November 2014
A $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is enabling Maine's seven community colleges to add new programs, certificates, courses, and short-term training in information technology. Maine is IT! expects to serve nearly 2,100 participants over the next three years, from displaced workers seeking to gain new marketable skills to IT professionals working on additional industry certifications.

Becoming IT!:
a new educational pathway for dislocated workers

A new program designed to provide unemployed and underemployed Maine residents with a pathway to a career in information technology is being made possible through the Maine is IT! Consortium.

Becoming IT! will provide remedial math, algebra, reading, writing, basic computer skills, and tutoring to prepare participants to attain CompTIA A+ certification, a key building block for a career in information technology.

Those who earn the certification will be prepared for jobs as technical support specialists, field service technicians, and IT support technicians.

The Maine is IT! Consortium has partnered with the Maine CareerCenters to identify and refer to the program as many as 150 Maine residents who have been laid off from a job, are unemployed or underemployed, and are interested in working in information technology.

The program is free of charge to participants. Individuals interested in the training should contact the Maine is IT! staff at their local community college or visit their local CareerCenter.

Becoming IT! is just one of the educational pathways that Maine is IT! is making available. Some of the pathways are open to individuals interested in gaining basic IT skills. Others are designed for those seeking an associate degree. And some are focused on helping information technology professionals looking to earn new industry certifications.
Maine is IT!
Check out what's available this coming winter and spring    

Many new IT courses will start in December and January at Maine's community colleges. Here are a few highlights:


CMCC: Microsoft networking fundamentals and administration bootcamp start in December. Courses in Linux, networking, server administration, PC repair, and much more start in January.

EMCC: Courses starting in January include Linux, network security, programming with Visual Basic .NET, and a healthcare information technology certification.

KVCC: Many CompTIA A+, Windows Server Pro, and Apple courses start in January.
NMCC: A Web developer training series starts in November, followed by database administration and advanced Web and mobile development in the first few months of 2015.

SMCC: Courses ranging from Website production to robotics to network system management are being offered.

WCCC: Intro to computer programming, microcomputer hardware, advanced computer networking, and virtual computing will be offered starting in January.

YCCC: Desktop and mobile computing support, information security, and database management are just a few of the courses that will start in January.   
A fresh start. A new career.
Kathryn Cormier

Kathryn Cormier once worked as a school photographer, owned a graphic design company, and assisted in her family's car repair shop. After relocating to Maine, she realized she needed to update her skills and enrolled in CMCC's computer technology (CPT) degree program. She was recently hired for an IT position at Kennebec Savings Bank after completing a Microsoft Security Fundamentals course. 


Once she completes the CPT degree she plans to enroll in the college's new network security computer forensics program.


Described by her employer as an eager, productive employee with great customer service skills, Kathryn credits the opportunities available at CMCC for her success:


The CPT program is fantastic! With all the additional programs and certificates that are available because of the Maine is IT! grant, it gives students marketable skills that can put them at the top of the list for potential employers. The faculty of the CPT program have brought real world scenarios into the courses so we know what to expect. With their help and guidance, I was able to obtain a job at Kennebec Savings Bank, where I have been able to apply what I have learned in this program and become a productive employee for the bank.

A new IT certificate at YCCC offers fast track to a job
YCCC is offering students a quick way to get started on a career in IT with its new help desk and user support certificate. With initial start-up funds from the Maine is IT! grant, the program enables students to enroll in September and complete their studies in the spring, prepared to enter the workforce.

The program provides students with hands-on experience in diagnosing problems; providing support; and handling basic administration of desktop and mobile operating systems, software packages, and LAN networks. The curriculum is designed to develop critical thinking skills and enable a student to thrive in a fast-changing IT landscape.  
Why IT Matters 
A recent report from Computerworld lists security jobs as having the highest projected growth rate in the field of information technology. By 2022, the report projects a 37 percent increase in these jobs. The average base pay for security positions ranges from $75,000 for a security administrator to over $115,000 for a data security manager.

In a separate report, Business Insider compiled a ranking of the best jobs of the future based on how well they pay and how much they are projected to grow in the next decade. Near the top: software systems developers, computer systems analysts, and software applications developers.
News Briefs

Navigators help students stay on course

Student navigators provide support and guidance to students enrolled in Maine is IT! and are a critical component of the program's design. The navigators at each of the colleges are responsible for promoting student engagement and improving retention and completion. Pictured at a recent meeting focused on student success are, in the front row: Mary-Ann Urquhart, WCCC; Carole Belanger-Bittle, NMCC; Emily Butterfield, CMCC; and Danielle Ebbrecht, YCCC. In the back row: Alex Clifford, KVCC; and Michael Fixaris, EMCC.

A new IT test center at CMCC
The Maine is IT! grant has enabled CMCC to create a new Center for Testing and Assessment that will help the college provide academic, placement, and industry certification testing for students and community members seeking to upgrade their skills. The center provides a secure environment for administering all academic and professional certification tests including those offered by Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco, Linux, and others. Here, Michelle Hawley, grant project manager, cuts the ribbon at the opening of CMCC's new test center. Dan Dundore, test center administrator, and CMCC President Scott Knapp join her.
See a complete list of all the IT courses being offered through the Maine is IT! Consortium in coming months.
Maine is IT! is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration and is an equal opportunity employer/affirmative action program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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The MCCS is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution and employer. For more information, please call the MCCS Chief Human Resources Officer at 207.629.4000. The complete notice of Non-Discrimination.