MCCS: Your Workforce Partner
August 2013
Maine's community colleges offer affordable, customized training and continuing education that give businesses and employees the skills they need to compete. Here's a snapshot of what we've been doing lately and what we can do for you.
MCCS to offer incumbent worker training at little or no cost
New initiative a key component of recent legislative action to close Maine's skills gap

Maine legislators took significant action in the last legislative session to address heightened concerns about a shortage of skilled workers in key Maine industries. Appointed by legislative leadership in January 2013, The Joint Select Committee on Maine's Workforce and Economic Future lobbied successfully for new and expanded programs to address the skills gap. Among their actions: funding to expand key academic programs at all seven of the community colleges; an expansion of the MCCS Bring College to ME program, which delivers academic programs to underserved, rural areas of the state; and a major new focus on incumbent worker training.  

Administered by the MCCS' Maine Quality Centers program, the incumbent worker initiative will provide training to Maine workers already on the job who need additional skills to advance in their career or help their companies grow. For small employers, those with 50 or fewer employees, the training will be free. Firms with more than 50 but fewer than 100 workers will contribute 25% of the training costs and the MQC will cover the rest. Those with over 100 employees will pay for half of the cost of the training.    

"Ninety percent of Maine employers have 25 or fewer employees, and these employers are simply not large enough to offer educational benefits to their workers," MCCS President John Fitzsimmons told the Joint Committee during its deliberations. "As Maine's workforce ages and jobs continue to evolve, the need for incumbent worker training for small- to mid-size businesses becomes more and more acute."

More information about new incumbent worker training opportunities is available from the Maine Quality Centers at 207-699-4901 or training@mccs.me.edu.

MaineBiz recently examined what the new incumbent worker training will mean for Maine businesses.
New presidents guiding three of Maine's community colleges

At WCCC, a family legacy continues
The Cassidys
Bill, Joe and Vinton Cassidy
When Joseph Cassidy was appointed president of WCCC in June, there were few, if any, on campus and in his hometown of Calais who didn't already know his name. Or his father's. Or his uncle's. The Cassidy family legacy at WCCC goes beyond most college connections with 67 years of dedicated service to the state's community colleges, and just as many to the Calais and Washington County communities.

Joe, a lawyer, former elementary school teacher, and former Mayor of Calais, has taught education at WCCC for the past nine years, serving as both president of the faculty association and the college's affirmative action officer. His father -- Vinton Cassidy -- has just retired after 34 years as a drafting instructor at WCCC. Bill Cassidy -- Joe's uncle, Vinton's brother -- served as president of WCCC, first as president from 2003-2009 and this past year as interim president. The three were recently honored by the MCCS Board of Trustees.

KVCC's new president discusses his hopes and plans for the college
After attending Harvard's Seminar for New College Presidents in July, KVCC's Richard Hopper spoke with the staff at Harvard EdCast about his new job. You can listen to the wide-ranging discussion here.

Hall appointed interim YCCC president
MCCS President Dr. John Fitzsimmons recently appointed Dr. Christopher Hall, who served as president of the American University in Kosovo from 2007-2012, as interim president of YCCC in Wells. He assumed the post on July 1.
Community college graduates prepare to enter the workforce
graduate
3,000 Maine community college students graduated in May, prepared to enter the state's workforce as nurses, chefs, machinists, business owners, firefighters, electricians, plumbers, website designers, and more. Among this year's graduating class was the first group of students to complete their program of study at SMCC's Midcoast campus in Brunswick. Nearly 27,000 students have earned their degrees at a Maine community college since 2003.
Paramedic students travel to Guyana to both serve and learn
 
EMCC EMS studentFive students and two instructors from the paramedic programs at EMCC and KVCC spent five days in Guyana earlier this summer to participate in a service-based learning project. The goal of the project: to assist the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation in building a first-of-its-kind emergency medical system. In the process, the students encountered medical conditions and challenges they had never before seen and taught classes for future Guyanese Emergency Medical Dispatchers. Read more about their experience here.

EMCC student Christy Pugsley assists a mother and child.
Whether starting college or a career, MCCS students inspire

Students and graduates of Maine's community colleges constantly inspire those around them with their academic achievements, community involvement and work ethic. The impressive efforts of three students recently made the news:  
  • Spenser Simoneau enters SMCC this fall fresh out of Lewiston High School and is already a professional firefighter with the Poland Fire Department. His commitment to public safety led him to earn 12 college credits in the field while still in high school. He'll bring those credits with him when he enrolls in SMCC's criminal justice program this fall, bringing him one step closer to his goal of becoming a fire marshal, a career that requires a background in both fire science and police work. Read more.   
  • Maxx Coombs earned a degree in communications and new media at SMCC just a few years ago and is now filming both the Bruins and the Celtics as a professional cameraman at Boston's TD  Garden. The Portland Press Herald recently profiled him
  • Craig Deveau has travelled a long, hard road, but he's persevered and is now just one course away from earning his second degree from SMCC, this one in criminal justice. Bill Nemitz told Craig's story in a recent column in the Portland Press Herald.
How can Maine's community colleges help your business grow?

I feel fortunate that we were able to get training and broaden the scope and type of work we can do. It has allowed us as a company to diversify and go after more markets.

Scott Colton, Quality Control and Project Manager, K-Pel Industries
on training delivered by NMCC and Maine Quality Centers


BRIEFS...

New programs being offered this fall at YCCC, EMCC, KVCC and WCCC will address the demand for skilled workers in Maine's pulp and paper, manufacturing and other key industries.
  • Thanks to a collaborative effort between YCCC and several large area employers, the college will launch a new precision machining technology program in September. Pratt & Whitney contributed $190,000 to purchase equipment. General Dynamics and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard were also involved in the program's development. The new two-year associate degree program and one-year certificate option in precision machining operations will enroll up to 24 students in Sanford this fall.
  • Students have the opportunity to enroll this fall in a new EMCC associate degree program in pulp and paper production technology. The program is being offered at the Bangor campus and in Bucksport via video conference and will initially serve up to 15 students. The program was created with support from Verso Paper, the Town of Bucksport, and RSU 25.
  • KVCC's new associate degree in sustainable agriculture provides students with the technical and small business skills needed to manage or develop a small farm or agricultural business. The program will be housed at KVCC's 120-acre farm at the new Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley. 
  • YCCC's new two-year associate degree program in veterinary technology provides students with skills in animal healthcare and management and prepares them for employment at veterinary hospitals, clinics, medical laboratories and in pet-related industries. 
  • A new associate degree program in behavioral health studies at YCCC is designed to prepare students to pursue employment in the mental health field.  
  • WCCC's new powersport equipment/small engine technician program provides students with the skills they need for maintaining and repairing a variety of outdoor equipment. "There is a huge demand for this course," said Ron O'Brien, WCCC's mechanical department chair. "A lot of dealers are looking to us to help train future employees."
The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation of Freeport has donated $150,000 to the Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges to support KVCC's new Sustainable Maine Agriculture Resource and Technology (SMART) Hub. The grant funds will be used to renovate a landmark barn that will house a field-based classroom and technology-enhanced lab.

The MCCS has partnered with the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) to provide employees and employers across the state with access to detailed information about new federal standards for working with hazardous chemicals. All employees in Maine are required to be trained in this new Global Harmonization System. The MCCS has made available, via its website, an MDOL video on the new system, which makes it possible for employers to offer the training at no cost to employees wherever it is most convenient -- at work, at home, or even the local library.
For more information about the training and workforce development programs offered by Maine's community colleges:

   

 

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323 State Street
Augusta, ME 04330
www.mccs.me.edu

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The MCCS is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution and employer. For more information, please call the MCCS Human Resources Director at 207.629.4000. The complete notice of Non-Discrimination is available at: http://www.mccs.me.edu/nondiscrimination.html.


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