Representatives of Cianbro, and presidents of two Maine colleges and a Maine university gathered at Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) in Fairfield, Maine on August 28 for the formal signing of ground-breaking educational agreements that will offer college credits to workers participating in select Cianbro training programs.
The presidents joined with Cianbro's training team in viewing the effort as an innovative model for the state, which allows businesses and schools to collaborate toward ending Maine's shortage of skilled workers.
Cianbro signed separate agreements with KVCC, St, Joseph’s College of Maine, and the University of Maine Augusta (UMA). The three schools and Cianbro will work in partnership to ensure that the selected Cianbro training programs meet academic standards of the colleges and the university and that the necessary support is provided to workers to foster their educational success.
The agreements have the potential to help hundreds of Cianbro workers by increasing their access to higher education, promoting “anytime, anywhere” learning, and providing a seamless transition between on-the-job education and college and university courses.
Thanks to the agreements, a Cianbro employee interested in pursuing a two-year, four-year, or advanced Business degree will be able to start that process by taking advantage of the high-quality business, computer, accounting, leadership, and management training provided by Cianbro.
The agreements will enable students to earn up to 15 credits in five courses at KVCC, 23 college credits in eight courses at UMA, and from 12-21 credits in three courses at St. Joseph’s.
"We look forward to working with Cianbro in this new initiative," said KVCC President Barbara Woodlee. “These three agreements ensure that a student can earn an Associate Degree, complete a Baccalaureate Degree, and obtain a Master’s Degree in a seamless fashion.”
▪ Dr. Steven M. Pound, Associate Director of Workforce Development, Cianbro Institute.
▪ Brian Watson, Training Manager, Cianbro Institute.
▪ Dr. Allyson Hughes Handley, President, University of Maine Augusta.
▪ Dr. James Dlugos, President, St. Joseph’s College of Maine.
▪ Dr. Barbara W. Woodlee, President, Kennebec Valley Community College.
Dr. Pound said this online learning initiative will allow both Cianbro’s non-craft team members who work in technology, purchasing, human resources, and business support as well as craft team members to access their career development anywhere and anytime.
The model provides for a seamless pathway, yet allows for various entry points along the pathway depending on the level of prior education of the team member, Dr. Pound said.
“This is a very exciting initiative today for both the career development of our team members and the recognition of the quality of our Cianbro Institute Training Programs,” Dr. Pound said. “On behalf of Cianbro we wish to thank Kennebec Valley Community College, the University of Maine at Augusta, and Saint Joseph’s College for their openness to this model which connects business and education to address the needs of our current and future employees.”
President Handley of UMA said UMA faculty conducted an extensive review of the Cianbro institute courses and were able to equate the educational components covered in the Cianbro training materials to the curriculum in UMA degree programs.
“This type of collaboration allows for employees who are trained through different modalities to be on track to earn a post-secondary degree,” President Handley said. “This partnership also supports the statewide mission of the University of Maine System to increase the number of Maine citizens who earn a bachelor’s degree.”
President Dlugos of St. Joseph’s College said the Division of Graduate & Professional Studies at St. Joseph’s actively seeks to develop beneficial relationships, such as this one with Cianbro, with a variety of organizations. The goal is to meet the educational needs of employees and associates in both degree areas and in specialized training programs. President Dlugos added that with today’s signing, Saint Joseph’s College now has more than 40 educational partners in Maine and throughout the nation.
“Saint Joseph’s College is pleased and proud to be a part of this multi-organization educational partnership with Cianbro, Kennebec Valley Community College, and the University of Maine at Augusta,” President Dlugos said. “For us, successful partnerships depend on ongoing communication and dialog. We partner not just with organizations, but with each and every person with whom we interact. We look forward to getting to know Cianbro and its employees over the months and years to come, and to a wonderfully successful and evolving relationship.
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