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Bank of America Donation to PAE to Help New Mainers Get Jobs

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Bank of America Donation to PAE to Help New Mainers Get Jobs
Posted on 11/08/2016
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Bank of America has donated $45,000 to Portland Adult Education (PAE) to support classes for new Mainers seeking their first job in the United States.

The donation – $15,000 per year over three years – will go to support Job Class A of the New Mainers Resource Center (NMRC).

NMRC is a program within Portland Adult Education, serving immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. NMRC includes a skilled professionals program, employment case management, intensive classes focused on job readiness skills, networking groups, workshops, and other offerings. These offerings are designed to help new Mainers, of all professions, overcome barriers in order to enter the U.S. workforce.

Job Class A is an intensive 130-hour course designed for new Mainers with low to intermediate English language skills who are searching for their first job in the US. Students learn how to search for a job, and expand their skills through contextualized English for the workplace with the focus on U.S. workplace culture and learn financial literacy skills.

“What we have seen with this class over the years is that it is not only extremely effective at helping new Mainers launch their careers in the U.S., but that it is also an important resource for employers as they are more and more challenged in meeting their workforce needs,” stated Anita St. Onge, PAE Interim Executive Director.

Area employers are actively engaged in the program, visiting the classroom to share information about their companies, providing mock interview practice as well as hiring students. Graduates from this program receive a certificate detailing their competency achieved for twelve employability skill standards. They also receive one-on-one job search support from their teachers and job developers from participating service agencies.

The current class of Job Class A students will graduate on Thursday, Nov. 10, and Bank of America will formally present the donation to PAE and Portland Assistant Superintendent for School Management Jeanne Crocker, who will attend the event on behalf of the district. Quincy Hentzel, president of the board of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, is also expected to attend. The graduation ceremony will run from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with the check presentation included at the end. The ceremony will take place in the basement at PAE, located at 14 Locust St.

“We are pleased to be able to support Portland Adult Ed’s continuing work to ensure new Mainers are given the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Todd Beacham, Senior Vice President and Market Manager Maine/Vermont for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, N.A. “We have seen Class A graduates help fill employment roles with our clients and we recognize how vital this program is to Maine’s current and future workforce.”

Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana said, “We are very grateful to Bank of America for this generous donation. Portland Adult Education is a valuable resource for many community members trying to better their lives. Some of our students are immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers who are taking courses to help them overcome barriers to employment – such as lack of English. Bank of America’s donation will ensure continued support of a program designed to help them find jobs and become valued members of our workforce.”