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Portland Adult Education » Programs » New Mainers Resource Center

New Mainers Resource Center

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Mission

To support Maine's economic development by meeting employers' demands for a skilled and culturally diverse workforce.

Background

The New Mainers Resource Center started in December 2013 at Portland Adult Education to help foreign trained skilled professionals overcome the barriers they face as they pursue their professions in Maine. A skilled professional is defined as someone who has a bachelor’s degree or higher from their home countries.

Need

Southern Maine is home to nearly 20,000 refugees and immigrants, with Portland being a major resettlement city for primary and secondary immigrants. Students at Portland Adult Education come from all over Maine and more than 80 different countries and range in age from 18 – 80+ with over 1,700 English language students in the 2012-2013 school year. Economic need is the defining trait of most of Portland Adult Education students. In the 2012 – 2013 school year, more than 70% of students were eligible for food stamps. Most English language students and their families are refugees or asylum seekers, attempting to restart their lives after fleeing war.

Challenges

Foreign trained skilled professionals face a number of barriers as they seek to enter the Maine workforce. These include lack of information about: career pathways, transferring credentials, US standards for resumes, interviews, communication, etc., and American workplace culture; licensing barriers; unprepared public workforce and educational systems; lack of English classes and English classes with a professional contextual focus; employer misconceptions; and loss of professional networks.
For more information please visit www.nmrcmaine.org