Are there more job opportunities outside of Maine? Some young people say yes, that’s why they’re leaving and why some businesses say the future of Maine’s workforce could be bleak if youth outmigration isn’t addressed.
That’s also why local job fairs have become so important. As Shawn Cunningham reports, more companies are looking for young new hires to move Maine’s workforce forward.
Jason Fortin is on the hunt. This soon to be college graduate is determined to have a new job he can start in just a few months. But Jason will only take a job in the county. Career aspirations aside, he refuses to leave.\
“Its worthwhile I’ve talked to a lot of good agencies and people and they’ve all had job opportunities that spark my interest,” says Fortin.
Organizers of this job fair at UMPI say there are more than 300 open positions up for grabs at companies throughout the county. And there is a big push to hire young, local employees that will stay in the county and contribute to its workforce fabric. Nicole Fournier Director of Career Preparation for UMPI and says “It appears that more people are hiring, we’re hearing a lot in my office can you post this job, how do we get access to your students.” “There are jobs in Aroostook County, its really starting to pick up in a variety of different industries right now,” adds Jennifer Curran, a staffer for TEMPO Employment Services in Presque Isle.
There are more than 30 employers hiring…looking to expand the county’s workforce. The question is do they feel these young people are ready, skilled enough to handle the jobs available to them.
“I think for the most part they are ready…I think they’ve acquired the skills through college that will lead them to be successful down the road,” says Brandon Carlow who works for MMG Insurance.
“Every employer is looking for individuals so there’s opportunity, I think students just need to be a little more proactive and find that opportunity,” adds Bryan Thompson an Associate Professor of Business for UMPI.
And these young job seekers are doing just that…putting themselves out there with assertiveness and an assurance that they’ll land the perfect job right here at home…so they won’t have to leave.
Kelsie Wilson an UMPI student and Job Seeker says “I prefer to stay my family’s from here, my fiance’s family is up here too so we prefer to stay here.”
Dennis Rogeski, another Job Seeker adds “I won’t leave I’ll make it work here, I mean we’re settled down I have kids and a wife we’re dedicated to staying in Aroostook County.”