Winglass met with jobseekers and staff at the Department of Labor's Skowhegan CareerCenter and heard first-hand about the needs of both employers and people seeking new jobs or wanting to change careers in the region, according to a press release from the department. This information will be used in the department's efforts to identify training priorities for Maine's Workforce Development system.
The State Workforce Investment Board is currently engaged in a process of restructuring Maine's Workforce Development system. The structural changes will reduce administrative overhead, thereby freeing up more money for job training and increase efficiency by better targeting training dollars to the types of jobs that industry needs. New industry partnerships will play a key role in the system by identifying skill gaps and human resource needs in targeted industries and high priority occupations.
Winglass toured Gifford's Ice Cream plant in Skowhegan and the Vic Firth factory in Newport that makes drum sticks used by musicians around the world. Both businesses stressed that their products' high quality has been a significant factor in their continued success.
“Getting out to meet workers and employers is one of the most important things we can do as we work on improving Maine's economy,” stressed Winglass. “Listening not only to employers like Vic Firth and Gifford’s about their workforce needs, but also to jobseekers about their challenges helps us identify what needs to be done in terms of making the most of our training dollars and helping grow our economy.”
To learn about how the Department of Labor's services, visit www.maine.gov/labor.