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Cianbro Corporation, Pittsfield

Delivering impressive results through a model partnership


When Cianbro Corp. decided to redevelop the former Eastern Maine Paper Mill site in Brewer into a large modular construction facility—toKVCC provides training for Cianbro. augment its operations in Pittsfield and Portland—the company knew it would be an ambitious undertaking to find a large pool of skilled workers, fast. Having partnered successfully with the Maine Quality Centers program in the past, they turned again to the community college system for help. The resulting project was a model of collaboration that included two community colleges (Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor and Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield) the Maine Quality Centers program which funded the project, and other training providers. The project was put together quickly to meet the company’s tight timeframe. Together, EMCC and KVCC trained dozens of new welders in under eight months. The 560-hour training included courses in teambuilding, ethics, math, computer applications, First Aid/CPR/AED, pipe welding, OSHA safety, and blueprint reading. All of the partners are pleased with the project—which brought a former mill back to life and new, high-paying jobs to Maine.   

“The support provided by Maine Quality Centers allowed Cianbro Companies to grow its workforce during a pivotal time. We were developing our modular construction facilities in Brewer, Maine, and required two hundred and fifty skilled welders in eight months. 

A training initiative of this magnitude had never been undertaken in Maine before, but through collaboration with Kennebec Valley Community College and Eastern Maine Community College as well as other educational training facilities we were successful. Together, we met Cianbro’s needs, provided training and work for unemployed and underemployed individuals, and helped positively impact the economy of Central and Northern Maine. Many of the trainees had no welding experience at all and in 12 to 16 weeks they were ready to help build the first oil refinery to be built in North America in 32 years.  

Many thanks to Maine Quality Centers and Jim McGowan for assisting us in this worthwhile Maine project. Together we achieved our goal and developed a collaborative template between education and industry that can be used not only in Maine, but the rest of the USA and Canada.”

Steven M. Pound, PhD.
Associate Director, Cianbro Institute-Strategic Alliances
Cianbro Corporation