Grants awarded in adult education

AUGUSTA – Making close to 500 adult students hirable is the focus of $319,000 Integrated Education and Training Pilot Grant that will be evenly split between five adult education programs spanning from Androscoggin County to Hancock and Aroostook Counties.

The Lewiston Adult Education Program, the St. John Valley Adult and Community Education CollaborativeRSU 24 Adult Education in Sullivan, RSU 39 Eastern Aroostook County Adult Education, and RSU 25 Adult Education in the Bucksport area and Ellsworth each received a federally funded $63,800 Adult Education Integrated Education and Training Pilot Grant.

“This model focuses on partnering and working with businesses to train people in exactly what those businesses need and making sure the candidates are ready for the workforce,” says Gail Senese, the Department of Education’s director of adult education. “This approach will produce the best qualified employees for jobs that are immediately available across many industries.”

To summarize: The St. John Valley Adult and Community Education Collaborative, consisting of MSAD 27 and Madawaska adult education programs, are partnering with Northern Maine Community College, the regional career center and ACAP Workforce Development in an education and training initiative to address the critical need for certified truck drivers in the region.

RSU 39 Eastern Aroostook County Adult Education (Caribou) and MSAD Adult Education #1 in Presque Isle have partnered with Northern Maine Community College to use the integrated education and training approach to assist individuals in entering or advancing in the boiler operator career pathway.

RSU 24’s adult education program in Sullivan is partnering with University College in Ellsworth, Eastern Maine Community College and local employers to assist adults across Hancock and western Washington counties to gain employment in the building construction and health care fields.

In Lewiston, the adult education program will partner with a marketing company to train students for 300 new positions over the coming year in the call center industry.

RSU 25’s Adult Education and Ellsworth Adult Education are partnering together in this grant to offer a program that introduces entry-level workers to specific health care jobs in Hancock County.

Details of implementing the Integrated Education and Training Pilot Grant include:   The St. John Valley Adult and Community Education Collaborative was made possible not only by the grant funds but local trucking companies played a key role in project planning to ensure the curriculum reflects locally-designed and locally-recognized certifications in logging road driving. This pilot includes a pre-training WorkReady component tailored to the trucking industry, a CDL training program that includes certification and also the prospect of earning additional sub-certifications in Hazardous Waste Materials, Tank Vehicle and Double-Triple Trailer.

RSU 39 Eastern Aroostook County Adult Education (Caribou) and MSAD Adult Education #1 in Presque Isle’s project anticipates serving 20 students who will be dual-enrolled in a 15-week boiler operator course while at the same time receiving instruction in math, reading/writing and technology. Project outcomes include successful completion of a high school credential if needed, completion of the High Pressure Boiler Operator course, and a three-month job experience that is necessary before taking the Boiler Operators License Exam.

RSU 24’s adult education program will see construction and healthcare cohorts each having fifteen qualified students who will participate in a 12-week program that combines academic instruction with active, hands-on work experience. Outcomes from the carpentry cohort include industry recognized certifications and college credits. Participants in the healthcare program will be prepared to take the Certified Medical Administrative Assistance exam.

The Lewiston Adult Education grant components include intense reading and speaking instruction, keyboarding and computer literacy, WorkReady soft skills and customer service program, as well as training in conflict resolution and problem solving. The project will create a pathway for new hires who will replace incumbent workers being promoted internally and receiving leadership training also with the help of this grant. Working with the Lewiston Career Center, Central Maine Community College, Central Western Workforce Investment Board, and Argo Marketing, the integrated and training pilot will enable 300 unemployed and underemployed individuals to engage in a career pathway that offers jobs with sustainable wages and benefits.

The RSU 25 Bucksport and Ellsworth area adult education programs are partnering with healthcare employers, University College at Ellsworth, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, CareerCenter, and DHHS-ASPIRE. Basic educational supports will be combined with job-shadowing, clinical training and on-the-job training as participants work toward C.N.A., Certified Residential Medication Aide (CRMA), WorkReady and NorthStar Basic Computer Skills certifications. This project plans to serve over 90 individuals.

The pilot grant window closes June 30, 2016, at which time Maine DOE determines how each recipient met the goals of their project pilots – budgets, partners, educational and employment gains.  For more information, contact Director of Adult Education, Gail Senese at gail.senese@maine.gov or 624-6755, or Director of Communications, Anne Gabbianelli at anne.gabbianelli@maine,gov or 624-6747.

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