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New program aims to fill gap in Maine's trade workforce

Four local manufacturers have teamed up with 'Destination Occupation' to create a free, five week manufacturing technology program that promises a job after.

MAINE, USA — It's no secret Maine is desperate for skilled trades workers, which is why the group 'Destination Occupation' is teaming up with a handful of local manufacturers to ease some of that need.

Destination Occupation has teamed up with Jotul North America, Sigco, Messer Truck Equipment, Paradigm Windows, Portland Career Center and Northeast Technical Institute to make it happen.

“We teamed up with these four companies to address a significant need for trained manufacturing workers," Destination Occupation's President and CEO, Rachel Knight said. "All four companies are ready to hire successful certified candidates as soon as they complete this course in mid-January."

The program is called 'Right THeRe' [sic] and will allow participants to hone their skills in a five-week course. It's being held at Northeast Technical Institute in Scarborough. The first class will be made up of 20 people but they say there is room for growth down the road. Once completed, participants will have first dibs on vacant jobs with the manufacturers.

"I see this spreading like wildfire across Maine and for us it's the most efficient way to work locally and attract talent," President of Jotul North America, Bret Watson said. "I mean, if we can't hire all 20 across our four companies, then other manufacturers are going to have people who are trained in a five-week course."

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A release about the program states:

"In the program, underemployed and unemployed individuals may qualify for workforce training dollars offered through State government, so, it is possible that the course will be free of charge to eligible individuals."

Courses are set to begin on November 18. People must be 18 or older to participate. To learn more about the program or to see if you qualify, click here.

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