May 21, 2018
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State board backs integrated education, work force development proposal

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Maine State Workforce Investment Board voted unanimously at its April 6 meeting to endorse the Many Flags/One Campus concept and to urge Gov. Paul LePage to move the project forward as a part of his education reform and economic development strategies for Maine.

Many Flags is a proposal to combine a high school, vocational center, technical college, university and marine trade center on one campus.
Regional School Unit 13, based in Rockland, has been working on creating such a campus.

The members of the State Workforce Investment Board are appointed by the governor to lead the effort to create a work force development system in Maine.

“The Many Flags/One Campus model of collaboration among business, secondary and post-secondary education and industry-led technical training is exactly what we need in Maine,” said Fred Webber, chairman of the State Workforce Investment Board.

The specific resolution passed by the State Workforce Investment Board stated: “The SWIB supports the Many Flags/One Campus model for industry directed work force training and seamlessly integrated secondary and post-secondary education — and we urge the governor to include the innovative Many Flags model as a part of his education reform and economic development strategies for Maine.”

The Maine Board of Education has supported the local Many Flags plan but no money has been included in the state budget for the project.

Robert Winglass, commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor said, “The Many Flags model is the kind of innovative, public-private approach that is needed in Maine so we can be truly competitive in the 21st century global economy.”

Steve Pound, associate director for Workforce Development, Cianbro Institute, Cianbro Companies, and also a member of the State Workforce Investment Board added, “Maine will benefit from an integrated model for education and work force development. Many Flags has the potential to be a model that can be replicated statewide as we bring public education and private business training approaches together.”

The State Workforce Investment Board is made up of more than 30 business leaders, career and technical education experts, work force training specialists, University of Maine System and Maine Community College leaders, as well as other economic and community development public officials.

Alan Hinsey, executive director of the Many Flags/One Campus Foundation

said, “We want to thank the Workforce Board for its endorsement of Many Flags/One Campus. Strong support like this from leaders in education, work force development and the private sector is critical if the Many Flags approach is to become a reality and a model for the state.”

Many Flags/One Campus promotes educational excellence and administrative efficiency by integrating, both physically and virtually, the programs, students, faculty, staff, classrooms, labs and technological

infrastructure of a network of Regional High Schools; a state-of-the-art career and technical education center; a higher education center (course and degrees offered by Maine Community College and University of Maine System); and industry training, and research and development centers of excellence.

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