Vol. 4, Issue 151                                                   March 24, 2017
News and notes from The Partnership
UMPI contributes another perk to Entrepreneur of the Year competition; nominations due by April 21

    AROOSTOOK COUNTY — The University of Maine at Presque Isle is sweetening the pot for the eventual 2017 Aroostook Entrepreneur of the Year winner. In addition to the $1,000 award to the first-place recipient in the annual competition organized by the Aroostook Partnership, UMPI will provide free customized professional development training through its Employer U program.
    “Many times, these entrepreneurial nominees' organizations are growing at an accelerated pace and employee roles change rapidly, while perhaps taking on responsibilities not originally expected,” said Carolyn Dorsey-Durepo, Associate Professor of Business Management. “Part of UMPI's mission is to support economic development, so I thought it would be fitting to offer the award winner a free Employer U training. President Rice was fully supportive of the idea.”
    UMPI’s Employer U program, established in 2015, is designed to provide ongoing professional development opportunities for employees of area businesses.
    “We really appreciate this professional development gift from UMPI,” Bob Dorsey, AP President explained. “There are a lot of entrepreneurs in the County that can benefit from additional training, especially as their owners have numerous roles all requiring unique skill sets – so this is a very appropriate gift for them to add.”
    Dorsey said in addition to the enhanced prize package, the competition has undergone a few changes this year.
    “The competition this year will have a weighting system to add a bit more structure to it,” said Dorsey. “Also, we’ll have more business representation on the selection board who have firsthand knowledge of the challenges of growing a business. And with the Partnership’s emphasis on growing existing small and medium sized businesses that are already established, I believe more consideration will be given to mature business entrepreneurs versus in the past, which tended to favor new businesses or young entrepreneurs.”
    A panel of eight judges, one from each of the supporting organizations, Husson University, Northern Maine Community College, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Presque Isle and four business representatives will select the finalists and ultimate winner.
    Nominations must be received by April 21, 2017 at 2 p.m. There is no fee for nominations and self-nominations are encouraged. Previous nominees are eligible to be nominated again. Program details and a nomination form are available for download at www.aroostookpartnership.org. To be eligible for consideration, nominees must be the founder, owner, or manager of a private or public company; be primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company or organization; and be an active member of top management.
    The nominees will be recognized at an awards banquet set for Thursday, May 18 at Northern Maine Community College. Second and third runners up will receive $500 and $250 respectively.
    For more information about the initiative, contact Dorsey at 498-9103 or rdorsey@aroostookpartnership.org.
Business/Teacher social set for
Thursday, March 30 in Presque Isle
    PRESQUE ISLE — The Aroostook Partnership is once again holding a business/teacher social to better connect employers with education as workforce needs continue to grow.
    The event is set for Thursday, March 30 in Presque Isle at the Presque Isle Inn and Convention Center starting at 4 p.m. The event was originally scheduled for earlier in the month, but had to be postponed due to inclement weather.
    Aroostook Partnership President and CEO Bob Dorsey said the idea for the socials came from the “Education to Industry” working group as they look for ways to increase County career awareness.
    “This effort is a continuation of a broader campaign to increase County business and employment awareness to ultimately increase retention efforts to secure our future workforce,” explained Dorsey.
    The most recent social was held in Houlton in October.
    Last spring the first successful teacher/business social was held at Boondocks in Fort Fairfield for educators in Limestone, Fort Fairfield and Easton.
    The Partnership has been compiling data on jobs, turnover rates and economic trends, which will be displayed as well as provided to educators and guidance counselors at these socials.
   “We want to do two things in this effort – one, provide teachers with employment information that they can share with their students and two, say thank you to them for their hard work in teaching our future workforce by providing some free appetizers and a drink or two in a relaxed informal setting,” added Dorsey.
    Again, the event is free and if a teacher from Central Aroostook, Washburn, Presque Isle and Ashland would like to attend, contact Dorsey at rdorsey@aroostookpartnership.org.
    Dorsey said the goal of the “Education to Industry” work is to grow the 20- to 44-year-old workforce in Aroostook County and provide a more skilled workforce for emerging jobs as well as those open due to retirements. 
    In addition to Houlton and Fort Fairfield, a busines/teacher social was held in Madawaska.
PO BOX 779, CARIBOU, ME, O4736