Education gives inmates a second chance to meaningfully contribute to society

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Education announced that 67 colleges and universities in 27 states — including the University of Maine at Augusta — had been selected to take part in the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative. The goal of the pilot program was to test whether a greater number of people in prison would participate in high-quality education programs if they had greater access to financial aid to pay for such programs.

Initial results suggest the pilot is working. Since Second Chance Pell launched, 954 credentials, including certificates, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees, have been awarded to students in prison thanks to expanded access to postsecondary education financial assistance. Here in Maine, we have awarded 72 degrees to date: 67 to incarcerated individuals at the Maine State Prison, four at the Women’s Reentry Center and one so far at the Maine Correctional Center.

Read the full article at the BDN site.


Measures of Growth 2017

Measures of Growth is an annual report put out by the Maine Development Foundation for the Maine Economic Growth Council that looks at a variety of metrics to evaluate Maine’s economic growth and potential. This year’s report came out recently, and contains typically useful information.

There were indicators in a variety of areas that may be of interest to MEOC participants and partners.

Employment and workforce – Jobs are projected to increase each year. With that comes a unique challenge to Mainers, as the projected amount of workers available for these jobs is also projected to decrease. In large part, this is due to Maine’s status as a rapidly aging state.

The job sectors that see the most projected growth include Health Care and Social Assistance, Leisure and Hospitality, Construction, Professional and Business Services, and Education Services. One issue facing Maine is that many of these jobs require significant training, including postsecondary education of a variety of types, including professional certificates, associates, bachelors degrees, and sometimes more. Continue reading