Maine’s community colleges launch major expansion of short-term training for high-demand jobs

December 11, 2018

Maine Community College System and The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges — News Release

$3.6 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation will support new training initiatives

SOUTH PORTLAND, ME — A $3.6 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation to The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges (FMCC) will enable Maine’s seven community colleges to expand and strengthen short-term training for both incumbent workers and those seeking to enter the workforce.

The Alfond Foundation’s gift, together with a $420,000 grant from KeyBank to The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges in May 2018, will support new short-term training initiatives in four key Maine industries: health care, information technology, construction, manufacturing and the trades.

“Our community colleges are key to addressing Maine’s workforce challenges,” said Greg Powell, Chair of the Harold Alfond Foundation, in announcing its latest grant to FMCC. “They are leading the way, opening the door to opportunity for more Maine people through innovative education and training that meet both the immediate and long-term needs of students and the state. We are pleased to continue to partner with them in this important work.”

The funds will also support the development of new educational pathways that lead from short-term training to college credits and credentials. These will include the introduction of industry recognized badges, awarded in recognition of the specific skills gained through short-term training modules that address workforce needs in key Maine industries.

“The Alfond Foundation’s gift recognizes the critical role our community colleges play as engines of economic growth and upward mobility,” said John McKernan, former Maine Governor and Chair of The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges. “This grant provides critical fuel for the engine and will allow the colleges to speed delivery of new training programs and partnerships at a time when they are so badly needed across the state.”

The Alfond gift brings to nearly $39 million the amount raised by The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges since it was established in 2009. The Harold Alfond Foundation has been a major contributor to the Foundation. Its gift of $10.85 million in 2012 funded the establishment of Kennebec Valley Community College’s Harold Alfond Campus in Hinckley.