The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is one of five chamber organizations in the U.S. to receive a grant to implement work-based learning.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced Tuesday that the Maine chamber will receive $95,000 to better connect students with academic and experiential learning opportunities in their community, according to a news release from the foundation. The money will be used to help students participate in a Career Readiness Lab to launch in January.

“We are excited to help connect students in rural, harder-to-reach areas of the state with innovative educational and learning opportunities,” said Ben Gilman, president of the Maine State Chamber Education Foundation. “These new experiences will get more students interested in and prepared for the careers and jobs Maine’s diverse employers are looking to fill.”

The Career Readiness Lab is expected to build a network of chambers of commerce to fill the workforce gap by developing and implementing strategic programming that promotes good work-based learning and employment practices. Each participant is expected to create opportunity for students and employers aligned to the economic needs of their region. Participants are charged with establishing sustainable, scalable models of work-based learning that can be replicated by chambers of commerce across the country.

The Maine State Chamber intends to use its mobile remote training program to connect businesses with local students to bring hands-on education to all corners of the state.


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