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

April 1, 2014

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

This edition covers:

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

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

April 4, 2014

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

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

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

Supporting documents

Maine DVR State Plan FFY2015 Draft

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

May 21, 2014

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

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

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

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Maine Department of Labor Proposes Rules Changes to Assist Students in Career and Technical Education Programs Bookmark and Share

July 29, 2014

Call for public comment on changes to training programs for minors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2014 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor is calling for public comment on proposed changes to rules surrounding job training programs for minors. The public hearing will be held on August 22, 10 a.m. to noon at the SafetyWorks! Institute at the Department of Labor Building, 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta.

The purpose of the proposed change is to allow students enrolled in approved Career and Technical educational programs to train on specific equipment, located at a business, that is necessary for their course of study. Because of the size and expense of some modern, standard industrial equipment, CTE schools cannot afford to purchase or maintain that equipment solely for training students. The changes would allow students to train on the equipment at a business under strict supervision. Businesses hosting the training will have to comply with a number of conditions under the proposed rules.

“Many technical educational programs are at a disadvantage because some of our labor laws have not kept up with the changes in technology and job training,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “These changes will keep students safe but provide the opportunity to gain specific skills on updated equipment that our schools cannot afford to buy. This helps our students start on a great career and our businesses remain competitive.”

The proposed changes affect the “Rules Governing Hazardous Occupations for Minors Under the Age of Eighteen in Non-Agricultural Employment.” The link to the proposed rules is posted below. An accessible version will also be available.

“These changes are a result of collaboration between the Departments of Labor and Education,” said Commissioner of Education James Rier. “Our CTE students need access to training equipment so that the skills they learn in the CTE programs match the skills needed in their industries, and the Department of Labor responded.”

“The top priority is to keep students safe while using the equipment,” said Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette. “We have built a number of provisions into the rules that require close collaboration and supervision between the business and the CTE staff. Employers training students must meet specific criteria to ensure safety and compliance. At the same time, the changes provide the employer with a highly-trained future workforce, so it is worth their investment of time and personnel to do it the right way from the start.”

There are a number of changes proposed, including redefining "Student Learner" to include the students in a CTE cooperative program; defining a “CTE-Student” as one who is enrolled in an approved CTE program offered from a CTE center or region as defined in Title 20-A M.R.S.A., Chapter 313, §8301-A, §8306-B, §8401 and §8451; and requiring the CTE program to maintain control over the educational experience including the schedule and educational performance deliverables through a written agreement.

The changes require not only that the CTE program include close supervision by an experienced adult who has direct line of sight and within the student’s hearing range but also that the CTE program provide basic safety training for the CTE student related to the selected program and field of work prior to the student performing work that would otherwise be prohibited by the rules. Per the changes, all apprentice, CTE student or student-learner programs must have a written agreement that provides a description of the job, processes, expectations, schedule of work and name of the individual; the employer and school coordinator or principal must sign the agreement.

The new rules also give guidance for situations where 17-year-old high-school graduates who have completed an approved training program but cannot currently be employed in a hazardous occupation due to their age. Under the proposed rules, the graduate may work in a hazardous occupation in which training under an apprentice or student-learner program has been completed as provided in this section, even though the youth is not yet 18 years of age. Federal law allows such employment. For example, this would allow a 17-year-old who graduates after completing several years of training to avoid waiting one to three months until his or her birthday to be employed in his or her trained profession—with that profession being one currently prohibited for individuals under the age of 18.

Last, the rules changes detail the definition, program overview and hazardous occupations for Junior Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Persons, previously not identified under Title 26. A paid or volunteer junior emergency medical service person who is 16 or 17 years of age may partake in allowed activities as defined under the proposed rules and in accordance with the Maine Emergency Medical Service Act of 1982 (32 M.R.S.A. Chapter 2-B), and the Maine EMS Rules.

Written comment can also be submitted by September 3 by 4:30 p.m. to Susan Wasserott at Maine Department of Labor, 54 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0054 or 207-621-5096 or Susan.Wasserott@maine.gov .

These rules are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Standards. Additional information about employment laws in Maine are available at the Bureau of Labor Standards’ website at http://www.maine.gov/labor/bls/index.shtml .

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Supporting documents

Rules Governing Hazardous Occupations for Minors Under 18 in Non-Agricultural Employment

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

August 22, 2014

The August/September edition of the Maine Department of Labor's Employer Update is now online and available here: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDOL/bulletins/c650cd

This edition covers: - Thinking about Drug Testing? We Need Your Input! - Upcoming Safety Training - Hiring? Job Fairs! - Employer Services - Save the Date: HR Day, Oct. 2 - Seasonal Employers: Count the Days! - Are You Paying the Going Rate for Certain Occupations? - Disability Mentoring Day - DOL Proposes Changes to Rules Covering Onsite Job Training of Minors

Sagadahoc County Man Convicted of Unemployment Fraud Bookmark and Share

August 26, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 26, 2014 Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Collected benefits while incarcerated

AUGUSTA— Joshua Harwood of Georgetown, Maine was convicted on July 30, 2014, of theft by deception for fraudulently receiving unemployment insurance payments.

Harwood, age 35, filed for benefits although he was not able and available for work. He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in Maine State Prison with two years of probation all but 30 days suspended and must pay restitution of $9,212.76.

“Our recent fraud convictions send a strong message to people who abuse our unemployment system,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Unemployment fraud hurts the safety net that protects workers who are laid off through no fault of their own. Fraud burdens the businesses that pay unemployment taxes to fund the benefits. Keeping money in the trust fund lowers taxes and preserves the benefits for people who need them.”

Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette stated, “Our unemployment system is successfully using the tools we have available to identify fraud to investigate and refer cases to district attorneys for prosecution. Unemployment benefit fraud involving principal amounts of $1,000 or more, are considered felonies under Maine law.”

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

To date in 2014, the amount of fraudulent payments recovered through prosecution totals more than $87,000, with about $23,000 having been collected in August alone, and 92 fraud cases are pending with district attorneys. The recovered fraudulent payment amount for all of 2013 totaled $67,501. In 2012, a total of 15 cases were referred to district attorneys for prosecution, resulting in five convictions. In 2013, the department referred 88 cases.

“Fraud prosecution and prevention is a priority for the department. In the past two years, we’ve improved our reporting systems. We now receive information from employers faster and perform better cross-matches against employment and other databases, including people who are incarcerated, to identify potential fraud. These efforts are paying off and send a strong message,” Commissioner Paquette said.

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

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

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

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

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September Programs at the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

August 29, 2014

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

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

“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.”

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, like the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SouthernMidcoastCareerCenter or call 373-4000.

The following workshops and programs are available to the public at no charge 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, September 3, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Explores your career interests, aptitudes, values, personality, motivation and how each transfers to today’s job market.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing Workshop: Wednesday, September 10, 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, September 17, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips.

GATEways to Employment: Thursdays, September 11 and 25, 9 a.m. to noon Designed to help you jump start your work search with the latest tips and tools you’ll need to know to conduct a successful job search in today’s labor market. (Please Note: Maine Job Bank registration/account required)

Computer Boot Camp: Individual sessions held daily from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (except Wed.), 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, September 2, 16 and 30, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Christy Le from the Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) offers free workshops for adults 19 and older covering College Awareness and Planning along with the Federal Financial Aid process. She will assist participants in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To register for the next available session or for more information, call 1-800-281-3703 or visit MEOC’s website, meoc.maine.edu .

Small Business Start Up Workshop: Thursday, September 18, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Interested in self-employment? So what does it really take to plan, start and run a successful small business where you can realize the challenges and satisfaction of working for yourself? Join us for a 2 hour afternoon session, where Maine Small Business Development Center Certified Master Business Counselor, Brad Swanson will walk you through the keys to successful business startup and management, focusing on the business plan: What is it? Why do you need one? What can it do for you?

Goodwill Workforce Solutions administers federally funded employment and training programs through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Certain eligibility requirements apply. If you are at least 22 years of age and think you might qualify or benefit from training, contact the Southern Midcoast CareerCenter in Brunswick at 373-4000 to reserve a seat in training orientation sessions offered every week on Monday afternoons. WIA applications for those interested will be made available at the end of the orientation. Applicants 16 to 21 years of age should call the above number and inquire about the WIA Youth Program.

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

Each of the 12 statewide CareerCenters 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 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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September Programs at the Rockland CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

August 29, 2014

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

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

“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.”

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

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

GATEways to Employment: Tuesday, September 2 and 16, 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, September 3, 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, September 10, 9 a.m. to noon Understand your personality type as an aid to choosing a career. This workshop requires you to complete a paper quiz at the CareerCenter at least one week before.

Resume and Cover Letter Writing: Wednesday, September 17, 9 a.m. to noon Shows the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter.

Effective Interviewing Skills: Wednesday, September 24, 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 offers no-cost classes in Assertive Communication, Creating Your Future, Creating the Rest of Your Life, Credit Yourself, Entrepreneurial Training, Financing Your Future, Professional Development and Mature Worker Activities. For more information, call Shelley Taylor in Bath at 386-1664 or go to www.womenworkandcommunity.org . Workshops are held at the Midcoast Center for Higher Education, 9 Park Street in Bath and are open to all interested parties.

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

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

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

August 29, 2014

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 September.

“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 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 474-4950.

GATEway to Employment: Wednesday, September 3 and 17, 9 a.m. to noon This workshop offers an overview of basic information on resumes, interviews and job search skills, as well as CareerCenter and community resources available during a job search—learn how the CareerCenter can help!

Essentials of College Planning for Adults: Thursday, September 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This workshop covers the basic steps for successful college enrollment: learn about college and trade schools, entrance requirements, readiness and transitional issues of adult students, admissions procedures and financial aid. Review a typical admissions application, request admissions materials and financial aid information from prospective colleges and complete the financial aid form. To register, call 1-800-281-3703. Bring last year’s income tax forms to the appointment.

Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation: Thursday, September 4, 9 a.m. to noon This orientation is for people with disabilities who are considering Vocational Rehabilitation services. Registration is not required.

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

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

Community College Adviser Discuss your college options and explore college choices based on your interests and career goals. Call Randy Berry at 207-740-0112 or email him at rberry@cmcc.edu for an appointment.

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

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

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

September Workshops at the Skowhegan CareerCenter Bookmark and Share

August 29, 2014

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

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

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

GATEway to Employment—Monday, September 8 and 22, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. This workshop will provide more information about the resources that the CareerCenter has to offer, including the newest tools to assist you in conducting an efficient and productive job search. Topics covered include how to tap into the "hidden job market,” identifying the skills you have to offer employers, tips on successfully completing applications, resumes and cover letters and how to register and apply for jobs posted through the CareerCenter.

Resume I and Cover Letter Writing—Tuesday, September 9, 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, September 16, 1 to 3:30 p.m. Discussion of the purpose of the interview, types of interviews and general preparation for interviews. “Tough” interview questions will be discussed so that you can answer them with confidence.

Essentials of College Planning for Adults—Wednesday, September 3, 10 a.m. This interactive workshop touches on the four steps in the college process: admissions, financial aid, career planning and study skills. The financial aid portion of this workshop will provide an overview of financial basics and the completion of the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Bring last year’s income tax forms to this appointment. Please call 1-800-281-3703 to pre-register. This session is held at the DHHS offices located next door to the CareerCenter. It is the same building but go through the DHHS entrance doors.

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

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

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

August 29, 2014

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

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

“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.”

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

GATEways to Employment: Group Access to Employment Session September 3, 2 p.m., Calais CareerCenter; September 8, 9 a.m., Machias CareerCenter

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

Essentials of College Planning presented by MEOC September 2 and 16, 10 a.m., Machias CareerCenter

This workshop will survey the basic steps for successful college enrollment. The session will discuss college and trade school options in our region, entrance requirements, readiness and transitional issues of adult students, admissions procedures and financial aid. During the session we will review a typical admissions application, request admissions materials and financial aid information from prospective colleges for each participant, and, if appropriate, will complete the financial aid form. This session is designed to set the stage for future enhanced workshops or individual counseling sessions. Participants should bring 2012 1040 tax form (or income estimates for 2012) and any high school/GED and college transcripts. To register for a MEOC Workshop call 1-800-281-3703.

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

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

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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 Hosting HR Day for Human Resources Professionals on October 2 Bookmark and Share

September 9, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2014 Contact(s): Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 621-5009, julie.rabinowitz@maine.gov; Deb Whitworth, MESHRM, 699-5571, dwhitworth@northcrossgroup.com

Openings for up to 175 attendees will fill up fast

AUGUSTA -- The Maine Department of Labor and the Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (MESHRM) are co-sponsoring the bi-annual HR Day at the Department of Labor. The event will be held Thursday, October 2 from 9 a.m. to noon in Florian Hall at the Central Maine Commerce Center, 45 Commerce Drive in Augusta.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Department of Labor Assisting Businesses, Workers Affected at Scarborough Commons Bookmark and Share

September 10, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2014
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009, cell: 207-557-1483

Rapid Response will help workers left jobless by fire

SCARBOROUGH – The Rapid Response team of the Maine Department of Labor will hold an informational session for employees of businesses affected by the Scarborough Commons fire. The session will be Thursday, September 11 at 1 p.m. at the Scarborough Municipal Building, Chamber Room A. All displaced employees are invited.

The Portland and Springvale CareerCenters will be the points of contact for those affected by the fire. The Portland CareerCenter is located at 185 Lancaster Street in Portland. The Springvale CareerCenter is located at 9 Bodwell Court in Springvale. Both are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information is available on the CareerCenter website, http://www.mainecareercenter.com .

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

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

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

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Fall Job Fairs Scheduled Around the State Bookmark and Share

September 15, 2014

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

Employers can reserve tables while job seekers brush up resumes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Department of Labor Launching Job Vacancy Survey Bookmark and Share

September 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 19, 2014

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

Will create the only immersion center in Northern New England

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Maine Unemployment Rate 5.6 Percent in August Bookmark and Share

September 19, 2014

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

Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data Household Survey Estimates – The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in August, little changed from 5.5 percent in July and down from 6.6 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed declined 7,400 over the year to 39,800.

The employment to population ratio estimate was 61.1 percent. The recent downward trend in the employment to population ratio appears to be correction toward the longer-term trend following unusually high estimates during the winter; it remained above the U.S. average (59.0 percent) for the 83rd consecutive month (see note 1).

The U.S. unemployment rate estimate was 6.1 percent, little changed from 6.2 percent in July and down from 7.2 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 5.9 percent. Rates for other states were 4.4 percent in New Hampshire, 4.1 percent in Vermont, 5.8 percent in Massachusetts, 7.7 percent in Rhode Island, and 6.6 percent in Connecticut.

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

Payroll Survey Estimates – The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate for August of 611,300 is up 8,100 from one year ago. Private sector jobs were up 9,400, primarily in the leisure and hospitality, construction, professional and business services, and education and healthcare sectors. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 1,300 government jobs. Government accounted for 16.2 percent of nonfarm jobs in July and August, its lowest share in over 30 years (see note 2).

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

Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in August, down from 5.8 percent one year ago. Not seasonally adjusted rates ranged from 4.1 percent in Cumberland County to 7.9 percent in Washington County. Rates tended to be lower than the statewide average in southern and central counties and higher than average in northern and rim counties.

Among metro areas the unemployment rate was below the statewide average in Portland-South Portland-Biddeford (4.2 percent) and Lewiston-Auburn (5.0 percent) and above the statewide average in Bangor (5.5 percent).

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

September estimates will be released Tuesday, October 21 (Data Release Schedule).

NOTES:

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

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

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