Rep. Stearns Appointed to New England Commission on Higher Education and Employability

Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), July 18, 2017 | Go to article overview

Rep. Stearns Appointed to New England Commission on Higher Education and Employability


BOSTON -- The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) has convened members of the Commission on Higher Education and Employability to discuss concrete ways New England employers, education leaders, and policymakers can work together to ensure a successful, equitable workforce future.

State Rep. Paul Stearns, R-Guilford, is serving on the commission, along with James Page, chancellor of the University of Maine System; Cary-Olsen Cartwright, director of corporate & social responsibility at UNUM; Janet Sortor, chief academic officer of the Maine Community College System; Thomas College President Laurie LaChance; and Judith Wes, senior vice president of Maine Medical Center.

The commission is chaired by Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo.

According to Stearns, "It is imperative that we use the available data to influence what we are providing students, in order that they have the skills necessary to be employed in good paying careers. This is not an 'either or' proposition between skilled trades and four-year degree preparation " we need both. We currently have 1,100 unfilled jobs in Maine, across several sectors, that require high level technology and critical thinking skills. At the same time, we know that we are facing an immediate and future shortage of trades and services requiring 'middle level' technology skills, such as how to operate and work with certain software and machinery applications. Instruction needs to align with employability."

During two key meetings in Providence, R. …

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