The New Mainers Resource Center (NMRC) is a program within Portland Adult Education that helps immigrants and refugees overcome barriers to find employment in their professional careers. The mission of NMRC is to support Maine’s economic development by meeting employers’ demands for a skilled and culturally diverse workforce. NMRC’s recently released 2016 Annual Report shows that it’s successfully doing both.
In 2016, NMRC provided services to a total of 438 individuals. Of these people, 299 received individual case management/career advice; 285 participated in NMRC offerings; and 241 received both. Of those students who received career advising and were authorized to work, 77 percent found employment, the report states. Only 7 percent had not yet found a job, and information was not available on 16 percent.
“The New Mainers Resource Center strives to ensure that when someone starts working here in the U.S., as many of their skills and as much of their experience are put to use as possible,” said Anita St. Onge, Director of Portland Adult Education. “When we are successful at this, we all benefit – the individual, the employer and Maine’s economy.”
For new Mainers, NMRC, established in 2013, includes a skilled professionals program, employment case management and advising, intensive classes focused on job readiness skills, professional 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.
NMRC also provides services for employers. NMRC works directly with employers to determine the skills and experience required for the positions they need to fill. Then NMRC matches those positions with candidates from its qualified and vetted talent pool. This is done through specifically designed recruitment and other activities to meet the employers’ needs.
In response to an increasing number of requests from employers seeking assistance in meeting their workforce needs, in the coming year NMRC will work to expand and systematize its employer outreach and job information management and provide more opportunities to connect students with employers through internships, volunteering, mentorships and networking, etc.
NMRC’s overall vision is to grow Maine’s economy by fully utilizing the skills of foreign trained professionals.
Click HERE to view a copy of the report.