can serve you.”

Employment services at the CareerCenter are delivered either by Department of Labor staff or Goodwill Workforce Solutions staff, depending on the job seeker’s eligibility determined during initial assessment.

People new to the job search process or looking to make a career change should begin with a visit to the Greater Portland CareerCenter. Parking at the new building is free and plentiful. Bus service is available on the Portland METRO 5 route. This route is about a 20-minute ride from downtown Portland and drops people off right in front of the building. Driving directions and other information are available at http://www.mainecareercenter.com/locations/greaterportland.shtml .

Job seekers currently receiving employment services through Goodwill Workforce Solutions should continue to visit their staff at the 185 Lancaster Street location through the end of March. Goodwill Workforce Solutions will move across the street to 190 Lancaster Street in Portland in April. Lancaster Street is accessible via the Portland METRO route 8 bus.

Visitors to the Greater Portland CareerCenter will find job search assistance and workshops, unemployment resources, training information, veterans’ services and employment and vocational rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities. The information center is available for the purpose of a job search with access to a no-cost computer lab, Internet access and the Maine Job Bank, fax machines, copiers and phones.

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 Greater Portland CareerCenter will have a new phone number starting January 26; call 822-3300 (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) for information and to register for workshops held at the CareerCenter. The Greater Portland CareerCenter, located at 151 Jetport Boulevard in Portland, 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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Unemployment System Upgrade to Offer Improved Services for Claimants Bookmark and Share

January 23, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

System upgrade scheduled to occur overnight on January 28

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor will deploy a major upgrade to the state’s unemployment system during the last week of January. The department has been preparing claimants for the changes to the system since December of last year.

“The system improvements will include more Internet-based self-service features,” stated Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “We will also ensure that everyone filing unemployment claims are registered with our Bureau of Employment Services and CareerCenter network through the Maine Job Bank. That registration is a requirement of federal and state law, but it has important benefits by better connecting people who have lost their jobs with all our re-employment and training services and network of partnering organizations.”

The new application will be accessed on the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation website at http://www.maine.gov/labor or http://www.file4UI.com , which are the current web addresses claimants use to file benefits.

The new system will allow individuals to create a website unemployment account; manage their profile, including editing contact information, username, password, PIN number and security reset questions/answers; and access a forgotten PIN, username, password or forgotten security questions/answers.

Current unemployment claimants will be able to view and print their benefit history transcripts, view their claim status, manage the direct deposit of their benefit payment and file weekly and initial unemployment claims.

New users will have the ability to access the Maine Job Bank, the CareerCenter’s website and file an initial unemployment claim. They will also have the ability to obtain benefit history transcript, often needed when applying for services form other agencies, for example, LiHeap.

Other new features include the ability to send group or individual messages through the unemployment system to claimants, for example, notes about training opportunities or job fairs in their area. People who file claims on the website will use their personal email address as their account login, another new feature.

The unemployment system, both the telephone claims system and the website claims systems, will be unavailable during the system upgrade, from approximately 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28, through about 6 a.m., Thursday, January 29, 2015.

The Maine Department of Labor administers the state’s unemployment system. Unemployment is an insurance program providing temporary, partial wage replacement to workers. In order to qualify for benefits, workers must have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, be actively seeking work and be able to accept new work. Workers who do not participate in a suitable, verifiable work search or who do not document their work search risk losing unemployment benefits and could be required to pay back benefits they have received.

For more information about unemployment benefits, please visit http://www.file4ui.com .

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Maine Department of Labor Reminds Unemployment Claimants To Prepare for System Upgrade Bookmark and Share

January 23, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Information on system down time, filing claims and using your Maine Job Bank account

AUGUSTA—People who are currently filing for unemployment benefits in Maine are being reminded to be prepared for the changes coming to the system during the last week in January. Claimants who are prepared will be able to avoid potential delays in filing their benefits or waiting on the phone for customer assistance.

The Maine Department of Labor will deploy a major upgrade to the state’s unemployment system during the last week of January. The department has been preparing claimants for the changes to the system since December of last year.

“Claimants will need to familiarize themselves with the new Internet-based self-service features,” stated Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “We expect that there will be a learning curve as claimants get comfortable using the new features and services. Therefore, we ask that everyone take the time to make sure you have reviewed the information the department has sent to you and posted on our website. Most important, we ask your patience during the first couple of weeks.”

“In particular, once the system is live, and if you usually file benefits on Sunday or Monday—our two busiest filing days—please consider waiting to file later in the week. If you do have to call us, the wait time on the phone will be considerably less later in the week,” the Commissioner noted.

Unemployment System Unavailable
The unemployment system, both the telephone claims system and the website claims systems, will be unavailable during the system upgrade, from approximately 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 28, through about 6 a.m., Thursday, January 29, 2015.

Accessing the New System
Once the new system goes live, claimants who usually file by interactive telephone can continue to do so, but their account will be checked for the same compliance information as those who file online.

Claimants who choose to file online will be able to go to the same websites they usually do, http://www.maine.gov/labor or http://www.file4UI.com , and be taken directly to the new web claims portal.

Filing Online
The new system will require people who are accessing it for the first time to create a new login using their email address. The email address must be unique to that individual, so if two people in a household share the same email address and are both filing for unemployment using the online portal, one of the filers will need to use a new or different email address as his or her login.

Checking for a Valid Maine Job Bank Registration Before Being Able to File an Initial or Weekly Claim
Maine unemployment security law requires all individuals filing for unemployment insurance benefits to be registered with the Maine Job Bank. Both claimants who file via the telephone and those who file online will have their claim each week checked to ensure that they have a complete and active registration on the Maine Job Bank. Here are tips to make sure that your Job Bank account will be marked as “registered” by the new system:

  • If you do not currently have a complete and active Maine Job Bank account, you will be required to create or complete one when you go to file your claim. This will take between 15 and 30 minutes, depending on the length and variety of your employment history.
  • Job bank accounts are created online, so you will need to use a computer or mobile device with Internet access. If you do not have one, you can use a computer of a family member or friend or use one at a CareerCenter or public library.
  • It will help you register on the Job Bank if you can look at your resume while you create or reactivate your account.
  • You will need to provide an email address.
  • Make sure that you have completed all three sections of the initial Job Bank registration.
  • In particular, make sure that you have filled out the following fields (skipping fields may prevent your account from appearing as completed in the system):
    • Job Category
    • Employment Type
    • Preferred Shift
    • Commute Distance (from zip code)
    • Education Level
  • If you have more than one Job Bank account, make sure that the one that has your Social Security Number is fully completed (SSN) and you are using this account. The computer system matches the claimant’s SSN in the unemployment system to the SSN in the Maine Job Bank. If you have not used the Job Bank account with your SSN in a long time, it will not show as an active registration for your unemployment claim. (Note: The Maine Job Bank and Unemployment Systems operate under strict state and federal security protocols to protect personal information.)
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Maine Job Bank registration requirement for unemployment claimants are available on the department’s website at http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/mjb.html and Frequently Asked Questions about the Maine Job Bank itself are available at http://www.mainecareercenter.com/faq/job-seeker/index.shtml .
  • If you need assistance in creating an account on the Job Bank, check with family members or friends familiar with computer and Internet use or visit your local CareerCenter and our staff can help you be ready for this new process.

Work Search Waivers
Even if you currently have a work search waiver issued by the Maine Department of Labor, you are required to register with the Maine Job Bank. Registration is a federal and state requirement and is separate from the requirement to look for work.

Further Assistance
You may need to change the day on which you usually file benefits, especially if you usually file on a Sunday, to get assistance with completing your Job Bank registration. CareerCenters are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can find the location of the closest CareerCenter at http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

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 provided at no charge. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

After the system upgrade, Maine Job Bank staff will be available on Sunday, February 1, 2015, during the peak unemployment-filing period to answer phone calls from claimants. Claimants calling for assistance will need to be at a computer that has Internet access. More information about this assistance will be forthcoming.

In order to qualify to collect unemployment benefits, workers must have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, be actively seeking work and be able to accept new work. Workers who do not participate in a suitable, verifiable work search, who have not completed their Job Bank registration or who do not document their work search risk losing unemployment benefits and could be required to pay back benefits they have received.

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

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