Winter 2017
New facilities. New training opportunities.
A stronger manufacturing sector for Maine

75 degree-seeking students are studying at CMCC's new PMT Center this fall.
According to the Manufacturers Association of Maine, nearly 54,000 people work in the manufacturing sector in Maine and earn an average salary of $54,080. But 82% of the state's manufacturers say they can't find the workers they need.

Maine's community colleges are on the job, working to address the industry's need for skilled workers:
  • YCCC has recently purchased the facility that houses its precision machining programs in Sanford, allowing it to grow its manufacturing programs and prepare more York County residents for careers at Pratt & Whitney, General Dynamics, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and other advanced manufacturing firms in the region.
  • And at SMCC, the college's Workforce Development Division and the MCCS Maine Quality Centers Program are partnering with BIW this winter to provide as many as 90 trainees with the welding and manufacturing skills the company needs to help fill hundreds of critical jobs.
A displaced Maine worker tells U.S. senators how EMCC and a job training program got his life back on track

Ralph Jellison, a marine corps veteran and father of six, lost his job of 27 years when Verso Paper closed in 2014. He despaired that he would ever find a good paying job that could support his family. He got his life back on track by enrolling in a training program at EMCC. Last month he shared his story with the U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging. You can watch his powerful testimony (starting at the 41-minute mark) here. Senator Susan Collins then follows up with questions about the importance of EMCC's Student Success Center and the quality of his instructors. That segment starts at the 53-minute mark.
A new pathway to patient services
When Eastern Maine Medical Center faced a growing need for more certified nursing assistants (CNAs), it partnered with EMCC to offer a pathway into the health care field for members of the hospital's housekeeping and secretarial staff. This fall, five of the hospital's employees -- three housekeepers and two secretaries -- completed the 10-week training program, passed the state certification examination, and are now employed as CNAs at the hospital. 
Honors programs enable students to engage deeply in their education

CMCC student Fanie Wabwende (r) works with a classmate on a lab assignment.
Fanie Wabwende will graduate this spring from CMCC's life sciences honors program and enroll as a first-year student in UNE's Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Alex Chapman graduated from KVCC's liberal studies program as an honors student, which enabled him to participate in a competitive summer, pre-law program at the University of Maine School of Law. He is currently enrolled at the University of Southern Maine (USM) where he is studying political science and working as a freelance writer.

Fanie and Alex are two of the more than 75 students who enroll each year in a growing number of honors courses, options, and programs offered at three of Maine's community colleges. The programs -- at CMCC, KVCC, and SMCC -- provide students the opportunity to engage in enriched learning experiences that emphasize critical thinking, research, and self-reflection.

The programs vary at each college. SMCC offers honors courses that are academically rigorous and draw on diverse perspectives and course materials. Students can also add an honors option to a course by designing and completing work that extends the course requirements. This might include a service learning or independent research project.

At CMCC, the honors program is specifically designed for students enrolled in its life sciences program. Students in KVCC's program take an honors seminar and complete three honors projects and a portfolio of their work.

SMCC's Honors Program Coordinator Eben Miller says participation in honors programs enables students to engage deeply in their education, and can provide students a clear advantage in transferring to competitive colleges and universities.
Did you know?  
The average cost of tuition and fees for a year of full-time study at Maine's community colleges is $3,600, and 75% of full-time students receive financial aid. Want to know more about the benefits and opportunities at Maine's seven community colleges? See the 2017-2018 MCCS fact sheet
An internship with benefits for all  

Richard Stone, a recent graduate of SMCC's architectural & engineering design (AED) program, spent his summer creating 3-D drawings of wastewater treatment facilities and infrastructure that will be used for decades by the City of South Portland.

The work was part of a paid internship through the city's Water Resource Protection department, which gives SMCC students valuable work experience and results in highly skilled employees for area businesses.

Since the program has been in place, five students have completed the internship and been hired by Maine firms including Bennett Engineering in Freeport, Becker Engineering in Portland, and Wright-Pierce in Portland, says Meridith Comeau, chair of SMCC's AED program.

Now employed by Sebago Technics Inc. in South Portland as a computer aided design technician and 3-D modeller, Stone is quick to promote the benefits of internships.

"The amount of real-world experience I gained in such a short amount of time was astounding," he says. "And I met a lot of potential employers."
News Briefs

SMCC instructor contributes to major ocean research
SMCC science instructor Megan McCuller was part of a team whose research on transoceanic species was featured this fall in a cover story in Science, one of the world's leading academic journals. The team studied the migration of marine species across the Pacific Ocean in the wake of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Believed to be the largest and longest migration of marine species ever documented, the study collected and analyzed the remains of boats, docks, and other structures that crossed the Pacific Ocean and reached the West Coast and Hawaii in the years following the tsunami.

NMCC to launch state's first water treatment technology program
In response to a growing need for qualified technicians at water treatment facilities statewide, NMCC will offer a new degree and certificate program in water and wastewater treatment beginning in 2018. The program, created in consultation with the Maine Departments of Environmental Protection and Health and Human Services, will also include on-line training modules for professionals already in the field to keep them current with certification requirements. As John Belyea, the new faculty member leading the program notes: "This program will have a real impact keeping Maine's lakes and rivers clean for future generations and ensuring the safety and purity of our drinking water." Read more.

EMCC and Maine Coast Hospital partner to train more nurses
Having worked with Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft and Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville to deliver nurse education in Piscataquis County, EMCC is now partnering with Maine Coast Hospital in Ellsworth to address an ongoing shortage of nurses in Hancock County. Beginning in 2018, the college plans to provide training to a cohort of eight nursing students at its Hancock County Higher Education Center through a combination of on-site and on-line courses and clinical work at the hospital.

MCCS President Derek Langhauser (center) spoke recently to the Rotary Club of Portland about the strategic role Maine's community colleges play in preparing a skilled Maine workforce. He's pictured here with Rotarians Don Zillman and David Clough.

Sustaining the momentum:
KVCC adds new offerings to its construction program
In its ongoing effort to support both tradition and innovation in the building trades, KVCC's sustainable construction program has recently added new courses, certifications, and workshops that offer short- and longer-term training in skills ranging from timber frame joinery to finish and restoration carpentry to new building and material technologies. Learn more about the program and its 2018 professional development workshops.

Recognizing a "guardian angel" at WCCC
For the 28 years that Rhonda French has been teaching business management at WCCC, she has also been teaching her students the value and importance of community service. Both in and out of the classroom, she has led by example, spending more than 1,000 hours each holiday season helping to distribute clothing and toys to more than 500 disadvantaged children in Washington County. Together, she and her students have also raised funds and gifts for service men and women in Afghanistan and organized an effort to ship shoes to children in Tanzania. This fall, she was recognized by WLBZ-TV for her tireless commitment to helping others. She is, as one of her WCCC colleagues has said, "the guardian angel of Washington County."
Maine Community College System
207-629-4000 |
323 State Street     |     Augusta, ME 04330

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