Lancaster County Workforce Development Board
Thursday, November 19, 2015
PA CareerLink of Lancaster County
Present: Keith Baker (by phone), Brian Barnhart, Steven Bright, Stephen Grosh, Gary Grube, Rhonda Kurtz, Jean Martin, John Paul, Robert Rhoads, Kurt Stillwagon, Robert Thomas, Jill Welch; Gregory Paulson for Rep. Mike Sturla
Not Present: Thomas Baldrige, John Biemiller, James Black, Thomas Cislo, Barry David, James Everhart, Eric Horn, Gerald Huesken, Krista Jenkins, Donald Johnson, Linda Kreider, Susan Richeson, Todd Shultz, Mike Sturla,
Guests: Reggie Jones, Trish Link
Staff: Dale Hamby, Anna Ramos, Hope Schmids, Nancy Sharp
Call to Order and Welcome (Jill Welch, Chair) 7:35
Jill Welch called the meeting to order at 7:35 am
Approval of Minutes
A motion to accept the minutes from the meeting of Sept. 17, 2015, was made by Jill Welch and seconded by Keith Baker. A quorum of board members were not present at the time the minutes were presented; following the meeting a majority of members voted by email to approve the minutes.
Items for Action
• Monthly financial report (September 2015)
In the absence of Don Johnson, chair of the finance committee, Dale Hamby presented the September financial report, noting that the organization is underperforming in expanding Rapid Response and JD NEG funds. To improve that performance, we are making CareerLink staff aware of the availability of these funds for training dislocated workers. We are also working on ways to structure training as work-based experience.
The responsibility for fiscal management of the Reentry Management Organization (RMO) is moving to the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster; the grants that belong to RMO will be migrated in an organized fashion. LCWDB will continue to provide fiscal management services for a number of community-based organizations.
Dale thanked our partners, who are willing to forestall full payment of invoices until the state budget is passed. Jill said that the organization is expending at approximately 75% of the planned budget, demonstrating fiscal restraint at both operational and program levels.
Jean Martin mentioned that the Rapid Response unit has visited Wilbur Chocolate in Lititz, which will be closing a manufacturing plant. The unit is also working with Susquehanna Bank, which has announced layoffs following its acquisition by BB&T.
Jill Welch seconded the motion to accept the report on a motion from the Finance Committee. A quorum of board members was not present at the time the report was discussed; following the meeting, a majority of members voted by email to approve the report.
Items for Discussion
• Report on youth programs for 2014-15 (Hope Schmids)
Hope reported on the Business-Education Partnership, a grant that is paying for an intern supporting our Ready2Work program to high-school seniors who are workforce bound.
Hope shared information about the Summer of STEM Camps. The WDB's Youth Council has targeted 4-6 grades to get young people thinking about STEM as a career pathway. Dr. Brian Barnhart said the more we can do to promote STEM to young people, the better. There is continuing interest in this topic from the Steinman Foundation, which needs to be aware of what we're doing.
Dale commented on the extra summer TANF Youth funds that became available and the small window we had to spend the funds. When applying for the grant, Hope thought we could reach 30 students; instead, we reached 316.
Jill said now is the time companies start to put together their budget for annual giving; she asked board members for their support of our youth programs.
• Report on Sept Job fair (Anna Ramos, interim site coordinator)
The CareerLink holds two big job fairs, one in the spring and a second in the fall. Anna shared a written report on the job fair held Sept. 16, 2015. In attendance at the fall 2015 were 66 hiring employers, 24 of whom responded to an assessment survey. Eighty percent said they plan to return to the March Job Fair. Attendance was down from the same time last year. A higher number of those who attended were employed than was seen at past events. CareerLink is considering the implications.
Hope Schmids said that students are invited to the spring job fair, so attendance is typically higher for that event.
This fall the CareerLink had a stand at the Chamber Business Expo and the Veterans Expo.
Robert Thomas asked Anna if she has a theory for the reason for decline in attendance. Anna cited a recent turnover in the staff who manage the event and the county's decreasing unemployment rate. She said they plan to do more with social media for the spring job fair.
Jill Welch said she appreciated seeing the numbers and comments and gave kudos for a great event.
• State additional monitoring visit
Dale said he has not yet received any feedback from the Dept. of Labor and Industry's September visit.
• Update on the search for Fiscal Service Provider
Dale reported that three members of the finance committee are evaluating two proposals and are currently seeking follow-up information. He expects the review group to have a recommendation for the Dec. 1 meeting of the executive committee. We did not need to go through full RFP process to contract for fiscal services, as that is not directly related to program delivery.
• Update on state budget impasse and its implications
Dale said that the LCWDB has received some of its allocated funds. Based on current spending patterns, we should be stable until February without the need to access the line of credit.
• LCWDB workforce summit/annual report
Dale referred the board members to their handouts for information about the upcoming event (Dec. 17, 2015). For the first time, the organization is charging attendees a nominal fee to defray costs. Board members are invited to attend at no charge.
Dale mentioned the opportunity to sponsor the event. We currently have two sponsors: Lancaster County Career and Technology Center and Barley Snyder. Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology is providing design services; LCWDB will pay for the printing.
• Conflict of interest (COI) forms
The Bureau of Workforce Development Administration is requesting that board members complete new COI forms. However, they have not yet been distributed. Forms will be sent to the board members as soon as we receive them for BWDA.
• Meeting dates for 2016
A list of proposed board meeting dates for 2016 was distributed. No objection to the proposed schedule was raised.
• Site Administrator (Anna Ramos, interim)
Hoyt Craver resigned; Anna is acting as interim and sharing duties with Tom Woronko, program supervisor for BWDP.
The State Dept. of Human Services is opening a call center in the Liberty Place building next year. Five staff members from ResCare and EDSI have resigned to work there. Anna was able to bring in replacements two weeks before the staff's departure to assist with training. Two of the replacements were people laid off in June as a result of a decrease in program funds. An appointment interviewer will start in the resource room on Monday
The next CareerLink staff meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 3.
• Executive Director (Dale Hamby)
In the absence of the contract and compliance officer, Dale reported that an RFP for cleaning has been released. Cathy is currently developing an RFP for IT services and primary program providers in the coming weeks.
Cathy is working with other WDBs on standardizing compliance work.
Edna Beckey, a CSOL employee working on site at the CareerLink, retired last week; CSOL has moved in another employee to fill that slot.
Berks and Lancaster WDBs were awarded a $500,000 grant; the report that appeared in the local newspaper was not exactly correct. We also partnered also with LV WDB on the grant, which is oriented to dislocated workers. Part of the grant is available to foreign workers. Dale will investigate if we can use funds in the new refugee center in Lancaster
IU 13 was awarded an IRE grant. Trish Link, adult education supervisor for IU13, talked about the grant to provide services in and out of Lancaster County Prison and in Lebanon County as well. Dr. Brian Barnhart noted that the IU was one of nine applicants in the country to receive this grant award. Dale said the grant will dovetail well with our current Re-entry services.
Tara Loew, team lead for Re-entry Services, will present at the December PWDA conference.
Workforce Area Alignment
Jill Welch commentated on the need to submit a proposal/recommendation to the state Dept. of Labor & Industry as to how to configure our workforce area; the recommendation needs to be submitted by March 1, 2016. The state has indicated that fewer WDAs are better than the 22 now in existence. On a regional basis, the state has arbitrarily aligned WDAs with PREP areas. Six of the seven single-county WDAs are concentrated in the SE area of state. A strategic decision as to how to proceed needs to be made by the board. Options include remaining a single-county entity or partnering with one or more WDAs. The board needs to consider and make a recommendation in concert with commissioners.
Jill wondered what problem the state is trying to fix with this move. Dale said a motive has not been articulated, other than "less is better." The state is meeting its performance measures.
A representative of the Economic Development Company will be invited to the December executive committee meeting. We plan to have a strategic discussion at the January board meeting. Dale noted that he has talked with the county commissioners about this topic.
Jill said Lancaster County has many strengths: the visit from Secretary of the Dept. of Labor and Industry Kathy Manderino's visit early in her tenure, the Re-entry Services program, and youth programs, to name a few. Dr. Barnhart cited the LCWDS's position as a lead agency because of outcomes and programs.
Jean Martin wondered if it's because of the new WIOA law that everything is being looked at. We need to speak up for ourselves, she said. At the time WIA came about, the same thing happened. The issue is what we want to do and fight for.
Dale noted that regional planning is required by WIOA. Over the summer he participated in discussion as to how it should be done; however, the state appears to have disregarded that input.
Dale said that due to 23% cut in program funds for the current year, five fewer people are working for WIB this year than last. If that trend continues, it may become a challenge to operate well.
Adjournment – meeting adjourned at 8:55 am by executive decision
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, at 7:30 a.m.
PA CareerLink of Lancaster County, 1016 N. Charlotte St.
Conference Room (#18) – Ground Floor