Friday, February 23, 2018

Wilton CareerCenter First in System to See Changes

WILTON, Maine -- Last month, the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services (BES) announced that it would be accelerating its commitment to revamping Maine’s CareerCenter delivery system in 2018. These actions are an effort by the LePage Administration toward a more efficient and effective service-delivery model for job seekers and employers, and to reform the system in anticipation of potential federal budget cuts.

“Being responsive to the needs of Maine employers and workers is at the forefront of everything we do,” said DOL Commissioner, John Butera. “That means understanding and adapting to the ways our customers want to interact with us. While in the early years of the CareerCenter model that meant ‘bricks and mortar’ to manage foot traffic into the offices throughout the state, today it means a modernized approach more in alignment with the current technology and the access demands of our customers.”

According to BES Director, Ed Upham, the first of many upcoming changes are the hours of the Wilton CareerCenter. “In an effort to coordinate and maximize the time and customer traffic patterns into our Wilton office, we will be changing the hours to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning March 12,” he said. “These new office hours will ensure staff are available during the peak days when customers tend to use this resource the most, and it will allow staff more time to work directly with employers, educational institutions and other stakeholders on their needs for a quality workforce during the rest of the week.” Signs updating the hours of operation will be put up beginning next week.

The second major change is currently in the works. “We are moving our Augusta CareerCenter from its current location on Enterprise Drive now that our lease contract is up, and consolidating it into space in the same business park where the Maine Department of Labor is located, on Commerce Drive,” he said. The move is slated for late-March, with limited disruption to service during the move and no changes to staff or services to workers and employers.

In 2011, BES began upgrading the then-outdated labor exchange, Maine’s JobBank, to Maine JobLink, which today offers self-service options for labor information, career mapping and training. More recent changes have included updating mainecareercenter.gov for mobile devices and adding to it Live Chat, and co-locating the Portland CareerCenter and DHHS in State Offices in Portland to better serve Cumberland County residents and to provide a path from poverty to prosperity. “We definitely will look different a year from now, including smaller physical spaces, use of partner sites, and distance services,” Upham added.

Department of Labor staff will be looking at contracts, seeking partners and finding new and more effective ways to reach workers and employers alike. “As we continually seek ways to better deliver CareerCenter services in the new year and beyond, we will build on existing partnerships and forge new ones to make delivery of CareerCenter services more efficient and effective, and modernize the system and its physical footprint to meet our customers’ needs now and well into the future,” said Commissioner Butera.

CareerCenters, with 12 locations across the state, are part of the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL), and provide employment and training services at no charge for Maine workers and businesses. Job Seekers can use the CareerCenter’s free resources to jumpstart their job search. CareerCenters assist Employers with recruitment, training, and workforce services, and offers access to Labor Market Information.

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

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