***Scroll down for links to the full NWDB Strategic Plan and Appendices***
The Northeastern Workforce Development Board (NWDB) serves Aroostook, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Washington Counties. The NWDB is one part of a workforce development system that includes a variety of partners and stakeholders. This network of partners presents opportunities to leverage additional resources and more effectively provide services to all customers.
As the Board works to develop new and reinforce existing partnerships, the goal is always the same: more effectively provide services to job seekers and employers, address skill gaps impeding economic growth, and develop career pathways that support the efforts of workers to access higher wages and more skilled employment.
Core Partners for NWDB and their corresponding WIOA Titles are:
- WIOA Service Providers – Title 1 – Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth programs
- Adult Education – Title 2
- Wagner-Peyser – Title 3 – Maine Career Centers also known as American Job Centers
- Vocational Rehabilitation – Title 4
Eight stakeholder meetings were held, with representatives of each of the five counties, Board members, and providers in attendance. These meetings included with One Stop Partners, Young Workers Advisory Committee members and stakeholders, NWDB stakeholder meetings, and participation in the regional Comprehensive Economic Development (CEDS) strategic planning meetings.
The meetings focused on these provider groups of the workforce system. Topics discussed included system changes, initiatives they would like to see the Board engaged in, and the resources they need to be successful.
Linking the regional and workforce planning efforts while both were in the process of update and renewal ensured that goals and priorities were aligned. NWDB worked collaboratively with Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) to circulate a Business Services Survey that addressed economic and workforce development topics. A total of 211 were completed and returned from businesses situated across the state. Each survey was designed to gather relevant information about barriers, opportunities, and workforce topics. A Youth Survey was shared by NWDB, with more than 300 surveys completed and returned by current young job seekers and those in education and training programs. The results of both surveys are shared in the appendices, and outcomes have been addressed in the strategic plan.
Three interview sessions were scheduled on the following topics: Bureau of Employment Services, Adult Education & Literacy, and One Stop Partners. Participants were asked to identify systemic changes, new services and partnerships, barriers experienced by job seekers, opportunities, and assistance for people with disabilities, veterans, and priority of services.
This Plan is meant to be a “living process” and will be used in an ongoing manner by the NWDB and its Core Partners to guide the implementation of strategies and actions. It will be tracked and monitored regularly so that progress can be communicated to partners and stakeholders, and adjustments to strategies and actions made as appropriate.
The NWDB Plan aligns with the overarching vision and goals of the State of Maine -2020-2023 Unified Plan- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The State Plan is based on the following premise: “The success of Maine’s economy will ultimately be determined by the strength and quality of its workforce and the ability of employers to fill their need for skilled labor.” The State Plan lays out the following vision:
Maine’s residents and businesses will have economic opportunity and contribute to the growth of the state through a responsive, networked, and coordinated workforce development system across public and private sectors. The system will integrate all services into a seamless continuum resulting in increased educational and employment attainment for residents with a focus on careers and support Maine’s business sectors with skilled and qualified workers. To realize its vision Maine will:
- Partner and respond to the talent needs of Maine employers
- Create a system of lifelong learning and employment connection for Maine residents
- Build an integrated workforce development infrastructure accountable to residents and businesses
To fulfill this vision, the following goals were developed as set forth in the State Plan:
- Maine’s untapped labor pool will enter employment and advance into high-demand occupations of their choice through private and public investment in training, education, and supports. In addition to three primary industries (Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Technology), NWDB will address emerging industries and associated job opportunities, such as solar and wind technicians.
- Current and future workers will be equipped to meet industry talent needs, with the goal that 60 percent of Maine’s workforce will hold a credential of value by 2025.
- Create a networked, aligned and demand-driven workforce system across public and private partners and fosters the growth of Maine’s economy while supporting equitable, safe, productive employment opportunities.
The Northeastern Workforce Development Board has produced a new Strategic Plan for 2021-2025 that shares the vision and goals set by the State of Maine.
NWDB Strategic Plan and Appendices