Cianbro, Maine schools sign workforce education agreement

Posted Aug. 30, 2012, at 6:48 p.m.

FAIRFIELD, Maine — Cianbro, the Pittsfield-based construction company, on Tuesday signed agreements with three Maine schools that will allow its employees to earn academic credit for completing employer-provided training courses.

Cianbro signed separate agreements with Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, St. Joseph’s College of Maine and the University of Maine at Augusta, according to the company.

Employees who complete approved online training courses provided by the Cianbro Institute, the company’s workforce development arm, will receive academic credit to put toward various degree programs at the three schools.

“Initiatives such as this help address the governor’s vision to [eliminate the skills gap] noted by many employers in the state of Maine,” Steven Pound, associate director of workforce development at the Cianbro Institute, said at a ceremony to announce the agreements. “This is truly a model to advance the educational opportunities for Maine people.”

The agreements also allow for customized training opportunities to address Cianbro’s needs while having that learning recognized for academic credits, Pound said.

The schools will work with Cianbro to make sure the online training programs meet academic standards.

UMA faculty conducted an extensive review of the Cianbro courses and were able to equate the educational components covered in the training materials to the curriculum in UMA degree programs, UMA President Allyson Hughes Handley said in a statement.

“This type of collaboration allows for employees who are trained through different modalities to be on track to earn a post-secondary degree,” Handley said. “This partnership also supports the statewide mission of the University of Maine System to increase the number of Maine citizens who earn a bachelor’s degree.”

The agreements will enable students to earn up to 15 credits in five courses at KVCC, 23 college credits in eight courses at UMA, and between 12 and 21 credits in three courses at St. Joseph’s, according to a media release.

Cianbro is an employee-owned company that employs 4,000 people across 40 states.

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