AUGUSTA, ME – More than 75 Maine businesses and industry associations have signed agreements with the Maine Community College System (MCCS) that provide their employees with expanded workforce training opportunities and discounted tuition at the state’s seven community colleges.
“Working with businesses throughout the state, we have realized our ability to meet their needs increases exponentially when we build deep, lasting relationships. So we developed this Compact and businesses didn’t waste any time signing up,” said MCCS President David Daigler. “We are all focused on investing in Maine workers, filling job vacancies for skilled workers, and building a strong economy, particularly as we recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”
The business partners, representing almost 100,000 workers, have signed the Maine Workforce Development Compact with Maine Quality Centers (MQC,) the workforce training arm of the Maine Community College System.
Under the Compact:
- MQC will provide employees of Compact members with entry-level and professional development training;
- MQC will provide employees of Compact members with scholarships and discounted tuition towards college courses offered by a Maine community college;
- MQC and Compact members will collaborate on helping the unemployed and underemployed find employment, including providing training for jobs going unfilled for lack of skilled workers;
- Businesses will support employees who enroll in college courses to work toward a college degree; and
- Businesses will collaborate with MQC by appointing a workplace liaison for the program, coordinating trainee support and advising MQC on future workforce training program needs.
“Maine’s community colleges are our workforce training partner, and this Compact demonstrates our joint commitment to helping workers get the skills they need for good-paying jobs in Maine,” said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “This Compact helps business owners recruit and retain workers, stabilizes worker turnover, and gives businesses a streamlined arrangement with local community colleges to provide professional development to our teams. It will absolutely make a difference.”
Compact members include MaineHealth, L.L.Bean, Hannaford, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, Maine Medical Association and HospitalityMaine. Smaller companies are also taking advantage of the Compact benefits. More than a dozen Compact members have fewer than 50 employees, including Union River Lobster Pot, Mariner Beverages and Allenfarm Fence Company.
“We are very excited to partner with Maine companies, industry associations and chambers of commerce that are literally signing on the dotted line to help their workers and members get fast, free, tailored training — and a shot at a low-cost college degree,” Daigler said.