UMaine selected for national education-to-workforce initiative, partnering with EMHS, Bangor Savings

The University of Maine, in partnership with Eastern Maine Healthcare System/Northern Light Health and Bangor Savings Bank, is participating in a national Education Design Lab project, designed to identify, recognize and match the workforce skills that college students need and employers want.

UMaine is one of seven colleges participating in a yearlong 21st Century Skills initiative of the Education Design Lab, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to re-envisioning the school-to-work pipeline. As part of the 21st Century Skills initiative’s #TeeUpTheSkills campaign, the pilot programs at UMaine and other colleges, working with corporate partners in their communities, will develop assessed credentials for the most in-demand yet hard-to-quantify skills and competencies identified by employers, such as initiative, collaboration, creative problem solving, critical thinking, intercultural fluency, empathy, communication skills, and resilience.

The pilot project is part of UMaine’s Engaged Black Bear (EBB) initiative, which awards digital badges representing student accomplishments and active engagement in 18 pathways designed to take a student from participant to leader. The badges capture, recognize and promote student engagement, on campus and in the community, and validate viable workforce skills for employers.

The Engaged Black Bear initiative now offers Career Ready badges for University of Maine at Machias students. In August, UMaine announced a partnership with United Technologies Center to offer a digital badging initiative to increase college access and readiness through the development of a pipeline to postsecondary education.

A news release about Education Design Lab’s 21st Century Skills initiative is online.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745