Paquette’s nomination to lead Labor Department heads to Senate
AUGUSTA — Deputy Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette’s nomination for commissioner of labor was approved by the Legislature’s Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development. In a 10-0 vote, LCRED recommended her to the Maine Senate for confirmation. Paquette will go before the Maine Senate for a hearing and confirmation vote Sept. 6. If confirmed by the Senate, she will serve as the commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor.
Paquette’s mother, Judith Orne Shorey, lives in Rockland.
Paquette began her testimony by recalling her Maine ancestors and considering what their advice would be to her as commissioner, “What would these and others say to me as I take on this job in these difficult times? Well, I believe they would tell me…to work hard, listen to all sides, be honest, trust your gut and don’t make it about you…make it about the citizens of Maine. And that’s exactly what I intend to do.”
Paquette has worked as deputy commissioner since July 2011; her previous experiences as a business owner and a human resources specialist inform her understanding of how the Department of Labor interacts with employees and employers. She has more than 20 years experience in human resources management, where she specialized in training and management development. Her background in human resources led her to found several industry-related publications and websites, including the Employment Times, HR Times and MyJobWave.com.
Prior to founding her media businesses in 1999, which later merged with Sun Media Group, Paquette held the position of vice president, human resources at Androscoggin Bank based in Lewiston. She has also previously served as the director of human resources at Creative Work Systems, a nonprofit serving people with disabilities. She has served as a past member of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Maine Jobs Council and several nonprofit boards.
“Throughout my life, my goal has been to connect good people with good jobs and careers, and I see the role of commissioner as continuing that mission. I know that creating more opportunities to put Maine people to work in meaningful, permanent jobs is a goal of both this administration and this Legislature,” Paquette told the committee.
In 2012, Paquette was inducted into the Society for Human Resource Management Maine State Council’s HR Hall of Fame, which honors individuals who helped set the stage or evolve the human resources profession in Maine. She holds an associates degree in early childhood education from Dean College in Franklin, Mass., and a bachelor of arts degree in education from Kean University in Union, N.J. She and her family reside in North Yarmouth.
The Department of Labor administers Maine’s unemployment insurance system, is responsible for ensuring the safety of public employees, and provides workforce development leadership and vocational rehabilitation services throughout the state.