Members Present

Lisa Dixon
John Carpenter
Joe Cassidy
Laura Crawford
Dan Deasy
Jossue Espinosa
Ian Hardie
Calvin Giles (Barb Herber)
Tim Keller
Ruth Pineda (Amy King)
Amit Mehta
Alan Mindlin
Tom Chesna
Christine Torres
Helen Orellana
Paul Seputis
Kate Wollensak
Barb Szczepaniak
Tom Wendorf
Mary Keating
Marilyn Liwanag
Diana Robinson

Members Absent

Dan Allen
Chris Ellerman
Jim Jett
Tiffany Rotondo
Tonia Khouri
Mike Kish
Darlene Ruscitti
Frank Raimondi

Others Present

Jamie Brown
Lisa Schvach
David Sabathne
Tom Peters
Ron Schlager

Public Comment

  • There was no public comment.

Review of November 15, 2017 minutes

  • Barbara Szczepaniak needs to be added to the attendance, minutes will be adjusted to reflect her attendance
  • Motion to approve by Barb Szczepaniak
  • Second by Calvin Giles
  • All ayes, motion APPROVED

Slate of Officers

Jamie reviewed the Slate of Officers approved by the Executive Committee:

Chair-Ian Hardie

Vice-Chair- Amy King

Treasurer- Joe Cassidy

Secretary- Kate Wollensak


Members at Large:

Alan Mindlin

Mary Keating

Barb Szczepaniak

This slate will remain for the remainder of 2018, but the slate for 2019 will be presented in the September meeting to begin the process for selecting the slate for 2019.

Training Provider Certifications       

Lisa reviewed the training provider certifications: IIT, Premier Technology Consultants, College of DuPage

  • Motion to approve by Jossue Espinosa
  • Second by Alan Mindlin
  • All ayes, motion APPROVED with abstentions from Dan Deasy and Joe Cassidy for the COD programs.

OSO Procurement Findings-Conflict of Interest Policy

Jamie informed the Board that there were findings issued by DECO regarding the OSO Procurement. There will be changes made and additions to the COI policy which will be presented at the next meeting for full vote. All Board members will be required to sign the COI policy once it is finalized.

WIOA Fiscal Report

Joe Cassidy presented the fiscal report. He reviewed the fiscal year vs the program year. He indicated that the allocation of funds came out very late last year which delayed spending. 80% of the allocation needs to spent by 6/30/18 and 40% of the funds must be for direct training costs. There is generally a carry-over of 20% for the next fiscal year because only 10% of funds are released for Q1 spending. AS of 12/31/17, 47% of 1A dollars have been allocated and 45% of 1D funds have been obligated. Almost all 1Y dollars have been obligated. We are at 34% of the required 40% of spending towards the training minimum of 40%. Joe also discussed other grants including DEI, TAA and CSBG. DEI is virtually spent and CSBG has been fully spent. There are NOFOs that have been released by the State and Lisa has indicated that there are currently no plans to apply for additional funding. She mentioned that there has been an increase in Incumbent Worker Training, a grant which helps companies train their existing workforce. Lisa discussed the TAA program and the costs associated with administering the program. The case management costs are higher than what the State reimburses, so Lisa is forced to spend WIOA dollars on TAA case management. Also, the number of Trade events has increased dramatically. Lisa has expressed her concerns to DCEO and will keep the Board updated on any developments with the program as they arise. Currently, Title I is responsible for the administration of the Trade Program and Lisa may explore other ways to administer the program which are more cost effective and require less staff time.

workNet DuPage Update

Lisa provided an update on the internal processes at the Center. The Intake staff are now Navigators and guide clients through all the services available in the Center. This approach is more in line with WIOA as it incorporates all the Partner agencies housed at the Center. Processes are being changed as necessary to ensure services are being delivered in the most effective way.

The Center has signed a contract to redesign the Center’s website and that process is underway. The new site will incorporate the services offered by the Partner agencies housed at the Center which aligns with WIOA law.

Lisa also discussed opportunities for involvement for Board members. She is working on an initiative to address the opioid epidemic that is prevalent in DuPage County and across the U.S. The initiative would address some of the skills gaps in the County specifically in the manufacturing industry and work to provide training to individuals who are currently incarcerated to provide them with certifications which would make them more marketable once they are released. This idea is in the planning stages, but this is one way to potentially expand the way that WIOA dollars are utilized to train the workforce in DuPage County.

Barb Szczepaniak commented that another area for exploration is in the early childhood area. There are many unfilled jobs in early childhood education; there are many college graduates that do not qualify for early childhood jobs because they don’t have the proper certification to teach at certain grade levels. Barb plans to bring more information to the Board about this issue.

Jamie commented that the Partner Meetings have been going well, everyone is willing to work towards the common goal of helping all the clients that come to the Center.

WARN Presentation

Susi Pihera, the Rapid Response Coordinator presented about WARN events. Susi is responsible for presenting the Center’s services to employees of companies who have received notice they will be laid off. She discussed the criteria for WARN events as the Federal and State level and the guidelines companies are required to follow when a WARN event occurs. When Susi attends a WARN event, she presents the Center’s services available to the employees and gathers information about the affected workers, such as job title, wage, etc. Representatives from IDES also present information in unemployment insurance benefits. Susi also identified some of the challenges surrounding WARN events, such as company engagement, employee interest, employee wage, severance packages, etc. Sometimes affected workers are not receptive to information as they are working through the emotions they are dealing with as it relates to being unemployed. The question was asked about turnaround time for WARN events, and Susi indicated it is dependent upon different variables including, time of layoff, cooperation of employer, etc. Susi also indicated that some employers are more forthcoming than others regarding WARN events which can impact outreach efforts.

Dan Deasy discussed ABE options through COD for clients as it relates to onsite ELL options for companies that have WARN events for employees who may need services in different languages.  Dan also discussed the ICAPS model, which allows students to earn their GED and stackable certifications simultaneously.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 a.m.