This was a special one-hour round table discussion on Workforce Development in Maine. Guests highlighted a program they all experienced together at Southern Maine Community College called ESOL-to-IT as director, instructor, student, and tutor.
Maine has a real need to develop a workforce because of an aging population with upcoming retirements as well as new business growth. Immigrants offer a skilled and hard working labor force. If Maine strategically plans for it we can match meaningful work with just the right workers.
Dieudonne summarized it well, New Mainers are grateful for the help/training/support they receive here and want to remain loyal to Maine. If Maine had more infrastructure to connect jobs and workers, immigrants and native Mainers both would be able to stay here, work, pay taxes, and contribute to building a healthier state for tomorrow, all of us together.
David Zahn, Chair of ESOL and Global Languages Department at Southern Maine Community College. For more information on the ESOL to EMT click here
and more on SMCC's workforce training click here.
Stela Markova-Kanin, International Project Coordinator from Bulgaria who was a volunteer and tutor in the ESOL to IT and ESOL EMT programs offered at Southern Maine Community College. She spoke of free Conversational English support at YMCA where she works in accounting.
Dieudonne Nzeyimana is a pioneer in the development of IT in the Rwanda Public Administration, was COO of Population Services International and recently participated in the ESOL-to-IT workforce development program.
Stefanie Trice Gill is the founder of IntWork, a diversity recruitment firm that specializes in matching Maine employers with engineers, IT, and other STEM professionals, mostly immigrants. She helped in a similar way with the ESOL to IT program at SMCC. MANA also offers info on workforce gap and solutions.
Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares sing "Ergen Deda" early in the program and to close
Kizito Mihigo sings "Ijoro Ribara Uwariraye"