New Mainers Resource Center – 2017 Annual Report – Executive Summary
NMRC’s mission is to support Maine’s economic development by meeting employers’ demands for a skilled and culturally diverse workforce.
Serving over 4,000 students in 2106-2017, PAE has been supporting members of Maine’s immigrant communities to find success and build financial stability through workforce development programs designed specifically for new Mainers, for over 10 years. The addition of the NMRC allows PAE to develop targeted programming focused on the unique needs of those who come to the U.S. with an advanced degree and experience in a professional field.
Maine’s population has begun to decline. For the state to have a vibrant economy it will need to attract more foreign-born workers as well as retain and support the nearly 20,000 refugees and immigrants living in Southern Maine alone, in order to combat Maine’s ‘demographic winter’.
Barriers to Employment
Foreign trained skilled professionals face many barriers as they seek to enter the Maine workforce. In addition to requiring an adequate level of English competency, these barriers include lack of information about: career pathways, transferring credentials, US standards for resumes, interviews, and American workplace culture.
NMRC 2017 Program Data and Impact
- 438 people received services; 261 were new in 2017; 171 continued from previous years
- 317 people received case management/career advising
- 81% of those eligible to work and receiving case management/career advising services found jobs
- Job class students report higher wages than area minimum wages, receiving an average of $12.84
- NMRC program participants are successful at getting jobs in all sectors
- In 2017 NMRC programmatic offerings designed to help immigrants overcome barriers and engage with employers had 566 participants
- A majority of new Mainers served by NMRC have a bachelor’s degree or higher
Maine’s economy is changing; we are seeing record low rates of unemployment and an increased interest from employers to recruit and hire candidates from immigrant communities. This has led NMRC to forge new employer partnerships this year, create innovative approaches to training, and has allowed NMRC participants an easier path to employment. However, many new Mainers can get ‘stuck’ in these low-paying, low-skilled jobs. In the coming year it will be NMRC’s role to reach out to these individuals and create opportunities for advancement through networking, exposure to appropriate job openings, engagement with employers, training and other strategies to assist with career advancement.
Due to both a lack of understanding of this issue and a lack of financial support for those who need assistance there continues to be a need for greater facilitation and recognition of foreign degrees and credentials and support for individuals pursuing further education and/or a path to professional licensing.
To get our NMRC 2017 Annual Report, please on the link below