BREAKOUT SESSIONS - BLOCK 2

Cultivating Youth Mattering: Building Maine’s Future Workforce

Maine state data highlights that a number of Maine youth feel they don’t matter to their community and an overwhelming number suffer with anxiety, depression and feeling of loneliness. This session raises awareness of the science of mattering, provides statewide data and offers strategies to foster connections to build stronger communities and ensure youth believe they are part of the solutions to a prosperous Maine. Lastly, participants will leave with resources and tools to build resilience and learn of statewide efforts to build connectedness among our youth. 

Workforce Development and Maine’s Micro-Credential Ecosystem

There is much talk about alternative credentials in many pockets across the state as a means to onboard more adult learners and meet Maine’s workforce development needs. A coalition of partners developed an aligned framework and ecosystem of affordable, accessible micro-credential pathways. Due to these efforts, Maine stands out across the nation as a leader in micro-credential alignment. In this interactive panel presentation, you will learn about the framework, the ecosystem, and work underway by various partners working with key Maine industries and employers. Our successes and challenges will be discussed. There will be time for questions. 

Aspire Gorham: Everybody Has a Story. What's Yours?

Aspire Gorham represents a partnership between the MELMAC Education Foundation, JMG, and the Gorham School District, and is a communitywide initiative whose overarching goal is to support all children from early learning through high school graduation and into post-secondary experiences in ways that prepare them to become productive adults with meaningful careers. In this session, participants will learn an overview of Aspire Gorham’s goals, approach, and framework for working with students Pre-K through high school graduation (and beyond), how  to create and promote a culture of aspirations throughout their schools, and specific activities that have been successful in our district. Participants will  learn about the strategic partnerships that have launched Aspire Gorham beyond a school-wide initiative into a community-wide one.

Supporting Maine's Early Childhood Workforce

The pandemic highlighted the direct connection between a strong economy and the early childhood system. Without access to child care, parents cannot fully participate in the workforce. Unfortunately Maine has a shortage of early childhood professionals, and these educators are compensated much less than other sectors with similar training and degree requirements, as well as their counterparts in K-12. In this session, participants will hear about a variety of models from other states and the national momentum to implement long-term strategies to better support and grow the early childhood workforce. In addition, participants will learn about the efforts in Maine to help recruit and retain early childhood educators. 

Projects that Matter - Community revitalization with kids

This session will discuss building partnerships between schools, local government, and other organizations to help students. Presenters will share successful initiatives that can be implemented in participants own towns, such as designing a municipal flag, historic walking tour, outdoor classrooms, and community trails.

Early college partnerships to promote equity and access: UMS, MCCS, and the DOE

The early college (EC) opportunities offered at Maine’s public colleges and universities are a critical resource for high school students state-wide. As public institutions, we have a duty to make sure that all Maine students have access to post-secondary opportunities; honoring our students and their potential to thrive in an emerging economy also honors our responsibility to our state. However, we need to make sure that these opportunities are reading those who need them the most. Redesigning for equity is necessarily collaborative. In this session we will  detail recent efforts to bring EC and career opportunities to our underserved students.

IntWork and New Mainers

Details coming soon.