A new initiative launched by the Maine Community College System, the Manufacturers Association of Maine and business leaders will give money to 28 high-school students interested in studying precision machining.
The Future for ME pilot program will give $4,500 to high school juniors and seniors to pay tuition and fees for Central Maine Community College's one-year precision machining program, according to press releases from MAMe and MCCS. Through a gift of $182,000 to the Foundation for Maine's Community Colleges, the Great Bay Foundation will provide academic and administrative support to the new program. John Fitzsimmons, president of MCCS, said in the release the program could be a model for other collaborations in major Maine industries.
The pilot program will run for three years, and is aimed at helping Maine high school students prepare for jobs in the high-wage, high-skilled precision machining industry. The precision machining industry in Maine employs over 50,700 people, and there are approximately 960 job openings in the industry. Salaries range from $30,000 to more than $60,000.