PORTLAND (WGME) -- Mayor Michael Brennan calls it one of the most significant partnerships in the history of Portland. “Connect-Ed" is a new community initiative aimed at helping local students find successful careers. The initiative brings together a diverse group of leaders, from the city to businesses to non-profit organizations. They say it takes a village these days to successfully get children from cradle to career.
Monday, in front of a group of local students, Mayor Brennan announced the Connect-Ed initiative at a press conference, pointing to predictions that 26-thousand new high-wage jobs in high-growth sectors will be created in Maine.
The leaders say a college degree is more important than ever but that starts with early childhood development. So the group's initial goals include making sure kids are ready for kindergarten, can read proficiently at grade-level by third grade, that 90 percent of Maine students graduate high school and endowing a fund dedicated to helping those students who pursue college.
Emmanuel Caulk, Portland superintendent: “Through this collaboration that is unique to our city, Connect Ed will break through our classroom experiences for students by taking learning beyond classroom walls, bring national experts. Leadership to augment and support Portland schools creating unparalleled education experiences for our students.”
So the goal of this initiative is to build partnerships all across the community to make sure students have the quality of education they'll need to get those high-skill jobs as they come to Portland.