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City News

Posted on: May 1, 2019

Employer Forum on Immigrant Workforce Thursday, May 2

portland news

The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Portland Office of Economic Opportunity and Catholic Charities Maine are proud to announce a collaborative event “Maine’s Untapped Talent: Our Immigrant Workforce” to be held on Thursday, May 2 at the University of Southern Maine’s Hannaford Hall.

This half-day summit will feature a video commencement from former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, and will feature panels and discussions on how Maine businesses can better access and promote the state’s immigrant population.

“A good deal of our energy and focus has been on the Portland Region’s workforce challenges, and what can be done to help provide the necessary workers needed to keep our economy strong,” said Quincy Hentzel, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO. “At the same time, we have been collaborating with various community partners as well as the City of Portland’s Office of Economic Opportunity to help connect the business and New Mainer communities. This event is an opportunity for employers to better understand the challenges faced by our foreign-trained professionals, and discover ways we can tap into this talent pool and integrate this community into our workforce.”

“This is an exciting time in our city, a time for unprecedented momentum, innovation and growth with a strong workforce potential,” said Julia Trujillo Luengo, the City of Portland’s Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity. “Many want to move to our city for the many reasons we all love Portland. But what is even more exciting is the extraordinary talent of those who already call Portland home. Our immigrant neighbors are eager to work and most of them not only bring with them enriching cultural backgrounds and traditions, but impressive educational backgrounds and a long work history.”

 The workforce challenge Maine faces is often cited by Portland employers as their number one hurdle to sustainable growth. While foreign trained professionals often leave our city because of a lack of professional opportunities that match their career aspirations. This summit is an opportunity to connect the dots. 

The City’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the Portland Regional Chamber, and Catholic Charities' Office of Refugee Services understands their joint cross sector efforts are key to supporting a strong local economy and fostering a strong sense of belonging for all our neighbors. 

The event will feature a keynote presentation from Jeff Sanders, President, Maine Medical Center; Refugee Experience Training: Chris George, Executive Director of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, Connecticut; Who is our immigrant workforce? An overview of foreign-trained talent pool in Maine; and a rapid rounds Q & A.

Tickets are $35 for non-profit members, $45 general admission.  Full Event Schedule, and Tickets are available on the Chamber’s website

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