Maine Community College System

Category: Education
Year of Last Grant Award:2018

The Foundation has made two large-scale grants to support the Maine Community College System (the System) and its colleges. First, in 2012, the Foundation supported the System in purchasing 13 buildings and 600 acres at Good Will-Hinckley, enabling Kennebec Valley Community College to serve an additional 1,500 to 2,000 students. And, second, in 2018, the Foundation began funding a System-wide initiative to expand workforce development skills training in high-demand sectors of the Maine economy.

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A major gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation in 2012 enabled the Maine Community College System to significantly expand access to higher education in the Kennebec Valley region of the state. The gift made possible the acquisition of 600 acres and 13 buildings in Hinckley, ME, resulting in a major expansion of Kennebec Valley Community College. Today, KVCC’s Harold Alfond Campus is home to the state’s first associate degree program in agricultural sciences and to new or expanded programs in sustainable construction, line worker technology, culinary arts, and early childhood education. The campus’ new 16,500 square-foot Center for Science and Agriculture, made possible by the Alfond gift, has provided access to state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and technology to a previously underserved region of the state.

More recently, the Foundation has supported the Maine Community College System’s initiative to design, market, and deliver new short-term, non-academic credit offerings for underemployed and unemployed adult learners. These offerings are being created in the high-demand, middle-skill sectors, and include new credentialing and certification programs. The programs are geared towards upskilling incumbent workers and allowing adult learners the option to stack credentials/certifications and apply their on-the-job experience towards college credit. The offerings have been so effective at mobilizing and upgrading the skills and wages of disengaged workers across socioeconomic levels that the System has twice accelerated the program’s timeline, doubling the number of students served compared to the original plan.