For the past few months we have been focused on outreach to towns and businesses across Franklin County to hear about their challenges and to consider how we at the economic development office can help. One topic that we are consistently hearing about is the workforce challenge with finding workers that are skill qualified as well as workers that have the soft skills to interact in a professional environment.

To that end, we have been working to connect employers with our impressive Technical and Adult Education programs at Mt. Blue and Spruce Mountain. Out of these budding (think Spring!) relationships have come employer designed classes in Industrial Stitching, Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning, and Heavy Equipment. We are also working with our state CareerCenter to respond to the new challenges created by the Governor’s change in funding support.

To further address our workforce challenges we are co-hosting an event with the Women’s Business Center at CEI called Exploring Workforce Solutions on May 3rd in Farmington. Businesses will hear from our panel on their recruiting tactics for attracting quality employees. For more information visit the link above.

We continue to meet with towns to dive into what this plan means for each specific town, regarding speed choices and costs. Last week we held a combined meeting with the town leaders from Livermore Falls, Jay. Wilton, and Farmington. We are also hosting the internet providers to listen to their proposals for connecting our county. We have been meeting with federal and state funding sources that will play a supporting role in our implementation. This is a long process and will take a few years to complete. The good news is that we are in progress!

Two weeks ago, we were invited to Rangeley to spend the day meeting with businesses, non-profits, and town leaders. WOW! This is a committed group of citizens that is working to identify their community’s strengths and weaknesses and they are tackling issues that are hindering progress.

Your feedback is welcome. If you want to hear more about these topics please contact me at cwoodworth@greaterfranklin.com.

 

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