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Official press releases from State of Maine agencies.



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Attorney General Mills announces settlement in latest action against Volkswagen for emissions scandal

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 16:12:18 EDT

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet T. Mills announced today that Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Porsche AG, as well as their American subsidiaries, have agreed to pay over $157 million to ten states to settle environmental lawsuits filed last year challenging the companies' secret use of unlawful "defeat device" software in their vehicles - software that caused tens of thousands of tons of excess harmful pollutants to be emitted into the air in Maine and other states.The settlement marks the first time Maine and the other settling states - all of which have adopted California's stringent vehicle emission standards - have secured an environmental settlement from an automobile manufacturer for violations of their own state auto emissions laws. Maine will continue to enforce the tough auto emission standards established by California and incorporated into Maine law."We will not tolerate the flouting of our state's environmental laws, the legacy of Senators Ed Muskie and George Mitchell. We will enforce Maine's environmental standards stringently," said Attorney General Mills. "Our air, water and natural resources and the health of our people are critically important. The actions by VW to deliberately violate Maine's motor vehicle emission standards affected all of us and it was important to bring this action on behalf of the people of Maine." Today's settlement with VW, which includes $5.1 million for Maine, represents the largest settlement for Clean Air Act violations that Maine has ever obtained. Amounting to over $1,285 per defeat-device-equipped Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen diesel vehicle sold or leased in the state - and in addition to the amounts the companies have already agreed to pay - this will serve to deter other companies considering breaking Maine's environmental laws. The settlement monies will fund environmentally beneficial projects and programs across the state.Also as part of today's settlement, Volkswagen has agreed to substantially increase its commitment to the emerging electric car market. The agreement requires Volkswagen to - by 2020 - at least triple the number of electric car models its Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi brands offer from one model to three, including two electric SUVs. This commitment will further increase consumer choice and spur pollution-reducing electric car sales. This multistate settlement agreement was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and will be further memorialized in consent judgments to be filed in state courts. The other states joining today's settlement include Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The lawsuit followed an extensive investigation by a multistate coalition of over 40 states and other jurisdictions. As alleged in Maine's complaint, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche sold more than 570,000 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles in the United States equipped with "defeat device" software intended to circumvent applicable emissions standards for certain air pollutants. Once installed, the software activates required emissions controls during a car inspection, but deactivates those controls during regular driving, effectively falsifying the inspection results and allowing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions up to 35 times the legal limit. The automakers installed defeat devices in several generations of U.S.-market Volkswagen and Audi diesel engines that equipped over a dozen models, including flagship Audi luxury sedans and high-performance Porsche SUVs, with sales eventually totaling over 3,500 vehicles in Maine, before these vehicles were pulled from the market in 2015.NOx pollution presents grave risks to human health. It contributes to the formation of harmful ground-level ozone (smog) and soot. Exposure to smog and soot is linked to a number of respiratory- and cardiovascular-related health effects, including premature death. Children, older adults, people who are active outdoors (including outdoor workers), and people with heart or lung disease are p[...]



April Programs for Job Seekers at the Greater Portland CareerCenter

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:27:56 EDT

For Immediate Release: March 30, 2017 Contact: Mike Roland, Greater Portland CareerCenter, 822-3300 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 621-5009PORTLAND-The Greater Portland CareerCenter announces April programs for job seekers, those who are considering training for a new career, and employers in need of workers."CareerCenters provide job seekers with the job search skills and support needed to find good-paying work," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Mainers can start or jump start their career search at mainecareercenter.gov. You'll find monthly job fairs and workshops, various training program opportunities, and how to connect with the closest office."Events are held at the Greater Portland CareerCenter, located at 151 Jetport Boulevard in Portland, unless otherwise noted. Maine veterans receive priority of service in all CareerCenter programs.**Job Fair: April 5, Noon to 3 p.m.**Employers will be available to accept resumes and/or interview. A list of exhibitors can be found on the CareerCenter website at www.mainecareercenter.gov . Come dressed for success and bring copies of your resume.**Resume Information Seminar: Fridays, April 7 and 21, 9 to 11 a.m.**This is a not-to-be-missed workshop that will teach you how to write a dynamic resume. It provides you with the tools to promote and target your qualifications to directly match the employer's needs. You will learn how to insure that your resume and cover letter make the best first impression to employers. Registration is required as the workshops fill up quickly. Please call the reception desk at 822-3300 to register.**Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation: Wednesday, April 12 and 26, 10 to 11:30 a.m.**This program assists eligible individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain viable employment, and provides persons with disabilities information and services to assist them to overcome barriers to employment. Assistance with job search and job placement is also discussed. If interested, please call 822-3300 and ask to speak with the Counselor of the Day to sign up. Alternatively, you can view a video of the orientation online at http://www.maine.gov/rehab/vr_orientation.shtml .**Job Interview Workshop: Friday, April 28, 9 to 11 a.m.**Be prepared to successfully interview with the employer you want to work for and for the job you seek. In this workshop you will explore interview preparation and have the opportunity to practice the most commonly asked questions in an interview setting. You will learn how to make that great first impression to employers emphasizing your strengths and motivating employers to want to hire you. The workshop will give you tips on how to answer employer's tough interview questions, and is targeted for people just beginning the job search process or those who have not had success in finding work. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Please call 822-3300.**Job-Seeking Workshop for French-Speaking Adults / Atelier Francais: Every Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon, Workforce Solutions, 190 Lancaster St., Ste. 200, Portland**The Portland Career Center offers a workshop for French-speaking job seekers. The class, taught in French, will help you discover all the CareerCenter services and receive the information you need to find a job. For more information, please call Alida Nisabwe at (207)822-3346 or email her at alida.nisabwe@maine.gov.**Unemployed Professionals Group: Every Tuesday in April, 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon**The group offers real time networking, professional advice, current information as to what employers are looking for in resumes, invitations to networking events and contacts for the "hidden" job market. This workshop is a great resource for the unemployed, under-employed, and employers seeking individuals looking for work. It is a great tool for career exploration. Open to the public. No registration required.**Gateways to Employment: By Appointment**This is the first workshop in a group of workshops offered for job seekers at the Greater Portland CareerC[...]



Governor LePage Encourages Maine Legislature to Unite and Pass Real ID to Help All Mainers

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:18:11 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 30, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - While vetoing one bill relating to the REAL ID law, Governor Paul R. LePage today requested Maine legislators to pass a bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Diamond (D-Windham), LD 306, "An Act To Require State Compliance with Federal REAL ID Guidelines," which would help all Mainers, including veterans adversely affected by REAL ID. Currently, Maine is one of four states that are not in compliance with the REAL ID law.

Governor LePage encouraged Maine lawmakers to unite in order to help all Maine citizens, "While there appear to be reasonable arguments on both sides of the REAL ID debate, due to the federal insistence on enforcing its harsh terms, and a complete lack of interest or perhaps will in Congress to amend or repeal the REAL ID Act, I believe we, as elected state officials, must unite in going forward with implementation."

REAL ID, enacted by Congress in 2005, prohibits federal agencies from accepting for official purposes driver's licenses and identification cards issued by states that do not meet the law's standards for secure issuance and production. In a veto letter by Governor LePage due Friday, the Governor explained why he cannot support LD 213 "An Act To Provide Funds for Access for Veterans Seeking Health Care." Governor LePage is discouraged our veterans are adversely affected by Maine's lack of compliance with REAL ID.

"Though I agree with the sentiment to help veterans seeking medical care, we cannot forget all the other groups that have experienced problems due to REAL ID. I respectfully urge the Legislature to not provide case by case carve outs for groups being effected by REAL ID. Rather my advice to the Legislature is to speedily pass LD 306, "An Act To Require State Compliance with Federal REAL ID Guidelines" which would help all Mainers adversely affected by REAL ID," Governor LePage wrote. "Because this bill proposes only a limited fix to a much larger, much more complex issue, I cannot support it. For this reason, I return LD 213 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it," he concluded. Brigadier General Douglas A. Farnham Adjutant General, Maine National Guard and Commissioner for the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management said, "While appreciative of the Legislature's desire to help Veteran's obtain REAL ID compliant passport cards, the bill calls for Maine Bureau of Veteran Services to make financial hardship determinations and gather data from HIPAA protected federal medical facilities, processes that are currently not established. This is an access issue for all Veterans and Maine citizens. We need to pass LD 306 and fix the REAL ID problem for all Mainers.

In February, Governor LePage wrote to the Trump Administration requesting an extension in order to alleviate some of the problems veterans are experiencing with Maine's noncompliance of REAL ID and more time for Maine to adhere to the law.



Governor LePage Advocates for Life of Dakota the Dog

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:07:08 EDT

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 30, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - As the President of the United States pardons a turkey every November, Governor Paul R. LePage today announced a pardon in an effort to shed light on the case of Dakota the Dog. The request issued on Thursday describes Dakota the Dog, was involved in a proceeding before the Augusta District Court, during which the dog was sentenced to death.

"I have reviewed the facts of this case and I believe the dog ought to be provided a full and free pardon," said Governor LePage.

Governor LePage was made aware of this case, by a board member of the Humane Society Waterville Area. A letter to District Attorney Maeghan Maloney was provided to the Governor explaining the situation regarding Dakota the Dog, a huskie, who had been involved in alleged aggressive behavior with other dogs. The incident involved a former owner and Dakota was eventually dropped off at the Humane Society as a stray. According to the letter, Dakota was a model resident, extremely friendly, social with other dogs, and easy to handle. Animal Control determined Dakota could be placed up for adoption and was adopted shortly thereafter.

Meanwhile, there was a court hearing related to Dakota and her former owner. The new owner who adopted Dakota was unaware of any such court proceeding. Subsequently, the court ordered the dog be euthanized based on incidents occurring when the dog was owned by its previous owner.

The letter indicated, "They have not been given due process. The new owners were not aware of the more recent court case, nor the date for it, and therefore were not involved with the proceedings." To read the letter, click here.

A court hearing concerning the fate of Dakota the Dog is expected to take place tomorrow in Augusta District Court.



April Programs for Job Seekers at the Presque Isle CareerCenter

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 11:01:55 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2017 Contact: Patty Perry, Presque Isle CareerCenter, 207-760-6300 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

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

"CareerCenters provide job seekers with the job search skills and support needed to find good-paying work," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Mainers can start or jump start their career search at mainecareercenter.gov. You'll find monthly job fairs and workshops, various training program opportunities, and how to connect with the closest office."

Job seekers and businesses interested in connecting with one another can also like the CareerCenter on Facebook. Events are held at the Presque Isle CareerCenter, located at 66 Spruce Street, unless otherwise noted. Maine Veterans receive priority of service in all CareerCenter programs.

**Financial Aid - Tuesdays, April 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 9 a.m.**

Get assistance with college planning and financial aid. Preregister at 800-281-3703 or http://meoc.maine.edu .

**TechHire Career and Recruitment Fair, Northern Maine Community College - Thursday, April 6, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.**

TechHire is a nationwide program aimed at recruiting and training young adults for middle- or high-skill tech-based jobs. This recruitment event is open to Aroostook residents 17 years of age or older who have a high school diploma or equivalent, or anticipate receiving one this spring. Interested business and educational partners should RSVP to ACAP Workforce Development at 764-3721.

**Creating Winning Resumes - Fridays, April 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 9:00 a.m.**

Learn how to create a professional resume and walk out the door with one in hand.

**Bringing Youth into The World of Work - Tuesday, April 11, 9 to 11 a.m.**

Pamela Megathlin, Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards at the Maine Department of Labor, will present on child labor laws. Employers and stakeholders interested in promoting youth employment in Aroostook may meet one-one-one with Ms. Megathlin after the event for further consultation. RSVP to ACAP Workforce Development at 764-3721 to attend.

**Staffing Agency Job Fair - Wednesday, April 12, 9 a.m. to Noon**

Come in and meet with local staffing agencies. Agencies represented will be Manpower, Tempo, Maine Staffing Group and People Ready.

**Manufacturing Job Fair - Wednesday, April 19, 9 a.m. to Noon**

Come meet with representatives from local manufacturers and speak to them about opportunities.

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

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

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

-end-



April Programs for Job Seekers at the Machias and Calais CareerCenters

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 10:06:41 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 30, 2017 Contact: Nichole Jamison, Washington County CareerCenters, 255-1900 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009WASHINGTON COUNTY-CareerCenters, part of the Maine Department of Labor, offer a variety of services to help people find employment or to upgrade skills. Each center provides several public-access computer workstations with Microsoft Office software, resume and cover letter writing software, Internet access, and O'Net software for skills assessment. All CareerCenter services are free of charge."CareerCenters provide job seekers with the job search skills and support needed to find good-paying work," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Mainers can start or jump start their career search at mainecareercenter.gov. You'll find monthly job fairs and workshops, various training program opportunities, and how to connect with the closest office."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.**Calais Area Job Fair - Thursday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Washington County Community College Assembly Room, One College Drive, Calais**For a list of participating employers click on the Job Fair link at www.mainecareercenter.gov or the events section of our Facebook page: Washington County CareerCenters.**GATEways to Employment: Group Access to Employment Session**- Every Tuesday - Machias CareerCenter, 53 Prescott Dr., Ste. 1, Machias - Every Wednesday - Calais CareerCenter, 1 College Dr., Calais 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? 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 Melanie at 1-800-292-8929. REGISTRATION REQUIRED.**My Money Works - Mondays, April 10, 17, and 24, and May 1 and 8, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Machias CareerCenter, 53 Prescott Dr., Ste. 1, Machias**New Ventures Maine is offering its core class on managing money. This class can help you gain the skills and confidence you need to stretch your money, pay your bills, reduce debt, find money for savings, plan for retirement, and set personal financial goals. At the end of the class you will have a plan to achieve greater financial stability. A follow-up session is scheduled to provide additional networking and support. Successful completion of this class meets one of the requirements for the Family Development Account (FDA) and Rainy Day Savings (RDS) matched savings programs. Register by email: classes@connectwithaxiom.com; phone: 207-255-4917; or online: axiom.coursestorm.com**Increase Your Social Media IQ, session I - Tuesday, April 11 (snow date April 13), 9 a.m. to noon, Sunrise County Economic Council, 7 Ames Way, Machias**What's your Social Media IQ? Do you know what Social Media can do for your business? In this workshop we'll identify Social Media platforms that work well for tourism businesses and get you up and running so you can: Provide rich customer experiences; Increase website traffic and search ranking; Share content faster and easier; Build relationships; Gain valuable customer insights; Increase brand awareness and loyalty; Run targeted ads with real-time results; Find out what your competitors are doing; Target content by geography and demographics; Generate higher converting leads; Manage your online "footprint"; Monitor and respond to negative reviews; and Increase positive reviews. For more information, call Axiom Education & Training Center at 207-255-4917, email classes@connectwith[...]



April Programs for Job Seekers at the York County CareerCenter

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 12:02:45 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2017 Contact: Dawn Self- Cooper, York County CareerCenter, 207-324-5460 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009SPRINGVALE-The York County CareerCenter in Springvale continues its workshop programs for job seekers and those considering training to upgrade their skills and increase their employability."CareerCenters provide job seekers with the job search skills and support needed to find good-paying work," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Mainers can start or jump start their career search at mainecareercenter.gov. You'll find monthly job fairs and workshops, various training program opportunities, and how to connect with the closest office."CareerCenters can assist businesses by offering workshops on location, at local businesses or other organizations at no cost. The following workshops and programs will be held at the CareerCenter in Springvale unless otherwise noted.**Seventh Annual York County Regional Job Fair, Wednesday, April 5, 2 to 6 p.m., Nasson Community Center, 457 Main Street, Springvale, ME **This is a no cost event. Speak with hiring employers, talk with Career Counselors and Veteran's Representatives. We will continually update our website with a list of employers that will be attending once they have confirmed.**Essentials of College Planning Workshop - Mondays, April 10 and 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.**A FREE interactive workshop that outlines the four steps in the college process: admissions, financial aid, career planning, and study skills. The workshop lasts approximately two or three hours. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited please call Karen Hadley Keim at 1-800-281-3703 or 581-3736 to register or visit MEOC's website, meoc.maine.edu .**Career Exploration Workshop - Thursday, April 13 and Friday, April 14**This extensive and informative workshop will be offered to Vocational Rehabilitation Clients at the York County CareerCenter. VR clients will be able to explore a variety of career paths, and research the required skills needed for these careers. Registration through Vocational Rehabilitation is required. Please call 822-3300 and ask for Vocational Rehabilitation to register.**Resume and Interview Coaching - Tuesday, April 18, 9 a.m. to noon**Your resume is your marketing tool that helps you land the all-important interview. Join us and learn the do's and don'ts of resume writing and how to stand out in a positive way. Then we'll show you how to emphasize your skills and motivate the interviewer to hire you. Call today to reserve a seat.**Monthly Job Fair at the CareerCenter - Monday, April 24, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.**Explore your next employment opportunity. Representatives from several companies will be here interviewing for current openings. Please check our web site for the list of employers which will be updated as employers confirm attendance. No appointment required. Check http://www.mainecareercenter.gov/employment/jobfairs.shtm and our Facebook and Twitter for a list of participating employers. **Employer Recruitments for April at the York County CareerCenter - please check our website for additions and updates: CoWorx, Kelly Services and MASIS - Recruiting at the York County CareerCenter from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, April 12, 19 and 26.**Current openings in Sanford, Biddeford, Saco and Portland areas. No appointment is required. Please bring two valid forms of ID. Please check our website for updates and additions. Schedule is subject to change.**Competitive Skills Scholarship Program -** The Competitive Skills Scholarship helps workers learn new skills and succeed in a changing economy. The program is open to all qualified Maine residents and pays for education and training for high-wage jobs in demand in Maine. York County is currently accepting applications for the program. For more information or to download an application please visit http://www.main[...]



Governor LePage Announces District Attorney Rushlau to Maine District Court

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 11:38:13 EDT

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the nomination of District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau to the Maine District Court.

"As Governor, I have the utmost respect and have been impressed with the high quality work of the Judicial Branch. In choosing judges, my focus is on the qualifications, demeanor, and integrity of the candidates, not politics. All of my nominees reflect these priorities," said Governor LePage. "I am confident that Mr. Rushlau will live up to the high standards we expect from Maine judges."

Geoffrey Rushlau, a resident of Dresden, is one of Maine's longest-serving prosecutors. He is currently serving his sixth consecutive term as district attorney for Prosecutorial District 6, which includes Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties. Prior to that, he was the Assistant District Attorney for Districts 6 and 3 (Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties).

Rushlau is a member of the Maine Prosecutors Association serving twice as President (1998-2000; 2006-2008). He is also a member of the National District Attorneys Association, Criminal Law Advisory Commission, Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board of Trustees and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Advisory Board.

Rushlau is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law.



April Programs for Job Seekers at the Wilton CareerCenter

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:51:25 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2017 Contact: Pat Curtiss, Wilton CareerCenter, (207) 645-5831 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, (207) 621-5009WILTON-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 April. All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To register for sessions held at the CareerCenter, call 645-5800."CareerCenters provide job seekers with the job search skills and support needed to find good-paying work," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Mainers can start or jump start their career search at mainecareercenter.gov. You'll find monthly job fairs and workshops, various training program opportunities, and how to connect with the closest office."**Vocational Rehabilitation-Thursday, April 6, 9 to 10:30 a.m.**This is an orientation for people with disabilities who are considering vocational rehabilitation services. Orientations are held the first Thursday of the month. Service providers are also welcome to attend. Registration not required.**Rumford Area Resume and Interviewing Skills-Tuesday, April 11, 1 to 2:30 p.m.**Held at Region 9--School of Applied Technology, 377 River Rd, Mexico, MEExplore the basics of resumes and applications and learn how to make your resume and interview standout in a positive way. Learn to market yourself in a way that directly matches employer needs. "Tough" interview questions will be discussed so that you can answer them with confidence. Please call 645-5800 to sign up.**Employer Expectations-Wednesday, April 12, 1 to 3 p.m.**The workshop will cover the following topics:- Creating a Great Resume - Preparing for Your Interview - Preparing for a New JobThis workshop is facilitated by Barclaycard US. It is not a recruitment effort for Barclaycard US; it is a workshop for people applying for all different types of jobs. Slots are limited; please call 645-5800 to RSVP. Individual follow-ups may occur for Resume Critique as requested. **Rumford Area Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation-Wednesday, April 19, 2 to 4 p.m.**Held at Region 9--School of Applied Technology, 377 River Rd, Mexico, METhis is an orientation for people with disabilities who are considering vocational rehabilitation services. Orientations are held the third Wednesday of the month. Service providers are also welcome to attend. Registration not required.**Essentials of College Planning for Adults-Thursday, April 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.**This workshop introduces people to educational opportunities in general and MEOC services in particular. This interactive workshop touches on the four steps in the college process: admissions, financial aid, career 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). Please call to pre-register: 1-800-281-3703 for this session.**Small Business Trainings-Call for more information**Small Business Administration will be offering three different workshops:- "Starting Your Own Small Business" - "Access to Capital" - "Federal and State Resources for Small Business"Most of these workshops are two hours long. For more information please call Bill Card at 622-8555.This is a career exploration tool that helps clients plan work lives 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 their 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 a[...]



Registration for Free Juvenile Law Training - April 28, 2017

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:47:04 EDT

This half day juvenile law training will be held at the University of Maine Farmington on Friday, April 28, 2017. This program is eligible for 3.25 CLE credit hours. The program is FREE to attend due to a grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.



April Programs for Job Seekers at the Skowhegan CareerCenter

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:38:28 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2017 Contact: Peter Diplock, Skowhegan CareerCenter, (207) 645-5831 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, (207) 621-5009SKOWHEGAN- 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 April."CareerCenters provide job seekers with the job search skills and support needed to find good-paying work," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Mainers can start or jump start their career search at http://www.mainecareercenter.gov . You'll find monthly job fairs and workshops, various training program opportunities, and how to connect with the closest office."All workshops and events are held at the CareerCenter unless otherwise noted. To register for sessions held at the CareerCenter, call 474-4950.**Job Search Tips for People with a Criminal History-Monday, April 3, 1 to 2 p.m.**Do you have a criminal background? Are you having trouble finding work? Looking for tips on how to respond to those hard to answer questions? This workshop will help you become a successful job seeker. Workshops start promptly at scheduled time. Please understand admittance may not be possible after the start time. Please register in advance as space may be limited. **Resume and Cover Letter Writing-Tuesdays, April 4 and 18, 1 to 3 p.m.**This workshop provides valuable tips on completing job applications, the importance of cover letters, resume content and formatting, resume writing using computer software programs and much more. Learn why having a great resume is so important in today's job market. A well written resume can get your foot in the door, and the interview - the next step to employment.**Essentials of College Planning for Adults-Wednesday, April 5 and 19, 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. **It All Starts Here-Monday, April 10, 1 to 3 p.m.**Take the first step towards a great career. In this valuable session you can pinpoint your interests and strengths and find career options that have real potential. This highly validated and reliable vocational assessment is the start in determining your future path or career. Are you investigative? Are you realistic? Are you enterprising or social? This self-directed assessment test will assist in determining a career or vocation choice based upon your personality traits. Find out what types of careers are right for you, right now! "Sometimes you need a change, and sometimes a change is your only option."**Successful Interviewing Skills-Tuesday, April 11, 1 to 3 p.m.**Gain the confidence needed to ace that interview and get the job! Go in thoroughly prepared and positive you are the applicant the employer needs! Successful Interviewing Skills Workshop covers communication techniques, before-the-interview research, attitude and appearance, examples of questions you may be asked, what you can ask the employer, post interview follow-up, and more. Discuss all the "DO'S and DO NOT'S" and what to expect during the process.**Training Program Orientation-Monday, April 24, 1 to 3 p.m.**Do you have the skills you need to advance in your career or get a new job? Thinking about education or training options that will help you[...]



LePage Administration Introduces Welfare Legislation to Increase Security and Help Mainers Get Back to Work

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 14:23:44 EDT

AUGUSTA – Today, Governor Paul R. LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew introduced The Welfare Reform for Increased Security and Employment (RISE) Act. Throughout the LePage administration, one of the goals has been to end the decades-long cycle of welfare dependency and help individuals become financially independent. By implementing commonsense reforms we have put more Mainers back to work and Maine has become a leader in welfare reform; this legislation will protect the progress we have made and allow us to continue in this direction.

"Now is the time to create permanency around the common sense welfare reforms implemented by this Administration. We must protect the progress made in transforming Maine's welfare programs and breaking the cycle of government dependency and generational poverty. This legislation will preserve the employment-focused pathway to self-sufficiency for Mainers, give taxpayers peace of mind that their hard-earned tax dollars are being used for those in need and for the intended purpose, and further build upon the strong reform minded foundation we have established," said Commissioner Mary Mayhew.

Some aspects of The RISE Act:

  • Require able-bodied adults to work or enrolled in an approved vocational training program 20 hours per week or volunteer as little as one hour a day to receive assistance
  • Place photographs on EBT cards
  • Codify a $5,000 asset test on certain households that receive food assistance
  • Ban or suspend parents who are not cooperating with child support services from receiving food assistance
  • Disqualify lottery and gambling winners of $5,000 or more from receiving food assistance
  • Require education programs paid for with TANF to be for jobs with average or better outlooks
  • Ban repeat felony drug offenders from receiving food assistance

Disqualify all adults in a household from receiving TANF assistance if an individual is convicted of welfare-related theft or fraud. "This is what the people of Maine want to see, they want to know their tax dollars are being put to good use. From day one I have advocated for accountability. Poverty is not a disability, it is a state of affairs," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "Rather than throwing money at a problem like previous administrations have, we must roll up our sleeves and work with people and teach them how to succeed. This includes promoting personal responsibility and integrity."

Under the LePage Administration, Maine has reduced the size of government, lowered taxes and stimulated job growth. Today we are experiencing record low unemployment rates at 3.2 percent. In addition, recently released statistics from the Maine Department of Labor in coordination with the U.S. DOL show Maine has gained back all private sector jobs lost during the last recession.

"We've seen the positive outcomes of these reforms and how it helps strengthen Maine's economy by putting people back to work. We cannot ignore this and we cannot allow this success to be overturned," said Commissioner Mayhew. "For too long previous administrations measured success by the number of people on our welfare programs, today we are looking at how an individual is succeeding, providing for their family which leads to more stable families, stronger communities, and a more vibrant state economy."


http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/press-release/the-rise-act.pdf



Maine Department of Labor Issues Annual Report on Drug Use in the Workplace

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:46:14 EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2017 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

*Percents of positives for probable cause and random tests increase despite fewer overall tests reported*

AUGUSTA-The Maine Department of Labor has issued the 2016 Annual Report on Substance Abuse Testing by Maine Employers. The report is available at http://www.maine.gov/labor/labor_stats/publications/substanceabuse/index.html .

"With the opioid crisis and now the legalization of marijuana, the potential for people being impaired on the job is increasing, endangering not only the worker taking the drug, but also coworkers and clients," stated Governor Paul R. LePage. "Maine must provide employers the appropriate tools to retain valuable workers and help people in recovery back into the workforce, discourage the use of dangerous drugs like opioids, properly regulate marijuana and maintain a safe work environment."

The report covers testing of both job applicants and employees, with the vast majority being applicant testing. Both the number of tests administered and the number of positive results fell during the recession and have trended up during the recovery.

The highest percentage of positive tests occurred in 2015, at 5 percent. Many employers use a common five-panel test including cannabinoids (marijuana), amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine. Cannabinoids accounted for 83.6 percent of all positive test results in 2015 and in 2016 they accounted for 90.4 percent of all positive test results.

The Department's Bureau of Labor Standards helps employees and businesses make their worksites safer, provides education and enforcement of wage and hour laws and gathers information on working in Maine. Its Technical Services Division is Maine's leading resource for data and analysis relating to workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities, and it enforces the current workplace drug testing statute and coordinates research projects related to the state's workplace safety and health.

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Attorney General Mills announces new public education TV ad combating opioids

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 13:20:09 EDT

AUGUSTA - Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills announced today a new television ad warning of the link between prescription painkillers and heroin addiction. The ad is the latest in the "Dose of Reality" public education campaign launched in 2016. The ad will be made available to Maine broadcasters through the Maine Association of Broadcasters' Public Education Partnership program over the coming months.

"Four out of five people who use heroin tell us that their substance abuse disorder began with a prescription painkiller," said Attorney General Mills. "The influx of heroin and fentanyl have turned Maine's opioid problem into a deadly epidemic. This ad illustrates how quickly a person can descend down the path of addiction. As we work to stem the flow of illicit opioids into Maine, we must ensure that we reduce the number of opioid prescriptions and ensure that people properly dispose of unused painkillers."

The new ad, entitled "Path to Heroin," can be viewed online at the www.doseofrealitymaine.org website. The ad begins with a locker room scene and two hockey players sharing a painkiller and ends showing one of the young men after having injected heroin. The Dose of Reality website has other public service messages and information about the proper disposal of prescription painkillers.

Attorney General Mills expressed her appreciation to Attorney General Brad Schimel of Wisconsin for making these materials available to Maine.

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Augusta Presentation to Focus on Maine History Captured in Postcard Images

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:07:45 EDT

Augusta - Postcards were the Instagrams of the early Twentieth Century. During a period from 1909 to World War II, the Maine-based Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company was the U.S. market leader in production of genuine postcards and amassed an archive of over 22,000 glass plate images of Maine architectural photography from the period. The collection is now housed at the Penobscot Marine Museum.

On Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Maine authors W.H. "Bill" Bunting, Kevin Johnson and Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. will be on hand for a special program of the Kennebec Historical Society and Maine State Library to talk about the Eastern collection and their recent collaboration on the 2016 book on the subject, Maine on Glass.

The program will be held at 6:30 PM at the Maine State Library, 230 State Street in Augusta. The event is open to the public and free of charge. For more information, contact the Kennebec Historical Society at 207-622-7718.