MARCH 2018
Five Ways MaineSpark is Connecting Mainers to Their Futures
MaineSpark is a newly formed coalition of Maine’s most influential education and business leaders who've made a 10-year commitment to work together to ensure that Maine’s workforce is productive and competitive.

One of MaineSpark’s first efforts was to set a statewide educational attainment goal: by 2025, 60% of Mainers will hold education and workforce credentials that position Maine and its families for success. As of 2017, only 42% of Mainers held such credentials, so there is work to be done.

How does MaineSpark aim to achieve this goal? MaineSpark is comprised of four tracks, each providing programs and services for Maine people at all stages of life to reach their education and career goals: Strong Foundations, Future Success, Adult Promise, and New Opportunities. Read below for more information about each of the four tracks, and ways you can support MaineSpark.
1. Strong Foundations (for children from birth through sixth grade)
Strong Foundations wants Maine's children to begin life with educational opportunities that will create a foundation for strong educational outcomes for their futures. The Harold Alfond College Challenge, which gives every Maine baby a $500 start toward higher education costs, and Educare, a state-of-the-art early learning facility for low-income children in Central Maine, are two ways MaineSpark members are connecting Maine’s youth to their futures. The 10-year goal is to support the “pipeline” of educational attainment by increasing skills and aspirations of children from birth through sixth grade.
2. Future Success (for students in sixth grade through post-secondary education)
Future Success focuses on preparing Maine's middle school through high school students for higher education and career options so they're equipped to launch successful adult lives. Programs supporting Future Success include JMG’s Drop Out Recovery Program, which counsels youth back into quality jobs and post-secondary enrollment, and the Island Institute’s Island Fellows Program, which places recent college graduates in professional positions in Maine’s year-round island communities. The 10-year goal of Future Success is for 39,500 young adults (from middle school to age 25) to be working toward/earning a college degree or education credential of value.
3. Adult Promise (for individuals returning to complete degrees or change careers)
Adult Promise offers information, support and resources for those looking to attain a credential of value or a degree. Programs like the University of Maine System’s Adult Degree Completion Scholarship and the Finance Authority of Maine's Lifetime Learning Kit, a collection of tools and resources which adults need to get ready (and pay) for education beyond high school are two examples of how MaineSpark is supporting Maine adults. The 10-year goal is for 63,200 adults (age 24 and older) to have earned a college degree or education credential of value.
4. New Opportunities (for professionals relocating to or beginning new careers in Maine)
New Opportunities supports graduates of Maine colleges and other programs who would like to build their careers here, as well as professionals looking to begin a new chapter of life in Maine. Live + Work in Maine’s interactive job board and the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit for college graduates help provide incentive for young professionals to live and work in Maine. The 10-year goal of MaineSpark's New Opportunities track is for 55,300 adults (ages 18-65) with a college degree or other credential of value staying in or having moved to Maine.
5. How Can You Support MaineSpark?
Stay informed about the initiative through the monthly newsletter and communications – sign-up at http://mainespark.me/. Familiarize yourself and your colleagues with MaineSpark's mission and goal via the Fact Sheet, and consider whether your organization supports MaineSpark’s goals. If so, sign the resolution here to demonstrate your organization’s formal support. You’ll receive information about how to publicly endorse MaineSpark's goal – 60% of Mainers will have education and workforce credentials of value by 2025. Help spread the word about the various programs & initiatives offered by MaineSpark members, and help Maine hit the 60% goal! 
Want More Information?
Join us for this month's FREE Wednesday Webinar:
Maine's Workforce Challenge
Wednesday, March 14th
10:00–11:00 a.m.

MaineSpark is a newly formed coalition of Maine’s most influential education and business leaders committed to creating a Maine workforce that is productive and competitive. MaineSpark has set the following statewide educational attainment goal: by 2025, 60% of Mainers will hold education and workforce credentials that position Maine and its families for success.

To reach this goal, Maine needs an additional 158,000 workers with a credential of value. Join us to learn more about Maine’s high wage/high demand jobs of the future, potential pathways, and where important resources can be found to help support students and their families. We’ll also share information about the work being done by organizations throughout Maine helping to solve Maine’s workforce challenges.
For additional helpful information and resources, find  previous issues of 5 on the 5th on our website.

FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:

Mila Tappan, College Access and Outreach Manager
Jessica Whittier, College Access Counselor 
Nikki Vachon, College Access Counselor
Maria MacDougal, College Access Counselor
Floreka Malual, College Planning Advisor
Mary Dyer, Financial Education Officer
Jennifer Lanphear, Education Programs Officer
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