FRANKLIN — Representatives of local education and economic development organizations held a roundtable meeting Friday, Jan 25 to address and discuss an initiative to collaborate efforts between service providers, educators, and community connectors for the purpose of facilitating a workforce training programming.

Foster Career and Technical Education Center, Franklin County Adult Education, Spruce Mountain Adult and Community Education and Greater Franklin Development Council hosted the meeting at the Chef’s Table at Mt. Blue Campus. In attendance were representatives from Regional School Unit 9; Maine Department of Labor; Department of Corrections; and local municipalities, service organizations and churches.

“We are looking for support in getting people back to work,” said Glenn Kapiloff, director of Franklin County Adult Education.

Kristie Backus of Franklin County Adult Education at left and Mt. Blue High School Principal Monique Poulin discuss concerns Friday, Jan. 25 during a meeting to address workforce training. (Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear)

Charlie Woodworth, executive director of GFDC said the long view of the county’s economic and community development office was to identify employer needs. “One of those needs is broadband connectivity,” he said. “The other need is a workforce.”

“We have adapted what we do at adult education and adopted a plan to meet the employer needs that Charlie identified,” said Kapiloff.

Part of this plan is a pair of workforce training orientations hosted by local adult education centers. On Wednesday, Feb. 6 the orientation will focus on careers such as commercial and bus driving; heavy equipment operation; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; plumbing; culinary arts; welding; woodworking; early childhood education; automotive maintenance; composite manufacturing; substitute teacher training; law enforcement and corrections; and cosmetology.

The Wednesday, Feb. 13 orientation will focus on careers in the healthcare field. Options include Emergency Medical Technician; Certified Nurses Assistant; Certified Medical Assistant; Certified Registered Medical Assistant; Personal Service Assistant; phlebotomy; dental assistant; billing and coding; medical transcriptionist; and pharmaceutical training.

The orientations will take place in the Mt. Blue Campus Forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Financial aid and educational supports could be available to individuals who decide to train for a new career. Kapiloff said classes could start as early as this summer.

“This plan was already in motion prior to the layoffs at Barclay, Coca-Cola, and KeyBank,” said Kapiloff.

BarclayCard, Wilton’s largest employer, will shut down March 31, leaving 227 people without jobs. Coca-Cola of Northern New England is closing its Farmington sales office effective Feb. 22. KeyBank will close its Wilton, Bethel, Guilford and Winthrop branches on April 12.

RSU 9 Superintendent Tina Meserve said she was pleased to see bus driving listed on the orientation.

“There is a chasm of workers the district is in need of,” she said. “We have 13 Ed Tech positions that come with full benefit packages. We need bus drivers. We have open custodial and food service positions. These are all positions we can’t fill.”

For more information about the workforce training orientation, call Franklin County Adult Education at 778-3460 or Spruce Mountain Adult Education at 897-6406.

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