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December 2013
Passage of 2013 bond will strengthen Maine's community colleges, economy

On November 5, Maine voters approved a $15.5 million bond issue to enable the state's seven community colleges to prepare more Maine people for high wage/high demand jobs. Voters in every one of Maine's 16 counties approved passage of the bond, affirming the strong support for Maine's community colleges and their ability to prepare Maine people for a more prosperous future. Read what the bond will make possible at each campus.
Maine is IT!

Maine's community colleges have been awarded a
$13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to prepare more Maine people for careers in information technology.

The program -- known as Maine is IT! -- is designed to address the growing need in Maine for skilled information technology workers across many industries.

The grant, awarded through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (TAACCCT) Program, is projected to serve nearly 2,100 participants through dozens of new or expanded one-year certificate and two-year degree programs at the seven colleges. Read more.

"The TAACCCT grant is a powerful endorsement of our colleges' commitment to providing Maine people and Maine industries with access to the skills they critically need to complete and prosper," said MCCS President John Fitzsimmons. "The grant recognizes the talent at our community colleges to compete with states across the country for grants that are focused on innovation and collaboration."

Read how the grant will transform IT learning at CMCC in this recent Lewiston Sun Journal article.
The important role of community colleges

Community colleges play a vital role in training Americans to meet the needs of employers today. As our economy continues to rebuild, businesses are looking for employees with the skills their company needs to stay competitive, and America's students and adult workers want to be equipped to fill those roles. These grants help to meet those demands, providing critical investments in education and supporting key partnerships.

Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education,
in announcing the TAACCCT grants that will benefit students enrolled in programs at community colleges nationwide.
One door closes. Another opens.

When Dave Richardson of Ludlow lost his job at the local mill a few years ago, he had a newborn son at home. His first thought was a basic one: "What are we going to do now?" For Dave and his family, the community colleges were a lifeline. He enrolled in a precision machining program at Northern Maine Community College, earned his associate degree, and quickly went to work as a skilled machinist. Today, he works at Bison Pumps in Houlton, helping to build state-of-the-art, deep-well, hand water pumps that are sold around the world. 

Dave and Angela Richardson and their two sons.
KVCC breaks ground on new Alfond Campus building

Just before Thanksgiving, KVCC shared thanks of its own with those who have helped make the new Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley a reality. Among those participating in the ground breaking ceremony for a new 16,500-square-foot classsroom and laboratory building: MCCS President John Fitzsimmons; Kevin Reilley, Benchmark Construction; William Alfond, The William and Joan Alfond Foundation; Gregory Powell of the Harold Alfond Foundation; Carol Epstein, MCCS Board of Trustees; KVCC President Rick Hopper; and Paul Lewandowski of SMRT.

The new classroom building is scheduled to be completed in time for the start of the 2014 fall semester, when KVCC will officially open the Alfond Campus. New programs -- including Maine's first associate degree and certificate programs in sustainable agriculture and food science -- will be located at the new campus. Read more.
Facts at a glance
  • 91% of graduates land jobs or continue their education.
  • 92% of employed graduates are working in Maine.
  • In 2013/14, over 760 MCCS students are preparing to become the state's newest police officers, emergency medical technicians, and fire fighters.
  • Over 520 students are currently enrolled in MCCS tourism and hospitality programs, providing a skilled workforce for Maine's largest industry.
  • MCCS programs in wind power technology, renewable energy, and building science and sustainability are supporting Maine's vibrant green economy.
  • The MCCS has recently added or expanded degree programs in composite technology, health information technology, precision machining, veterinary technology, and other high demand fields to meet the workforce needs of Maine employers.
See more MCCS Facts.
Food for Fall

With cold weather here and the holidays just around the corner, here's a recipe for a festive butternut bisque courtesy of one of our culinary arts instructors.

For after the holidays, SMCC is offering several non-credit, healthy eating and lifestyle courses, including Plant Powered Yoga and Losing Weight with a Plant Based Diet. For more information, contact the college's Continuing Studies Office.
News Briefs

CMCC to offer advanced machining courses -- CMCC has been awarded a three-year, $900,000 Regional Advanced Machining Partnership grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a new advanced machining program to address the pressing need for highly skilled machinists. The new certificate program will include six courses on advanced machining and is designed for graduates of the college's two-year machine program and those already in the workforce looking to advance their skills. Read more.

NMCC's precision machining program draws attention in national magazine -- NMCC's precision machining program was profiled in HASS Automation's CNC machining magazine's spring 2013 issue. Highlighted was the program's unique instruction method of making real parts for real customers. The goal, according to Dean Duplessis, NMCC's precision metals instructor, is to develop the student's skill-set to closely parallel what industry is looking for. As he says: "We emulate the full, real-word production environment."

KVCC to offer special spring session of its lineworker program -- In response to demand for its unique electrical lineworker technology program, KVCC is offering a special session that will allow participants to prepare for a career in the field in just eight months. The program is the only one of its kind in the Northeast. For more information: (207) 453-5134;

Statewide writing contest open to high school juniors -- Maine high school juniors are invited to submit entries for A Journey Into Writing, the Maine Community College System's statewide writing contest. Entries will be accepted December 16, 2013, through January 24, 2014. More info.
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