AUGUSTA – More than 75 Maine companies and industry associations have signed agreements with the Maine Community College System that provide their employees with expanded training opportunities and reduced tuition fees at the state’s seven community colleges.
“By working with businesses statewide, we’ve realized that our ability to meet their needs increases exponentially as we build deep and lasting relationships. So we developed this Compact and companies didn’t waste time signing up, ”said David Daigler, President of MCCS. “We are all focused on investing in Maine workers, filling vacancies for skilled workers, and building a strong economy, especially as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”
Business partners, representing nearly 100,000 workers, have signed the Maine Workforce Development Compact with the Maine Quality Centers, the workforce training arm of the Maine Community College System.
As part of the pact:
- MQC will provide entry-level training and professional development training to employees of Compact members;
- MQC will provide employees of Compact members with scholarships and reduced tuition fees for university courses offered by a community college in Maine;
- Members of the MQC and Compact will work together to help the unemployed and underemployed find jobs, including providing training for jobs unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers;
- Companies will support employees who enroll in college courses to earn a university degree; and
- Companies will work with the MQC by appointing a workplace liaison for the program, coordinating support for interns, and advising the MQC on future workforce training program needs.
“Maine Community Colleges are our workforce training partner, and this Compact demonstrates our shared commitment to helping workers gain the skills they need for well-paying jobs in Maine,” said said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “This Compact helps business owners recruit and retain workers, stabilizes worker turnover, and provides businesses with a streamlined arrangement with local community colleges to provide professional development for our teams. It will absolutely make a difference. “
Compact members include MaineHealth, LLBean, Hannaford, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Maine Medical Association, and HospitalityMaine. Small businesses are also reaping the benefits of the Compact. More than a dozen Compact members have fewer than 50 employees, including Union River Lobster Pot, Mariner Beverages and Allenfarm Fence Company.
“We’re very excited to partner with Maine businesses, industry associations and chambers of commerce who are literally signing on the dotted line to help their workers and members get fast, free, and tailored training – and a chance.” to get a college degree at a low cost, ”Daigler said.