Fall 2015
Funded by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Maine is IT! is building new educational and career pathways in information technology at all seven of Maine's community colleges. The programs funded by the grant are designed to support Maine workers eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, un/underemployed adults, and workforce needs in Maine's growing IT sector. They have been built to serve individuals with a range of experience, from those interested in gaining basic IT skills to IT professionals looking to advance their careers through new industry certifications.

Maine is IT! students learn networking skills (the non-tech kind)

Maine's community colleges, with the help of the Maine is IT! grant, are meeting the ever-changing demands of the IT industry and ensuring that students benefit from learning on the newest equipment available to them. Along with technical knowledge, students are making valuable connections in their community and learning the soft skills they will need to be successful.
A series of four job-readiness workshops was offered to EMCC computer systems technology students (CST) this fall. The sessions were made possible by Maine is IT! funding and focused on the interpersonal skills students will need in the workplace. More than 40 EMCC students benefited from the workshops.

At YCCC, students and staff recently attended a Project>Login reception. It was one of the many activities Maine is IT! students have participated in this fall to connect with career and educational opportunities in their community. Pictured are computer science student Gisele Clark; Department Chair Mark Monnin; Director of Career and Transfer Services Jessica Gagne; help desk certificate student Marty Schofield; and Student Navigator Danielle Ebbrecht.
Oldriska Wyman (r) with CMCC Student Navigator Emily Butterfield at a recent Project>Login career fair.
CMCC IT students leads by example

Oldriska Wyman, a second-year student in CMCC's computer technology degree program, is a natural leader.

A former substitute teacher, she serves as a role model and tutor for students in her computer technology classes. As a Supplemental Instruction Leader, she leads study sessions and helps students empower themselves academically.

Emily Butterfield, a Student Navigator for Maine is IT!, described Oldriska as "reliable, dedicated, and eternally upbeat." She was even featured in CMCC's computer technology program's promotional video.
Of her future plans Oldriska says: "I will be graduating in May with my computer technology degree and am doing a quick turnaround to get my computer forensics/network security degree at CM in fall 2016. I am looking for an internship for the summer and plan to enter the workforce in January 2017."
IT degree helps KVCC graduate find success in new career

After earning a bachelor's degree in marine science, Greg Gagnon of Shawmut discovered it wasn't the career for him. After looking for a low-cost option to help him change gears, he enrolled at KVCC.

He is now a graduate of the college's applied electronics and computer technology (AECT) program and was recently hired by Maine Technology Group in Winslow as an IT Specialist. Now that he is working in the IT field, Gagnon says he recognizes the scenarios and problems he learned in the classroom and knows exactly how to tackle them.

"KVCC's AECT program laid the foundation for me. It introduced me to new topics I hadn't seen before and clarified the topics I knew about," says Gagnon.

Scott MacDonald, President of Maine Technology Group, agreed. "Greg is able to think quickly, translate what needs to happen, and take action. This usually takes a year or more of experience in the field before someone is able to work at this level."

Instructor Bill Dolan credits Maine is IT! with helping to enhance KVCC's AECT program by providing the latest in engineering technology equipment for today's technology-driven workforce. 
KVCC graduate Greg Gagnon (l) and MTG's Scott MacDonald
Praise for NMCC's new test center

NMCC's new Certification & Assessment Center is up and running this fall, providing prior learning assessment, certification, licensure, and placement testing for NMCC students and assisting local businesses in certification-exam delivery. The center is the first of its kind in Aroostook County, offering test-delivery services for multiple vendors and earning high praise from recent participants:

These certifications have greatly helped me in working with my staff and our project management office. Taking them was well worth the time and effort. It was also very convenient to have a testing center so close to my home. This helped me keep travel and lodging costs down.
John O'Neal, Northwest Regional Manager, EMHS Information Systems

Employees are now more willing and enthusiastic to go get their certifications since they don't have to go so far away. The atmosphere at the Presque Isle location is also very comfortable.
Eric Jandreau, Assistant Service Manager, VIP in Presque Isle
WCCC computer technology students, Brian Mitchell and Brent Carlow, work on a computer.
IT students lend helping hands

Applying what they have learned in the classroom, students in WCCC's computer technology program are gaining real world experience by providing computer repair and support to fellow students and others.

As part of their coursework, they've created the First Class Computer Repair project. They give advice on repairing versus purchasing new computers, troubleshoot hardware and software issues, and provide software support.

George Chmielecki, WCCC's computer technology instructor, says his students are learning what it's like to be repair technicians. "The students use real-life problem solving and analytical skills, as well as teamwork, all while building their communication and organization skills as they work with clients."
Systems Engineering offers internships to SMCC students

Systems Engineering of Portland will offer summer internships to SMCC students enrolled in the college's computer science, information security, and information technology programs.

The college collaborated with the company to identify internship goals, expectations, and required skills, and will manage the recruitment process in the spring.

The company is just one of many that has participated in the college's brown bag lunch series and guest lecture program, connecting Maine is IT! students with IT managers from area businesses.
Maine is IT! is funded in part by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. These are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action programs. Adaptive equipment will be provided 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 Human Resources Director at 207.629.4000. The complete notice of Non-Discrimination is available at: http://www.mccs.me.edu/nondiscrimination.html.