LEWISTON – WorkReady, a 60-hour training program that was offered at the end of January for workers desiring to upgrade their employment skills, held a graduation luncheon at the Colisee on Feb. 16.

The soft skills training program, endorsed by many area businesses, supplied the graduates with a portable, employer-endorsed credential, signifying that each participant had acquired the skills that local employers want in job applicants.

Program funding for the program came from a JOLI grant, which provides training opportunities for low-income residents in Androscoggin and Oxford counties.

The following participants were awarded the WorkReady credential: Auburn, Michael Cloutier, Daniel Desrosiers, Elaine Dickson, Thomas Giberti, Theresa Hutchinson and Kaitlin Morgan; Durham, Lori Stevens; Lewiston, Michael Allen, Margaret Muhammad, Krystal Reynolds, Christine Smith and Corinna Williams; Mexico, Carrie Broadway; Norway, Annette Parker; Sabattus, Joline Fontaine; South Paris, Jerri Zemlansky; and Sumner, Beverly Corson.

In addition to receiving their WorkReady credentials, the graduates presented their portfolios for review to a dozen local employers, as well as other representatives from Aspire, the Lewiston CareerCenter, Central Maine Community College, Catholic Charities, Empower Lewiston, Coastal Enterprises Inc. and the Central/Western Maine Workforce Investment Board and Lewiston Adult Education.

All but one of the graduates will participate in the WorkReady Plus office and clerical fundamentals training, set to begin, Monday, Feb. 26, at Central Maine Community College.

The current WorkReady program, as well as the WorkReady Plus training at Central Maine Community College, has been facilitated by a partnership between Lewiston Adult Education, the Lewiston CareerCenter, the Central/Western Workforce Investment Board, Coastal Enterprises Inc. and Central Maine Community College.

The next WorkReady training program will begin, March 26. For more information about participating in the no-cost program, contact one of the following: Mary LaFontaine, manager, Lewiston CareerCenter, 753-9094; Paul Scalzone, JOLI project coordinator, CEI, 1-877-340-2649, ext. 125; or Jim Baumer, business assistance coordinator, Central/Western ME Workforce Investment Board, 753-9026.

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