February 7, 2013

Maine skills gap group launches tech website

By Noel K. Gallagher ngallagher@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A coalition of business leaders and Maine educators launched a new website today to help students and job seekers get information about pursuing a career in tech.

Project Login is the brainchild of Educate Maine and the University of Maine System, and funded by Bangor Savings Bank, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Idexx Laboratories, MaineHealth, Maine Medical Center, Pierce Atwood, TD Bank, Unum and WEX.

The website is at projectlogin.com

The site has different sections, some for students and some for job seekers. There are listings for internships in the tech field, links to tech courses as various institutions around the state and links to job boards like Monster.com and TechMaine for current job openings in the tech field.

On Thursday, there were five internships posted.

Project Login aims to double the number of computer science and information technology graduates from the University of Maine System, from 80 in 2011 to 160 in 2016.

The so-called “skills gap” between the number of tech jobs and the number of qualified applicants is a nationwide issue. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that under current graduation rates and trends, there will only be enough U.S. computer degree graduates to fill 61 percent of the nation’s estimated 1.4 million tech jobs in 2018.

In Maine, that figure is even lower, according to Educate Maine. By 2018, the state’s colleges will produce enough local computer degree graduates to fill 39 percent of the estimated tech jobs in Maine.

Educate Maine is a business-led nonprofit organization that promotes increased educational attainment. Dozens of companies are stakeholders in the initiative, and some have pledged to offer paid internships.

 

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