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Updated: August 22, 2023

UMaine Farmington will offer online employment-specialist certificate

Courtesy / UMF The University of Maine at Farmington is a public liberal arts college.

The University of Maine at Farmington will offer an online employment specialist certificate to help address the state's shortage of workers in the field.

An employment specialist works closely with people with disabilities and other limiting conditions to help them secure meaningful jobs and work toward their career goals. 

The two-course online certificate prepares individuals for nationally accredited certification through the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators. 

A grant offers a limited number of students a tuition waiver for one of the two required employment specialist certificate courses.

"This new credential can help prepare individuals working in the human services sector with a new level of knowledge and skill to help provide integrated employment services to a variety of populations," said Karen Barrett, UMF professor of rehabilitation and human services.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for this position in Maine is more than $50,000.

"The state of Maine has a shortage of employment specialists and is in a constant state of recruiting for these positions," said Barrett said. 

The collaborative funding was made possible through the Maine Job & Recovery Plan, passed by the Maine Legislature and signed by Gov. Janet Mills. The plan provides funds to the University of Maine System for workforce development through the University of Maine at Augusta mental health and human services program and UMF's rehabilitation and human services program.

The University of Maine at Farmington is a public liberal arts college, offering programs in teacher education, human services and arts & sciences.

UMF was ranked No. 11 among Maine's largest colleges and universities in the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists, based on full-time undergraduate enrollment in fall 2022. In 2022, it had 1,144 undergraduate full-time students.

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