Eastern Maine Development Corporation is offering a free workforce academy that hopes to train young Mainers in jobs that will keep them in the state.

This is a great opportunity for anyone between the ages of 16 and 24, to learn more about what careers are available in Maine, and talk directly with employers who are hiring. The Young Mainers Workforce Academy will offer paid hands-on training, as well as virtual education about things like professionalism and preparing a resume.

I chatted with EMDC's Senior Workforce Development Specialist, Leah Gulliver about the program and she can explain it much better than I can. Take a few minutes to listen to the details and see if it's a good fit for a young person in your life. With the 'new normal,' finding the training needed for pursuing new careers, or even just talking with potential employers is much more challenging than it used to be. The Young Mainers Workforce Academy can help jump-start the futures of participants. And, hopefully, encourage young residents to stay in Maine.

Students will get to hear from employers in a variety of fields, to get an idea of what career path they might be interested in pursuing. I remember when I was approaching my senior year, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. For me, a volunteer opportunity at a college radio station the summer after my senior year sent me on the right path. This program could do the same for others. Plus they'll be earning a paycheck while they learn and get some experience they can put on their resume.

Registration is open until June 10th. To register, email Leah at lgulliver@emdc.org.