Building Bridges – and Lives
When Women, Work, and Community talks to teenage girls about building bridges, they mean that literally. Totally Trades is a free, one-day, hands-on conference held throughout Maine, for girls in 8th-12th grades, to encourage female students to consider careers in fields traditionally dominated by men, including highway construction, bridge building, working with wood, building construction, cable technician, electrical, plumbing and heating and alternative energy. Each year more than 500 girls participate.
Totally Trades is just a small part of what the Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community do to help Maine women and men achieve economic independence through focusing on their interests, skills, and experience; discovering new job possibilities; developing career plans; and furthering their education and skills training. Founded by state legislation in 1978, Women, Work, and Community (WWC) is the only statewide women’s economic development organization in Maine. WWC is organized into six regions and serves all 16 Maine counties from nine Centers and nine outreach sites. Business development programs include New Ventures entrepreneurship training, The Basics of Starting a Business and Introduction to Self-Employment. WWC also offers classes in Career Planning, Creating Your Future, Beyond Start Up and My Money Works. All classes are free to participants.
Every other week, a Women, Work, and Community trainer or graduate writes “Women @ Work” for the Bangor Daily News, featuring business successes and tips based on WWC’s three decades of experience helping businesses and individuals. See an archives of columns here.
When HarpWorks was in start-up phase, and just when I realized I needed a business plan, I heard about New Ventures and signed up. The class proved even more useful that I had imagined. I was so enthusiastic about what Women, Work, and Community offers that I agreed to become an Ambassador, and now am on the statewide Advisory Council as well. Read about my WWC experience here.
On December 4th and 11th, the Bangor Center will offer The Basics of Starting a Business from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., taught by WWC Regional Manager Jane Searles. And in January 2013, she will teach Beyond Start Up: Moving Your Business Forward, a 15-hour class for owners of existing businesses. Beyond Start Up covers money management and financial decision-making; marketing strategies and strategic planning; and the role of business financing. Both courses are free, but preregistration is required. To register and for more information, contact Jane Searles at 207/262-7843 or 800/442-2092; email@example.com.
“Shared leadership, Community, Integrity, Resiliency, Optimism, Openness, Fairness” – these are the values that direct Women, Work, and Community. With these guiding principles, doing the right thing to help others is easy. Contact them and see for yourself. www.womenworkandcommunity.org.