Turning the page (and embracing the future)

I’m officially a free agent. The job that I poured my heart into for just short of six years (August 7 would have been anniversary #6) ended yesterday at 5:00 pm.

This transition has been in the works for awhile; yesterday was just one more step in that process. First, the governor began railing against the four LWIBs (my employer) threatening to phase them out by June 30 (this posturing began last September). By March of this year, my hours with the Central/Western Maine Workforce Investment Board had been reduced from 40 to 20. When I walked out the door of the Lewiston CareerCenter last night at 5:15, it was just another step along the reinvention path. Continue reading

The state of Maine’s workforce

Tomorrow morning, I’m delivering a presentation to the Kennebec Valley Human Resources Association—in essence, my own “state of the state” on workforce development; it’s titled, “The State of Maine’s Workforce: An Update from the Trenches.”

For the past six years, I’ve been employed by the Central/Western Maine Workforce Investment Board. The Local Workforce Investment Boards, or LWIBs as they’re often referred to, channel the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds, appropriating them for training and aligning them where each regional LWIB thinks they will be the most effective. A large percentage of those funds support Maine’s One-Stop Career Centers, the bricks and mortar centers where job seekers and the unemployed access employment and career resources. There are 12 One-Stop Career Centers scattered across the state. Continue reading

Going with the flow

Too many people are fighting a battle they’re doomed to come out losers in—resisting change. Change is becoming like breathing—it’s automatic and we don’t even notice we’re doing it. We don’t fight breathing, yet we resist any sign that things are going to change.

There was a time when I hated change. I fought it, hoping things would return to “better” days. Now, I’m more selective in the battles I choose to wage.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a sucker for nostalgia and “the good ‘ole days” like most people of a certain age. I like history, appreciate what life was like growing up in a small town, and I even drink Moxie. I even have a new book out about it. Yet, I’m trying to adapt, and get better at staying ahead of the curve, or at least not becoming an anachronism. I will also say, I’m not a fan of change for change sake, or always following the latest flavor of the month; just wanted to get that out there. Continue reading

Time to get started

The hardest part of change is getting started. Actually, probably the hardest part of most anything is the start, especially if you’re given to procrastination. It’s so much easier to put it off ‘til tomorrow, or next month, or even next year. I know, I’ve been there.

For several years, when I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now, I’d jump on the scale and think, “I need to lose weight.” I wasn’t ready to get started with joining the gym, increasing the calories burned, and taking responsibility for the calories I was consuming. Once I made that fateful decision in 2009 that I wasn’t going to be heavy any longer and started exercising and eating better, the weight started coming off and I’ve managed to keep it off by continuing to exercise and eat sensibly (most of the time). Continue reading