Maine DOE awards local adult ed grants

     AUGUSTA, Maine — Making close to 500 adult students hirable is the focus of a $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.

     Locally, that means $63,800 grants for two collaborative projects, one involving RSU 39 Eastern Aroostook County Adult Education in Caribou and SAD 1 adult education in Presque Isle, and the second for the St. John Valley Adult and Community Education Collaborative.

     “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,” said Gail Senese, the Department of Education’s director of adult education.

     RSU 39 and SAD 1 Adult Education 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. The 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 Operator’s License Exam.

     The St. John Valley Adult and Community Education Collaborative, consisting of MSAD 27 and Madawaska adult education programs, is also partnering with NMCC, 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. This project 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.

     Other state entities awarded pilot grant funding are the Lewiston Adult Education Program, RSU 24 Adult Education in Sullivan.

     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 or 624-6755, or Director of Communications, Anne Gabbianelli at anne.gabbianelli@maine,gov or 624-6747.