Summer 2010

Maine's community colleges offer affordable customized training and continuing education that give businesses and their employees the skills you need to compete. Here's a snapshot of what we've been doing lately and what we can do for you. 

PlumChoice to expand workforce with help from MQC and SMCC
PlumChoice, a provider of remote computer support services, has partnered with
SMCC and Maine Quality Centers to expand its workforce by up to 350 employees in Maine. A $550,000 grant from MQC will enable PlumChoice and SMCC to offer trainees a customized 72-hour course that will allow them to apply for remote technician positions working from home. The Billerica, MA, company has a facility in Scarborough.

Beginning last year, PlumChoice made a commitment to the residents of New England to help build a trained workforce that is ready to compete in the 21st century economy. Our company's business model is predicated on the idea that jobs with a future can be grown wherever there are individuals with a passion for excellence. We greatly value our new relationship with the MCCS and look forward to leveraging this opportunity to create many, many high quality jobs for the people of Maine.
-- Rich Surace, Senior Vice President, Operations, PlumChoice

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard apprentices earn associate degrees from YCCC
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is working with YCCC  in Wells to make it easier for its apprentice plumbers, painters, pipe fitters, and electricians to earn their associate degree. During the apprenticeship, participants acquire on-the-job training and take YCCC courses at the shipyard that include algebra, trigonometry, drafting, electrical theory, and physics. More than 300 students have graduated from the Apprenticeship Program since it began six years ago and earned up to 26 credits towards their associate degree in trade and technical occupations from either YCCC or Great Bay Community College in New Hampshire. The cost of the program is covered by the shipyard which currently has more than 900 employees enrolled in classes offered by YCCC or GBCC. LP employees earn college credits at NMCC

Our apprentice program in partnership with YCCC and others offers a curriculum and associate degree that supports the Navy's mission and develops our employees' skills. Now, and in the future, technology will continue to drive change in our work. Journey workers of the future will need to be more flexible and extremely proficient in their trades. We need to invest in our future to maximize our effectiveness. We believe that our apprentice degree awarding programs serve this purpose.
-- Charles E. Bogdan, Apprentice Program Administrator, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

(Photo Courtesty of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard)

EMCC launches new training for energy auditors
EMCC's building construction program has gained certification to deliver Building Performance Institute (BPI) energy audit training , making it the only BPI certified training center in the state. Individuals can become BPI proficient either by enrolling in the college's building construction degree program or through an 80-hour, two-week, non-credit training option. The training prepares students to conduct diagnostic energy audits on houses and to take the national exam to become a BPI certified building analyst.

Maine and other states receive Federal dollars to support the energy audits and home assessments of older residential structures that are in need of upgrades to become energy efficient. Contractors will be required to be BPI certified to compete for these State contracts. Access to BPI training will make our graduates more competitive and desirable as employees and contractors.
-- Mike Ballesteros, Director of Bangor Region Business and Industry Center, EMCC

Verso Paper workers learn industry skills from KVCC
Verso Paper and KVCC have teamed up to help train new workers entering the paper making industry. New employees can now take KVCC courses, all of them online, to earn a certificate in pulp and paper technology. According to the Bangor Daily News, the company recently hired more than 200 workers at its mills in Bucksport and Jay. Because the company is making improvements and adopting new technologies at both mills, its new hires will need the background and skills to adapt to ongoing changes.

It's important that we have folks with the skills to keep up with technology and advances in pulp and paper. We'll be bringing on people at a level where they have the ability to meet the demands being placed upon them.
--  Bill Cohen, Verso Spokesperson

Tell us what Maine's Community Colleges can do for your business! Click here.

In Brief...

Nineteen NMCC wind power technology students are working as paid interns this summer at companies that include Cianbro, Larkin Enterprises, TransCanada, Reed and Reed, and First Wind. In addition, the college, in partnership with County Physical Therapy, has developed a new assessment to make certain students are physically able to participate in the hands-on work the program and the wind industry requires. The demand for NMCC's wind power technology program is strong with over fifty qualified applicants for the eighteen slots available this fall.

SMCC recently completed a training program for Custom Disability Solutions of South Portland. Over 65 employees participated in hands-on business writing training.

CMCC's Corporate & Community Services graduated 12 students from its first transportation, distribution, and logistics fundamentals training program. The program was developed in partnership with Coastal Enterprises Inc., which received a U.S. DHHS JOLI grant, to prepare individuals for employment in the field.

IronCAD, LLC, an Atlanta-based company that makes three-dimensional design tools, has donated education software and related services worth over $70,000 to NMCC's precision metals manufacturing program. According to Dean Duplessis, NMCC instructor, the software will help students get quickly up to speed in 3D design develop a better understanding of industry expectations.

KVCC has partnered with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, Maine Housing Authority, and Efficiency Maine to offer the weatherization technician I certification and CEU's required to work for any CAP agency.

Detroit Diesel Corp. has donated five new marine engines to EMCC's automotive program. The equipment will support a new marine component for the diesel program at EMCC and give students more opportunity to work in Maine's boat-building industry.

Students in CMCC's precision machining technology program are working with Maine Machine Products Company in South Paris to develop and test a prototype for an innovative tool to measure oil and gas levels. Supported by a grant from the Maine Technology Institute, the students will help design and machine some of the parts for the experimental tool.

Students enrolled in WCCC's heavy equipment operation program have taken first place in a state-wide competition testing excavator and back-hoe skills. Students in the popular certificate program learn how to operate excavators, bulldozers, loaders, crane and dump trucks, and other heavy construction equipment.

Six employees from Bath Iron Works are the first to complete a pilot program in supervisor development that was designed for new supervisors in a variety of manufacturing areas. The one-year program combines on-the-job training at BIW with credit courses at CMCC. The students received a certificate in business administration and management from CMCC and will be guaranteed positions as manufacturing leadpersons at BIW.

The continuing education divisions at all seven of Maine's community colleges offer a wide array of classes. Here are just a few of the courses, workshops, and programs being offered this fall:

Lead Renovation and Repair, CMCC
Human Resource Certificate Exam Preparation, EMCC
Weatherization Technician, KVCC
Commercial Driving Academy, NMCC
Professional Development Series, SMCC
Emergency Medical Technician, WCCC
Certified Nursing Assistant, YCCC

For more information about the training and workforce development programs offered by Maine's community colleges.

College business and industry contacts
Maine Quality Centers
MCCS business services and resources
Center for Career Development

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