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The Facts

In 2017 only 42% of Mainers hold education and workforce credentials that position Maine and its families for success. MaineSpark’s goal is to increase that number up to 60% by 2025.

What is MaineSpark?

 

MaineSpark is a 10-year commitment from Maine’s most influential education and business leaders to work together to ensure that Maine’s workforce is productive and competitive. MaineSpark organizations connect people with the education, training, jobs, programs and resources needed to thrive in Maine’s robust and changing economy. MaineSpark is powered by a coalition of organizations—schools and universities, nonprofits and foundations, government agencies and businesses—with a common goal: by 2025, 60% of Mainers will hold education and workforce credentials that position Maine and its families for success.

 

MaineSpark comprises four tracks, each offering and supporting programs and services for Mainers at all stages of life to reach their education and career goals.

Who is MaineSpark for?

 

MaineSpark links people in every stage of life, from every economic and educational background, and from every corner of the state and beyond who are pursuing their goals in this great state with member organizations that provide support and services. Whether you are preparing a child for a bright future, getting ready to start work toward or complete a degree or credential, looking to switch careers, or considering a move to Maine, MaineSpark can connect you to a network of beneficial resources.

Why is MaineSpark important?

 

Maine has jobs—excellent jobs in growing industries. And Maine has workers—hard workers with dreams to fulfill. By working together, MaineSpark’s team of organizations and services will best serve Mainers who are aspiring to gain access to the skills, knowledge and information needed to land the jobs they want.

 

MaineSpark’s mission: to shed light on the current employee/employer mismatch; to close the gap between worker skills and industry needs by connecting people with programs that provide training and education resources and services; to increase the overall educational attainment of Maine’s people; and to broaden the understanding that Maine is a state full of opportunities and a great place to live and work. MaineSpark’s goal: by 2025, 60% of Mainers will hold the credentials that position Maine and the families who live here for success.

The Tracks

MaineSpark’s coalition members offer and support a wide range of services and resources aligned with the goals of its four tracks. Below are some highlights of the innovative programs offered through its coalition members.

Strong Foundations, for children from birth through Sixth Grade

Strong Foundations wants all Maine’s children to begin life with good educational opportunities and plenty of hope. MaineSpark can connect children to their futures through programs like the Harold Alfond College Challenge, which gives every Maine baby a $500 start toward higher education costs, and Educare, a state-of-the-art early learning facility for low-income children in Central Maine.

Future Success, for students from Sixth Grade through post-secondary education

Future Success prepares Maine’s youth for college, trainings and career options so they are ready to launch successful adult lives. MaineSpark can connect young people to their futures through programs like JMG’s Drop Out Recovery program, which counsels youth back into quality jobs and post-secondary enrollment, and the Island Institute’s Island Fellows Program, which places recent college graduates in professional positions in Maine’s year-round island communities.

Adult Promise, for those returning to complete degrees or change careers

Adult Promise offers information, support and resources for those looking to start or finish a degree or certificate, change careers or learn a new trade or skill. MaineSpark can connect Mainers to their futures through programs like the Finance Authority of Maine Lifetime Learning Kit, providing tools that adults need to get ready (and pay) for education beyond high school; and through the University of Maine System’s Adult Degree Completion Scholarship.

New Opportunities, for professionals looking to move or begin new careers in Maine

New Opportunities supports graduates of Maine colleges and other programs who would like to stay and build their careers here, and professionals looking to begin a new chapter of life in Maine. MaineSpark can connect new and potential residents with the resources they need to thrive through programs like Live + Work in Maine’s interactive job board, and the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit student loan reimbursement for college graduates.

Partner Organizations (As of 9/27/17)
Alfond Scholarship Foundation

Bath Iron Works

Coastal Enterprises Inc.

Educate Maine

Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation

Finance Authority of Maine

Great Schools Partnership

Husson University

John T. Gorman Foundation

Live and Work in Maine

Maine Adult Education

Maine Community College System

Maine Development Foundation

Maine Maritime Academy

Maine Municipal Association

Maine’s Pre-K to 12 System Partners

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Maine State Workforce Board

Maine College Access Network

Maine Community Foundation

MELMAC Education Foundation

New Ventures Maine

Thomas College

University of Maine System

University of New England

Alfond Scholarship Foundation

Educare

Maine Children’s Alliance

Maine Department of Education

Maine Early Learning

Investment Group

Ready Nation/Council for a Strong America

United Way of Greater Portland

Cianbro

Destination Occupation

Educate Maine

Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation

Finance Authority of Maine

GEAR UP

Island Institute

Jobs for Maine’s Graduates

Maine Adult Education

Maine Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

Maine Community College System

Maine Department of Education

Maine Development Foundation

Maine Education Opportunity Center

Maine Principals’ Association

Maine School Management Association

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Maine’s Career & Technical Education System

Maine College Access Network

MELMAC Education Foundation

New Ventures Maine

University of Maine System

Educate Maine

Finance Authority of Maine

Goodwill Northern New England

Husson University

John T. Gorman Foundation

Maine Adult Education

Maine Community College System

Maine Community Foundation

Maine Development Foundation

Maine Department of Labor

Maine Educational Opportunity Center

New Ventures Maine

University of Maine System

Live and Work in Maine

Project>Login (Educate Maine)