D-F : WorkReady Training InitiativeAugust 02, 2008 - TRCDear Business Leader/Employer; My name is Thelma Regan, Director of Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative. This co-op serves all the towns and citizens of the MSAD #4, #41, #46, and #68 school district regions. We have partnered in the past with the Career Center, Training and Development Corp, and Penquis Higher Education Center to support workers to increase their skills for employment. This partnership is strengthening as we work together to benefit our economic climate.I am proposing that we offer an innovative, employer-driven training initiative in the Piscataquis Valley Region called WorkReady This program was developed by the Department of Education and Department of Labor working together to address the needs of employers and employees of our state.WorkReady is a 60-hour training program that was created with the needs of employers in mind. The curriculum is designed to provide participants with the “soft” or “applied” skills that employers say they need and are most lacking in job applicants, such as basic literacy, showing up on time, ready to work, ability to stay on task and on focus, able to take directions and “trainable.” Graduates are presented with a portable credential, recognized by employers, signifying that they are WorkReady.WorkReadyDeveloped by DOE as first response to employer demands for basic skills as a first step to develop a better workforceFits Maine’s economic and educational prioritiesApplicants must qualify for WorkReady to participate: 8th grade reading level, high school diploma or GED in hand, profile testing, one on one interviewJoins educators, employers , and community in common effortConducted by professionally trained facilitator in conjunction with business owners, managers, and members of educational communityWorkReady simulates (as much as possible) the standard expectations of the workplaceThe WorkReady program has already graduated more than 130 participants from similar programs in the Lewiston-Auburn area, as well as programs offered in Rumford, Farmington, and Skowhegan over the past two years. We are eager to pilot this program in our region, given we have a similar workforce demographic profile of the regions already successfully served. Because of the success of WorkReady in Lewiston-Auburn, over 20 businesses have endorsed this learning credential, as well as numerous other employers in other WorkReady communities. I hope this program is of interest to you and you would be willing to participate in a special employer preview meeting aimed at helping us build a base of employer support for the program in the Penquis Region. This meeting will be held on August 12th, 2008 at 6:00 P.M. @ PVAEC, 48 Morton Avenue, Dover-Foxcroft. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I hope to see you at this meeting.Sincerely,Thelma Regan, DirectorNOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.