The Star-Herald

Career collaborative offers college and career resources

The Maine Compass Career Collaborative virtual experience will open to all of Maine’s middle and high school students, free of charge, on April 26.

 GEAR UP Maine and JMG are partnering to create the Maine Compass Career Collaborative, an on-demand career and post-secondary resource for Maine’s students in grades 7-12. The site will be universally accessible to all middle school and high school students in Maine. 

 “This is not a one-time event. The site will always be ‘open’ with on-demand resources to help students develop real-world skills and explore all of the postsecondary and career pathway opportunities that exist in Maine,” explains Debbie Gilmer, president of Syntiro, the non-profit organization that leads Maine’s GEAR UP grant. GEAR UP Maine is a statewide initiative, in collaboration with the University of Maine at Farmington, to support students on pathways to high school graduation and postsecondary education.

 The site will include information about Maine’s public university and community college systems, private colleges such as Thomas College, and other programs that support post-secondary education such as the Bridge Academy and the Alfond Scholarship Foundation. It will also provide an on-going resource for students to learn the wide variety and increasing number of post-secondary credentials offered directly by Maine’s employers such as the E.J. Prescott UP training program.

 “We wanted to include the word ‘Collaborative in the title of the Maine Compass Career Collaborative because we are actively seeking partners to join us in this effort. It will launch as soon as students return from spring break, but we will continue to add content in the coming months and it will be free to students,” says Craig Larrabee, CEO and president of JMG. “In addition to being informational, it’s also going to be a lot of fun for students. We look forward to welcoming more partners as we continue to build this platform.”

 The Maine Compass Career Collaborative will include a postsecondary exploration hall, an employer engagement experience, financial literacy education, information about how to write a resume and apply for college and jobs, digital literacy resources, including how students can be their own brand ambassadors and additional support such as public speaking and professional dress guides.

 Registration for the platform will open on April 26 and links to the Maine Career Compass Collaborative will be posted on the JMG web site (www.jmg.org) and the GEAR UP Maine website (www.gearupme.org). The site is free of charge to all middle and high school students in Maine, and any educators who are supporting them.

 JMG is a statewide, private nonprofit that partners with public schools and private businesses to offer results-driven solutions to ensure all Maine students graduate, attain post-secondary credentials and pursue meaningful careers. JMG provides more than 11,000 students annually with the skills and experience they will need to reach their potential. JMG graduates become engaged members of their communities, productive adults in the workforce and contributors to Maine’s economy.

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