November 2016
Funded by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Maine is IT! is building new educational and career pathways in information technology at all seven of Maine's community colleges. The programs funded by the grant are designed to support Maine workers eligible for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, unemployed and underemployed adults, and workforce needs in Maine's growing IT sector. They have been built to serve individuals with a range of experience, from those interested in gaining basic IT skills to IT professionals looking to advance their careers through new industry certifications.
120 new opportunities to gain IT skills

New technology, courses, and programs provided through the Maine is IT! grant are helping Maine people prepare for careers in IT.

In all, more than 120 credit and non-credit courses and programs will be offered by Maine is IT! in the coming semester. They range from advanced networking concepts to computer forensics to Web applications:
KVCC offers free IT boot camp for veterans

For veterans looking to enter or reenter the workforce, KVCC's Maine is IT! has been offering a free IT boot camp this fall. Registration is still open for the final session of the program, which will be held on December 10 at KVCC. The session will focus on network management, and participants will learn how to build and configure a small network. Seating is limited. To register, email cdionne@kvcc.me.edu.
Preparing for the road ahead

EMCC students are taking full advantage of Maine is IT! offerings. As one of them recently wrote: "The equipment obtained with the Maine is IT! grant has proved invaluable to me as a student in the digital graphic design program. I am training in a field where the skills and knowledge needed to be successful depend on the tools available to me. With access to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud Software Suite, fast and powerful iMac computers, and a host of other resources, this grant has afforded me a robust and rewarding education, while preparing me for the road ahead."

Heather Magee, EMCC digital graphic design department chair, works with EMCC student Dan Tracy on a recent project.
Kyle Green
Meet Kyle Green, CMCC IT student    

"CMCC was great for preparing me for entry into the competitive field of IT. The teachers were outstanding and the classes were put together well. And, with help from the Maine is IT! grant, I was able to achieve my CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications with little or no cost to me [through IT's Summer Scholarship eligibility]. It was a great program."
 
Years of experience in the IT industry helped one WCCC student earn his college degree 

Paul Grimshaw
Paul Grimshaw had over 20 years in the IT industry when he decided to take advantage of the opportunities offered through Maine is IT! at WCCC and earn his degree.

"Coming back to school as an adult with a family and a full-time job would have been very difficult," said Grimshaw. "WCCC helped me realize a goal that seemed out of reach. I did not fully understand all of the opportunities that would come out of attending a small community college. The personal attention and guidance I've received have been outstanding."

Grimshaw earned an associate degree in computer technology from WCCC in May 2016. He is currently taking additional courses at WCCC with plans to eventually earn a bachelor's degree.

"WCCC made coming back to school a possibility for me. They accepted prior learning credit from college classes taken years ago. They provided me with work history credit because of my years of experience, and they accepted industry standard certifications as credit towards my degree. This saved me hours of work and allowed me to focus on my other studies," says Grimshaw.

Grimshaw is able to apply his professional experience in other ways as well. He is now an adjunct instructor at WCCC, teaching, among other courses, an advanced computer networking class.
Students at YCCC do the Finchy Pokey!

With support from the Maine is IT! grant, YCCC has purchased 100 Finch robots, devices that help students learn to write code, as part of the college's introduction to programming courses.

Instructors say students get to see first hand how the Finch responds to the code they have worked hard to create by making the robots do light shows, sing, and dance the Finchy Pokey. 

"My students have really enjoyed working with the Finches. They come along at a tough part of the course, when students need something interesting and also fun to do," said Keith Fletcher, YCCC instructor. "The Finches are an easy and intuitive way to introduce object-oriented programming. By manipulating an actual object, they gain an instinctive understanding of the strengths of object-oriented programming languages."  
 
SMCC IT students learn on-the-job skills 

SMCC computer science student Terrence Jones
SMCC and the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) have joined forces to create work experiences for students enrolled in SMCC's computer science and IT degree programs.

The collaboration is part of the college's efforts to create work experiences that showcase both the breadth of IT careers and the abilities of SMCC students.

Olaf Carlsen, an IT/cyber security major at SMCC, and Terrence Jones, a computer science major, were recently hired as paid Transit Tracker interns for GPCOG. They will help address the organization's computer networking and Website application needs.

The two will work under the guidance of project manager, Donna Gadbois-Tippett. As a soon-to-be SMCC IT graduate herself, Gadbois-Tippett has first-hand knowledge of the broad base of skills students learn in both the IT and computer science programs, which are precisely the skills she needs to support her work at GPCOG.
Maine is IT! highlighted at national conference

Anne St. Pierre, Jennifer Gamez, and Emily Butterfield led a session at the NCWE Annual Conference. Other presenters were Ron Bolstridge from CMCC, and, representing the grant consortium team, Michelle Hawley and Monett Wilson.
 
Staff members from CMCC gave presentations on Maine is IT! at the annual conference of the National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) held last month in Atlanta, GA.

Part of the conference focused on how best to sustain initiatives begun under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (TAACCCT) Program. CMCC was the lead institution for the $13 million TAACCCT grant that has funded the Maine is IT! initiative.

Staff members' presentations were focused on prior learning assessment, data collection, and lessons learned from the Maine TAACCCT grant.
Mark your calendar

Event aims to attract women to IT careers   
 
Anne Applin, an SMCC computer science faculty member, has organized t he first annual New England Celebration of Women in Computing (NECWIC) conference, She Innovates the Future!. The goal of the event, which will be held on Friday, March 31, 2017, in Portland, is to attract women to computing careers.

Dr. Mary Fernandez, of MentorNET, will give the keynote address at the event, which will also include a college and career fair. Registration is now open and limited to 150 participants. There are generous scholarships for student registrants.

NECWIC encourages the participation of women in computing by providing a vehicle for students to explore opportunities in computing; to network with other women from academia, industry, and government; and to facilitate connections and friendships among women in the region who share the same passion for computing.

The conference is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery-Women, Microsoft, the Coalition to Diversify Computing, and the Computing Research Association-Women.

Educate Maine holds 6th Annual Education Symposium

Maine is IT! has worked in close collaboration with Educate Maine to promote educational pathways and careers in IT across Maine. Educate Maine holds its annual Education Symposium in Portland on December 9. Sessions will focus on workforce development, employer partnerships, and engaging students in project-based learning. Registration for the symposium is now open.  
Maine is IT! is funded in part by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. These are Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action programs. Adaptive equipment will be provided upon request to individuals with disabilities.



      Like us on Facebook
   
The MCCS is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution and employer. For more information, please call the MCCS Human Resources Director at 207.629.4000. The complete notice of Non-Discrimination is available at: http://www.mccs.me.edu/nondisc rimination.html .