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Business and Economy

MCCS Initiative Aims To Address Dire Worker Shortage In Some Maine Industries

The Maine Community College System is establishing a new initiative it says will provide free short-term training in four fields that are experiencing significant shortages of skilled workers.They include "information technology, health care, construction and the industrial trades," says Maine Community College System President Derek Langhauser.

Langhauser says these are jobs that also hold the potential for significant wage and career growth.  He says the training sessions, which begin next summer, are intended to be accessible to adults working full time, representing a wide range of ages.

"Realistically we could see anything from 25 to 55," he says. "And I think that should send a great signal to Maine people that, regardless of where their station in life, that this kind of training will be available to them."

The sessionsvwill be held at locations across the state and are expected to take four to eight weeks, depending on the complexity of the subject.

Their timing might also depend on the seasonal needs of a given industry, Langhauser says. "So if it's a construction industry that may be a little quieter during the winter months we would frontload the training into that period of time."

The program might be of interest to those seeking to enter the workforce, who are under-employed, or who want to get into other work areas.

Langhauser expects up to 300 workers to receive training over the course of three years, paid for by a $3.6 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation.