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Local collaboration receives grant to support study of workforce development and youth aspirations barriers

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Piscataquis County Economic Development Council (PCEDC), in partnership with Helping Hands with Heart (HHH), has received a $10,000 grant from a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation to investigate shared concerns about workforce development, youth aspirations, local youth and the barriers to successful employment in the towns served by five area school districts — SAD 4, RSU 68, SAD 41, SAD 46 and the Greenville Consolidated School.

“This grant will support a series of activities designed to learn more about area challenges in recruitment/retention of employees as well as to identify the challenges faced by area youth and young adults to their long-term aspirations about career and job choices, employment and civic involvement.” said Sue Mackey Andrews, co-chairperson of HHH.

These efforts also partner with the UMaine Rural Youth Futures Project. Business leaders, youth, parents and community members will be invited to participate in a series of listening sessions and surveys designed to identify barriers and solutions to workforce readiness and youth engagement.

The PCEDC formed in 1997 seeks to leverage local, county, state and federal resources to promote and encourage private and public investment with Piscataquis County by stimulating long-term sustainable economic development and growth in the region.

Formed in 1996, HHH is a cross-sector coalition with more than 50 members. HHH advocates for the needs of all area residents. HHH promotes the effective utilization of resources and works to increase capacity building, supports community development, advances life skills training through coaching, and promotes advance knowledge through teaching and learning.

With offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit www.mainecf.org.

For more information about this important local initiative, please contact Mackey Andrews at HHH (HHHpiscataquis@gmail.com or 564-7835) or Georgia Underwood at PCEDC (gunderwood@pcedc.org or 564-3638).

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