PLC Member Weekly Update May 19, 2023
In this Issue
Mud Season Unemployment Update – Blanket Work Search Waiver to June 3
Mechanized Logging Operations and Forest Trucking Program – Seeking intructors and students
FAME Forgivable Loan Program – Second Round Announced
Logger’s Voice Spring Edition 2023 – Now Available
ALC Annual Meeting Oct. 3-6 – Book Rooms Now!
Cost Calculators – Members Only
PLC Store – Many items for sale
Safety Resources – HumpDay Video, Ergonomics!
Trucking – Latest news
Classified listings – Check them out!
Member Discounts – Many to choose from
Logging News – Latest headlines
Mud Season Blanket Waiver to June 3
Members, the PLC has been informed that the Maine Dept. of Labor has issued a blanket mud season work search waiver for Maine loggers through June 3 due to extensive rain statewide and slow snow melt in Aroostook County.
As you know, following extensive efforts by the PLC in 2018, laid off loggers have since been granted up to a 6 week work search waiver while on unemployment, as long as they are able to provide a definite recall date to Maine’s Bureau of Unemployment Compensation. This waiver will now extend to all employees of logging contractors through June 3 statewide.
If your company has already filed paperwork with MDOL, there is nothing for you or your employees to do at this point, other than to point to the June 3 blanket waiver if asked.
If your company has not yet filed paperwork with MDOL for temporarily laid of workers, the most important steps for logging contractors and employees to follow in order to take advantage of the waiver are the following:
1. A company provides an employee with a recall date.
2. The employee contacts the Bureau at 1-800-593-7660 selects option 2 and tells them the name of the company employing them and the recall date the company has given them. The employment representative will provide the necessary information needed for your work search waiver period and any guidance needed for future weekly claims for benefits.
3. The Bureau sends separation paperwork to the Company, at which point the Company will verify the recall date on the paperwork.
4. Phone lines are open from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. Monday’s are busiest at the unemployment office and tend to slow down each day following. Currently, the average wait times for phone calls are below 3 minutes, so please be patient and a representative will help you.
5. For online self-service, click HERE. There are zero wait times and this option is available 7 days a week. Select “Create ReEmployME Account” if you do not already have an account created from prior years, or “Claimant Login” if you have filed through the ReEmployME system sometime within the last three years. Then select the “Unemployment Claim” tab at the top of your screen and go to “File Unemployment Claim.” Follow the prompts on the screen to file a new claim, or reopen an existing claim. The department is manually putting in a waiver through that date and will consider an extension as needed at that time.
Any questions may be directed to the Bureau at 1-800-593-7660.
MLOFT Program Seeks Instructors and Students!
The PLC’s Mechanized Logging Operations and Forest Trucking Program, (MLOFT) an expanded version of our highly successful logging operations certificate program that will now include Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) training, is still actively recruiting instructors and students for the 2023 class.
Instructors for the program will work from mid-July to mid-October. These are ideal positions for experienced logging operators lookming for new opportunities, including retired loggers seeking seasonal employment. These are 14-week contract positions. Pay range: $21.00 to $26.00 per hour, depending on experience. 60 hrs. a week on most weeks, overtime after 40 hrs. The expected start date is June 17th, end date is October 20th. Anyone interested in an instructor position should contact Donald Burr at (207) 356-1541 or email email@example.com.. You may also CLICK HERE.
The MLOFT program will run for 20 weeks, which includes the CDL training, from June 26 to November 9. The majority of training will take place at an active timber harvest site northeast of Old Town. The opportunity to earn a CDL-A permit and receive preparation for the state driving exam is a significant addition to the program. Tuition is FREE.
Potential students seeking more information should contact Holly Grant at Northern Maine Community College at 207-768-2856. Information may be also found online at www.bit.ly/2023MLOFT
FAME Announces Second Round of its Forgivable Loan Program
Members, the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), will soon administer the second round of its Thrive Maine program, created to distribute $29 million in federal funds approved through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Thrive Maine is a “forgivable loan program for businesses and nonprofits that demonstrate COVID-related negative economic impacts.”
The first round of the program deployed $29 million in forgivable loans during the fall of 2022. The second application period of Thrive Maine is slated to open on May 23, 2023 and will include the following eligibility criteria:
- Must have significant operations in Maine (be headquartered in Maine and have a minimum of 50% of employees and contract employees based in Maine)
- Must be a Maine business or nonprofit with fewer than 500 employees
- Must have been established by August 31, 2022
- Must be in good standing with the State of Maine
- Payroll, state, and federal taxes must be current
- Must not have filed or be in bankruptcy and must be currently open for business
- Must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEID) at the time of submitting an application
- Must provide an impact statement that describes your forward-looking plan to improve your business and economic viability
- Must demonstrate a COVID-related negative economic impacts of at least $10,000
The application deadline for round two of Thrive Maine is Friday, June 23, 2023.
Logger’s Voice Spring 2023 Now Available!
The Sping edition of The Logger’s Voice is now available! Copies have mailed out.
ALC Annual Meeting 2023 in Maine!
Reserve Rooms Now!
Save the Date for the 2023 American Loggers Council Conference and Membership Meeting at the Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine October 3-6!
American Loggers Council President and long-time PLC Board Member Andy Irish and his wife Kathy look forward to hosting timber industry representatives for the peak “Leaf Peeping” season. More details will be coming soon!
For guests who would like to reserve a room online CLICK HERE
For guests who would like to call to book their reservation lease call 800-207-2365 and refer to Group Code 86B5IN
PLC Members Only!
Equipment Cost Calculators Available
With expenses rising rapidly in the industry we know you are struggling to get a handle on your costs. This is a great time to utilize the cost calculators created in 2021 for PLC Members.
These new, easy to use, logging equipment and log trucking cost calculators are available on the PLC Members Only section of our web site You may access this private section of the web site with your member login or set up a login HERE.
These calculators allow you to quickly estimate the hourly cost of operation for any piece of your equipment.
DISCLAIMER: These calculators are being made available for your business use as a member benefit. They produce equipment estimates and are not official products of the PLC nor should they be used for negotiation purposes.
PLC Online Store
Looking for great PLC items and apparel? Gifts? First Aid packs, safety items and more? You will find them at the new PLC Online Store on our web site. Ordering is easy.
Stay Tick Free ME
Tickborne Disease in Maine
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and Maine CDC wants to remind everyone to be “Tick Free ME.” Health care providers reported over 2,600 cases of Lyme disease in 2022 (data as of March 7, 2023). Deer ticks can also spread other germs that cause anaplasmosis, babesiosis, Hard Tick Relapsing Fever (Borrelia miyamotoi disease), and Powassan virus disease. Health care providers in Maine reported cases of all four of these diseases in 2022, with the highest number of Powassan cases in a single year in at least a decade.
The best way to prevent tickborne disease is to prevent tick bites. With warmer weather on the way, tick activity is increasing. As a result, we all need to use proper protection methods against ticks and the germs they may carry. This May’s Lyme Disease Awareness Month theme is “Tick Free ME” This theme reminds each of us to focus on proper tick bite prevention techniques every time we enjoy the outdoors to stay tick free.
Ways to stay “Tick Free ME:”
- Know tick habitat and use caution in areas where ticks may live.
- Use an EPA-approved repellent like DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers the arms and legs and tuck pants into socks.
- Perform tick checks daily and after any outdoor activity.
Workplace safety requirements can seem complex – join the Maine Department of Labor for no-cost upcoming safety trainings!
- Automotive Lift /Jack Stand Safety and Compliance: May 22, 2023 from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the SafetyWorks! Training Institute, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta
- This half-day course provides training on the proper operation of multiple types of automotive lifts, jacks and jack stands, inspection, compliance reporting, training, and documentation required by various inspecting agencies. The course will provide the information needed for a safer workplace, which helps eliminate citations and can possibly lower a company’s workers compensation insurance expense. The course will have classroom and hands-on training.
Register and browse more classes here: https://www.safetyworksmaine.gov/training/scheduled_classes/register.shtml
If you have questions about safety or upcoming classes, reach out to SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE-345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Maine Department of Labor
Featured HumpDay Safety Video – Ergonomics
CPR/First Aid/Bloodborne Pathogens certification: Did you know your employees are required to have this training every two years? If your employees need this training in 2023, contact Jessica at Jessica@maineloggers.com or 207-688-8195 and the PLC will schedule training in your area. THIS TRAINING IS FREE TO MEMBERS!
Now FREE to Maine Loggers! A $300 value!
The Safety Resources Page is located in the Members Only section of the PLC webite and contains many additional safety videos, resources, and materials for contractors. To check them out, click the link below and log in to the web site. If you do not have a login yet follow the instructions to create one. If you need help accessing the section contact the PLC office!
U.S. Department of Transportation sent this bulletin at 05/02/2023 08:53 AM EDT
Today, May 2, 2023, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule that, among other items, authorizes employers to use oral fluid drug testing as an alternative testing methodology to urine drug testing. The final rule also:
- harmonizes with pertinent section of the HHS oral fluid Mandatory Guidelines,
- clarifies certain Part 40 provisions that cover urine drug testing procedures,
- removes provisions that are no longer necessary,
- adds eight new definitions, clarifying language to definitions and web links, and
- updates provisions to address issues that have risen in recent years.
To learn more about this final rule, view the rule at https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/frpubs.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has removed All-Ways Track ELD from the list of registered Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). FMCSA has placed All-Ways Track ELD on the Revoked Devices list due to the company’s failure to meet the minimum requirements established in 49 CFR part 395, subpart B, appendix A, effective March 27, 2023.
TRUCKING DISCOUNTS THROUGH THE ALC!
PLC Members, because the PLC is a member of the American Loggers Council YOU are entitled to special discounts on truck purchases! Click on the brand names below to learn more!
Fabian Oil Discount
Traction Heavy Duty Special
Maine Trailer Discounts
PLC Members get a 5% discount on culverts purchased at Treeline and Frank Martin & Sons
Hale Trailer discounts for PLC Members on new trailer purchases! Call Neal at 207-232-7969 for details!
Cross Arena Discounts for PLC!
Check out the equipment and job opportunities our members have listed at the LOGGING ZONE! If you have equipment for sale, are looking to buy, are looking for employees, or
Preferred Supporting Members
Enhanced Supporting Members