Almost 80 people were in attendance at the the Aroostook Partnership for Progress and LEAD annual meeting. People came from all over Aroostook county to listen to new initiatives and how to work as a network. Ryan Pelletier, the Executive Director of LEAD was proud of the turnout.
“We had a strong showing of both LEAD and APP investors. It just really shows the strength behind the business community here in Aroostook County. And we had a wonderful time talking about activities and initiatives going on in the county that we are behind and support.”
One of the main points highlighted at the meeting, was working together as a network. The community, businesses, and colleges all working as a team to accomplish a said goal and getting students more motivated to continue their education after high school. Bob Dorsey the President CEO of APP says they need to get students more interested in working.
“Make students more aware of the emerging jobs in the county, their need for education, the opportunities to get that education right here. More job shadowing and internships. We’ve got to make those programs more viable.”
The APP and the community called to attention the growing number of adults that have yet to finish their college education. James Page the Chancellor of the University of Maine System says there has to be a change in the culture and system in order to help the people who fall under this category.
“We’re starting a major initiative to engage the adult population that has started college at some point in the past, but for one reason or another didn’t complete. And these adults anywhere from 22 to 60 first of all are an enormous part of our population. This is an enormous opportunity, but it is also a challenge because our normal systems are not set up to support these folks to complete their education.”
In order for these initiatives to be successful Page says, the community, colleges, and businesses must all work together.