Friday, February 17, 2012

Committee Approves Bill to Establish Jobs Training Program at YCCC


The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee unanimously approved legislation submitted by Rep. Devin Beliveau (D-Kittery), to establish a jointly operated Precision Tool program between York County Community College (YCCC) and Southern Maine Community College (SMCC).

“There will be a shortage of skilled workers in York County over the next few years,” said Beliveau. “This program would produce Precision Machinists who have the technical skills that are needed for these well-paying jobs.”

The three largest employers in York County are Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Pratt & Whitney and General Dynamics. All three heavily depend on the technical skills of Precision Machinists and no postsecondary program currently exists in York County for this type of training.

This program would provide residents of York County with the opportunity to earn an associate degree in their backyard and be qualified for high skill high wage jobs. Pratt & Whitney contributed an initial $100,000 to The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges designated for this program but further funding is needed in order to permanently establish the program.

“YCCC is pleased to partner with SMCC to bring this initial program to York County. SMCC has a long established and well respected program which will be very helpful as we establish a new program in our region” said Charles Lyons, President of YCCC.

“This program is essential in order to prevent a skilled labor shortage that could result in high paying jobs moving out Maine and overseas,” said Beliveau.