January 2015
Maine's community colleges offer affordable, customized training and continuing education that give business 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.
St. Croix Tissue expands.  
WCCC makes sure workers are ready.  

St. Croix Tissue plans to add 80 new positions in Baileyville when its two new state-of-the-art tissue machines are installed in 2015. To help the company expand its workforce, WCCC is providing customized training to 40 prospective mill workers by delivering a total of seven courses over seven months in everything from pulp and papermaking (provided in partnership with KVCC) to math, communications, chemistry, computer skills, and safety.

A grant from the MCCS' Maine Quality Centers program is providing the training at no cost to the students. "Individuals who successfully complete this program will be head and shoulders above their peers as candidates for the jobs we are creating in Baileyville," said Tissue Manager, Martin Richard.

"This is a great opportunity for men and women in eastern Maine to get their foot in the door with St. Croix Tissue. The jobs being created will be high-paying jobs in a high-end professional setting," said WCCC President, Joe Cassidy.

Maine's newest and largest worker-owned cooperative gets down to work with EMCC

When the employees of Burnt Cove Market and V&S Variety and Pharmacy in Stonington and The Galley in Deer Isle purchased the businesses from their former employer, they created the largest worker cooperative in the state. Now those employees and new business owners have turned to EMCC to learn the skills they need to transition from retail workers to owners of a cooperative business.

A grant from the community colleges' Maine Quality Centers (MQC) program will enable EMCC to deliver management training at no cost to the Island Employee Cooperative (IEC). The customized program includes training in customer service, retail performance, and financial and business management.

"Many of us have worked at these stores for decades and we are proud of the job we do," said IEC president Alan White. "But now we're not just workers. We own these businesses as a cooperative corporation and the training provided by this grant will help us make the most of this opportunity."

The Maine Quality Centers program funds customized workforce training delivered through Maine's seven community colleges. MQC grants are available to help fund pre-hire, post-hire and incumbent worker training. For more information�
EMCC President Larry Barrett (standing 5th from left) and IEC President Alan White (standing far right) joined members of the Island Employee Cooperative and others to kick off the customized training program.
Emma Landerr, right, learns the ropes during general tower technician training at KVCC this fall. She now works full time at Northern Pride Communications
Emma Landherr climbs higher with help from KVCC

A graduate of KVCC's electrical line worker program, Emma Landherr has learned to be comfortable at the top of utility poles. So when Northern Pride Communications partnered with KVCC to train potential new call tower technicians, Emma was quick to sign on.

While the height of a utility pole is no match for towers up to 400 feet, Emma says she is well suited for her new line of work and was well prepared thanks to the training.

"The electrical line worker program interested me because it was a career that would allow me to work outside with my hands and it was something that was useful," says Emma who has also worked as a commercial fisherman. "The Northern Pride training opportunity seemed like a smart choice as I reached graduation."

She and other trainees completed 240 hours of specialized training over the course of seven weeks. A grant from the MCCS Maine Quality Centers program meant that the training was free to both the trainees and to Northern Pride.

Emma and two others who completed the training are now employed full-time with the company.

"I've found that tower work is a much more demanding and challenging job than linework but I'm very happy with the road I've taken to get where I'm at today," says Emma.
Talent search: a company and a college get creative

GE Power & Water operates a CNC manufacturing facility in Bangor that is dependent on skilled machinists. To help develop new talent, the company has partnered with NMCC's precision machining program and created a summer internship that offers on-the-job training and a pathway to full-time employment.

Brett Stratton, Matt Martin and Blaine Cooper stand next to one of the CNC machines they operated while participating in the GE Bangor Internship Program.
This past summer, three NMCC students completed the company's Machinist Internship Program. GE Power & Water then reimbursed the students' tuition for the second year of their NMCC program. When they graduate, the three will be eligible for full-time positions with the company.  

As John Kenney, the company's plant manager, notes: "We like NMCC students because they're used to working on live jobs, including setting up programs and installing software. All that training is exactly what you have to do in our shop, so it makes for a very smooth transition."
New technology, new labs, new opportunities

New and upgraded labs at SMCC and KVCC are providing students with enhanced learning environments and expanded program offerings. They include:
  • SMCC's new Computer Science and Engineering Center. The Center features state-of-the-art computer labs with sophisticated new computer equipment that supports the college's new associate degree program in Computer Information Security and its Computer Technology and Computer Science degree programs. The investments were made possible by the 2013 Maine is IT! grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Also at SMCC, the college's integrated manufacturing technology lab now houses more than two dozen new cutting-edge lathes, grinders and other machines used by manufacturers in the aerospace, defense, automotive, power generation, medical, and other advanced-technology industries. The equipment was purchased and installed using bond funds approved by Maine voters in 2013.
  • An upgraded precision machining technology laboratory at KVCC was funded by the same 2013 bond and a Maine Community Development Block Grant. The lab features state-of-the-art computer numerical control (CNC) milling machines, control simulators, a coordinate measuring machine, two mini CNC lathes, and computers with computer-aided design and manufacturing software. As KVCC President Richard Hopper noted at the ribbon cutting for the renovated lab: "This is a tremendous investment in KVCC, an investment in mid-Maine, an investment in our workforce, and an investment in our local manufacturing capacity."
How can Maine's community colleges help you get ahead?
I feel very fortunate to be a student at SMCC right now with access to cutting-edge and state-of-the-art programs and technologies. I am learning the skills needed to be competitive and attractive to employers.

Corey Ramsey, SMCC Computer Technology major
Full house in a new house for KVCC's specialized IT training

More than 60 individuals participated in a CompTIA A+ certification course held recently at KVCC's new lecture hall on the Hinckley Campus. The course, along with many others, is being made possible through the MCCS Maine is IT! program, which was funded with a $13.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to enable Maine's community colleges to add new programs, credentials, and short-term training in information technology. Similar A+ certification courses are being offered at all of the community colleges this spring. Learn more about current IT course offerings.


More than 65 individuals attended Busine$$ in ME, an event held at YCCC to give York County employers an overview of the services and customized training opportunities that are available to help grow their businesses and increase their bottom lines. Speakers included Claudia Raessler, managing member of Saco River Dyehouse; Fletcher Kittregde, CEO of GWI; and Michael Bourret, executive director of Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc.

The MCCS has launched a redesigned website that provides businesses with several helpful and user-friendly resources including information on how to post jobs for students and graduates, a searchable program list, and other business and industry resources.

Managers, supervisors, and team leaders from Argo Marketing recently completed a 24-hour certificate in supervision and leadership training at CMCC. Developed by CMCC's Corporate and Community Services Division in partnership with Argo, and funded in part by a grant from Maine Quality Centers, the customized program focused on Argo's specific needs including communication skills, coaching, handling difficult employees, and team problem solving.

Under a new partnership with Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, students at the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology can now earn free college credits for business courses at NMCC. About 30 students are enrolled in the program. Read more�

CMCC hosted the 2014 summer workshop of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers. Some 50 NCATC members from around the country attended. As a result of past collaborations with NCATC, CMCC has secured funding from the National Science Foundation to develop a Virtual Ideation Platform and develop an online curriculum to enhance the skills of precision machinists who are already in the workforce. Read more�
For more information about the training and workforce development programs offered by Maine's community colleges:
323 State Street
  Augusta, ME 04330

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

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