Thu, 27 Apr 2017 13:40:13 EDTAugusta - Over 400 librarians and educators from public and school libraries from around Maine converged on Augusta today for the 28th Annual Reading Round Up conference promoting reading and literature for children and young adults. One of the highlights of the event was an award ceremony honoring books, authors and illustrators representing excellence in the field of children's and young adult literature.
Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:22:35 EDTFor Immediate Release: Friday, April 28, 2017 Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:41:12 EDTFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2017 Contact: Leon Ouiment, 207-373-4016 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Department of Labor, 207-621-5009
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:40:27 EDTFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2017 Contact: Leon Ouimet Southern Midcoast CareerCenter, 207-373-4000 Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009BRUNSWICK - 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. "Professional career consultants and business services representatives help connect job seekers and employers throughout Maine CareerCenters," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "They offer many job search services and training programs to help Maine citizens gain skills our employers need in this improved economic climate. I encourage those looking for a job and those looking for workers to connect with their closest CareerCenter."Each of the 12 statewide centers provides public-access computer workstations equipped with Microsoft Office, resume writing and cover letter software. In addition we provide internet access and O'Net software for individual skills assessment. Employers can list their open positions on Maine JobLink and take advantage of our online matching system, which identifies and refers job candidates. All CareerCenter services are provided free of charge to employers and job seeking customers. The Southern Midcoast CareerCenter in Brunswick continues its series of workshops and programs for job seekers and those considering training to upgrade their skills and increase their employability. The following workshops and programs are free to the public and will be held at the CareerCenter in Brunswick unless otherwise noted. All events require pre-registration in person or by phone.For more information on any of the CareerCenters programs, visit http://www.mainecareercenter.gov or call 207-373-4000.**Career Directions / Putting the Pieces Together-Wednesday. May 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. **Planning Your Job Search-Wednesday, May 10, 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. **Resume and Cover Letter Writing Workshop-Wednesday, May 17, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.**Covers the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter. **Effective Job Interviewing Workshop-Wednesday, May 24, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.**Dedicated to exploring proper interviewing techniques and tips. **Computer Boot Camp-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:**Small Business Start Up Workshop-Thursday, May 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? How will it help? **Essentials of College Planning Workshop-Tuesday, May 2 and 16**Christy Le from the Maine Educational Opportunity Center (MEOC) offers a free workshop for adults 19 and older covering College Awareness and Planning along with the Federal Financial Aide process. She will assist participants in completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For times and to register for the next available session or for more information, call 1-800-281-3703 or visit MEOC's website, meoc.maine.edu .**Workforce Solutions** administers federally funded employment an[...]
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 13:40:04 EDTFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 26, 2017Contact: David Grima, Rockland CareerCenter, 207-596-2600Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009ROCKLAND-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."Professional career consultants and business services representatives help connect job seekers and employers throughout Maine CareerCenters," said Governor Paul R. LePage. "They offer many job search services and training programs to help Maine citizens gain skills our employers need in this improved economic climate. I encourage those looking for a job and those looking for workers to connect with their closest CareerCenter."Each of the 12 statewide CareerCenters provides public-access computer workstations equipped with Microsoft Office, resume writing and cover letter software. In addition we provide Internet access and O-Net software for individual skills assessment. Employers can list their open positions on the Maine JobLink and take advantage of our online matching system which identifies and refers job candidates. All CareerCenter services are provided free of charge to employers and job-seeking customers.The following workshops and programs are free to the public and will be held at the CareerCenter. All events require pre-registration in person or by phone, unless stated otherwise.**Vocational Rehabilitation Orientation-Wednesday, May 3, 1 to 3 p.m.**Introduction to services for jobseekers with a disability that makes it difficult to obtain or keep a job.**Career Directions / Putting the Pieces Together-Thursday, May 4, 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.**Training Orientation-Wednesday, May 10 and 24, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.**For people over the age of 24 who live in Knox or Lincoln County and want to explore occupational training programs. People under the age of 25 can call 596-2600 for arrangements. All ages in Waldo County call 930-7047.**Credit Repair-Tuesday, May 16, 10:30 a.m. to Noon**Understanding the role of personal financial credit as it affects employment and other aspects of life. **Business Start-Up-Tuesday, May 16, 1 to 3 p.m.**Introduction to creating a business plan, with business counselor David Hill of Coastal Enterprises. **Resume & Cover Letter Writing-Thursday, May 18, 9 a.m. to Noon**Shows the basics of how to evaluate or create an effective resume and cover letter.**Effective Interviewing Skills-Thursday, May 25, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.****Computer Boot Camp-Tuesday mornings. Call to Schedule.**To introduce the computer to people who have never used one before**Planning Your Job Search-Each Wednesday, 9 a.m. to noon. **The latest tips and ideas a successful job search in today's labor market.Rockland CareerCenter also features sessions led by our partner organizations.**Workforce Solutions** administers federally funded employment and training programs through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Certain eligibility requirements apply. If you are at least 25 years of age and think you might benefit from training that could be classroom based or on the job, contact the Rockland CareerCenter at 207-596-2600 to speak with a Workforce Solutions representative. Interested applicants between 16 and 24 years of age should contact the Workforce Solutions office at 930-7047.**New Ventures Maine** 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 their Brunswick Administrative office at 207-386-1664 or go to www.newventuresmaine.org . Greater Rockland office located at University C[...]
Wed, 26 Apr 2017 11:48:30 EDTEmail: **AUGUSTA**- Today the Maine Broadband Coalition highlighted a number of legislative initiatives to increase Maine's connectivity to the world.Access to reliable, high-speed Internet is crucial to full participation in 21st century economy, just as access to roads, telephone and electricity were in the 20th century. But more than eight out of every 10 Mainers live in an area where even the minimum broadband standard (upload/download speeds of at least 10 Mbps) is unavailable. That minimum standard is rapidly falling behind the standards in much of the country and the world.The Coalition held a news conference Wednesday to bring attention to 11 bills before the Legislature this session that would expand broadband access in Maine.One of those bills, sponsored by Sen. Shenna Bellows, would expand funding for broadband expansion and Maine and would establish the Maine Broadband Initiative - a new public-private entity with the authority to undertake planning and investment for broadband expansion.The MBI would be empowered to create statewide broadband benchmarks and strategies for meeting them, and would plan, construct, acquire or improve broadband infrastructure in Maine. It would support local and regional broadband expansion, collect and maintain information to establish benchmarks and serve as the fiscal agent for public investment in broadband."The level of access to high-speed, reliable Internet service in our state will help determine the future of our economy, our healthcare and even the demographics of our rural communities," said Sen. Bellows. "Where people are able to live and work in 21st-century America depends upon their access to 21st-century utility broadband access."Sen. Bellows' bill, as well as the 10 other broadband bills this session, share broad bipartisan support, proving that policymakers from all over the state understand the potential that expanded broadband could have for families, businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs in their districts."I've signed on as a co-sponsor to just about every broadband bill this session because I understand that access to high-speed internet is critical to our survival in Washington County," said Sen. Joyce Maker, R-Calais. "Our county is about as rural and poor as you get in Maine. Whether it's small businesses like Tide Mill Farms in Edmunds or large, global companies like the pulp and paper mill in Woodland, businesses across my county need access to the internet to succeed."Peggy Schaffer, the Small Business Advocate in the Secretary of State's office and co-chair of the Maine Broadband Coalition, said "Maine has an opportunity this session to build on the good work of past legislatures to really make an impact in how we make sure Maine people and businesses can be competitive and connected for this and the next generation. We are excited to be able to work with legislators, communities and broadband providers across Maine to make this happen."Other bills to expand broadband and telemedicine in Maine include:LD 140 An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Entrepreneurial Activity, Attract Business and Enhance Demographic In-migration by Investing in High-speed Broadband Infrastructure and To Amend the Law Governing the Municipal Gigabit Broadband Network Access Fund - Representative Higgins LD 256 An Act To Ensure Continued Availability of High-speed Broadband Internet at Maine's Schools and Libraries - Representative Grohman LD 421 An Act To Promote Economic Development and Critical Communications for Rural Family Farms, Businesses and Residences by Strategic Public Investment in High-speed Internet - Representative McCrea LD 423 An Act To Extend Internet Availability in Rural Maine - Representative Alley LD 406 - An Act To Amend the Law Regarding Joint Use of Certain Utility and Telecommunications Infrastructure - Submitted by the Public Utilities Commission, Senator Woodsome [...]
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 10:48:04 EDT**AUGUSTA** - The Maine Broadband Coalition will hold a press conference on Wednesday, April 26, to address the need for action this legislative session to improve Maine's internet connectivity. The press conference will take place at 9 a.m. in Augusta, at the Maine Statehouse Welcome Center.
Tue, 25 Apr 2017 09:48:37 EDT
AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will formally submit a Medicaid waiver request to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that would allow the state greater flexibility in managing the MaineCare program. Under the waiver, called an "1115" or "demonstration project" waiver, the Department proposes a series of innovative reforms intended to prioritize limited resources for the neediest populations and promote individual responsibility for health and health care costs.
"With our Medicaid program finally on stable financial ground and a new administration in Washington, we have an opportunity to reshape our program and tailor it to best serve the needs of our state," said DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. "We must reestablish Medicaid's core mission of supporting the elderly, disabled, and children. This is what is best for the people of Maine and the future of our state."
The waiver request proposes a number of reforms, including to:
"These are commonsense guidelines that ensure able-bodied adults are utilizing the program appropriately. Under Governor LePage, we have successfully reined in spending within the MaineCare program that once failed to prioritize our neediest citizens and placed an undue burden on Maine tax-payers, and we look forward to continuing those efforts with the opportunity extended to us by the federal government through this waiver," said Commissioner Mayhew.
The Department will use these reforms to promote the transition of individuals from MaineCare into the private insurance market through the introduction of common insurance elements such as copayments, premiums, and structured enrollment timeframes.
The 1115 waiver seeks to build off of the LePage Administration's success in stabilizing the MaineCare program, which, in prior administrations, had been perpetually overspent. Over the last six years, the LePage Administration has accomplished the following:
The Department will officially submit the waiver request following two public hearings. Additional information is available online: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/oms/rules/demonstration-waivers.shtml.
Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:57:18 EDT*Annual event heralds the arrival of spring*
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:03:04 EDT*The Silver Collar Employer Award honors employers whose policies and practices match the needs of mature employees, capturing their skills and experience, strong work ethic, flexibility and enthusiasm.*
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:42:22 EDT**AUGUSTA - Secretary of State** Matthew Dunlap has announced that West Forks Plantation has launched Rapid Renewal, the Department of the Secretary of State's online service for the renewal of motor vehicle registrations.
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:40:32 EDTFor Immediate Release: Friday, April 21, 2017 Contact: Peter Steele, communications director, 207-287-5086
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 11:00:37 EDTAUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet T. Mills announced today that she has filed a complaint under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Jaime Hoffman, age 20, of Portland. The complaint alleges that on or about January 27, 2017, Hoffman yelled racial epithets at a diverse group of students waiting for the Portland METRO bus on Allen Avenue near Casco Bay High School in Portland and then assaulted two students who confronted him about his racist language. The complaint requests the Court to order Hoffman to stay away from the students, stay off the campus shared by the Casco Bay High School and the Portland Arts and Technology High School and refrain from violating the Maine Civil Rights Act in the future.
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 10:17:48 EDTFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2017 Contact: Glenn Mills 207-621-5192Workforce conditions continued to improve in March. Preliminary estimates indicate there was a record number of nonfarm and private sector payroll jobs in Maine, which drove the unemployment rate to a new low.**Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Data****Household Survey Estimates -** The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.0 percent for March was the lowest on record since the current estimation methodology was implemented in 1976. It was down from 3.2 percent in February and 3.7 percent one year ago. The number of unemployed was down 4,500 over the year to 21,000. The unemployment rate was below 4 percent in 14 of the last 17 months, only the third such period in the last 41 years.The U.S. preliminary unemployment rate of 4.5 percent was down from 4.7 percent in February and 5.0 percent one year ago. The New England unemployment rate averaged 3.8 percent in March.March unemployment rate estimates for other states in the region were 2.8 percent in New Hampshire, 3.0 percent in Vermont, 3.6 percent in Massachusetts, 4.3 percent in Rhode Island, and 4.8 percent in Connecticut.The employment to population ratio estimate of 61.9 percent remained above the U.S. average of 60.1 percent.**Payroll Survey Estimates -** The preliminary nonfarm payroll jobs estimate of 623,000 for March was up 5,300 from one year ago, reaching a new all-time high. The private sector jobs estimate of 523,200 also was a new high. The largest job gains were in the construction; trade, transportation, and utilities; and education and healthcare sectors.The 99,800 jobs in federal, state, and local governments was unchanged over the year. Government comprised 16.0 percent of nonfarm jobs, the lowest share on record.**Not Seasonally Adjusted Substate Data**The not seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate estimate of 3.6 percent for March was down from 4.5 percent one year ago. Rates declined over the year in all counties. The lowest rate was 2.5 percent in Cumberland County and the highest was 6.9 percent in Washington County.Unemployment rates were lower than the statewide average in all three metro areas: Portland-South Portland (2.6 percent), Lewiston-Auburn (3.2 percent), and Bangor (3.4 percent).April estimates will be released on Friday, May 19 (Data Release Schedule: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/releaseDates.html ).This release is available here: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/news/release.html .Labor force and unemployment data is available here: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/laus1.html .Nonfarm payroll jobs data is available here: http://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ces1.html .**NOTES**1. Preliminary labor force estimates, including rates (labor force participation, employment, and unemployment rates), and levels (labor force, employed, and unemployed) 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 (published in March each year) tend to moderate or eliminate those directional patterns.2. The 90 percent confidence interval for statewide unemployment rates in 2017 is 0.7 percentage points above or below the published estimate each month.3. To assess employment growth, we recommend looking at nonfarm jobs from the payroll survey rather than resident employment from the household survey. The payroll survey is larger, has smaller margins of error, and is subject to smaller revisions. More on the differences in accuracy of the two measures is at http://cwri.blogspot.com/2016/04/reports-that-maine-is-losing-jobs-are.html .4. Nonfarm payro[...]
Fri, 21 Apr 2017 09:41:58 EDTFor Immediate Release: April 21, 2017