Developing Maine’s Workforce

Developing Maine’s Workforce

Global U

Maine’s future success depends on a global workforce. When we talk with Maine businesses about barriers to growth and exporting, the inability to hire enough skilled workers to fill existing orders is frequently one of the top challenges for manufacturers across industry sectors. While addressing the workforce shortage is beyond the scope of MITC, our efforts in this arena provided international business focused training for individual employees or entrepreneurs and internships for college students during the past year.

Global U is MITC’s three-tiered trade education series to provide practical skills training to help Maine businesses succeed in international markets. 

Level 1 seminars are meant for those new to export and import who are still determining if the time is right for them to begin international trade. Level 2 offerings for those with some export experience include more advanced, in-depth content on topics such as international documentation requirements. Level 3 training is geared toward those who have experience in several international markets and sell a significant portion of their products/services abroad.

During 2020, our training offerings featured ExporTech Maine 2020, a national export assistance program that applies a structured strategy development process to help companies enter or expand in global markets, as well as several webinars:  Incoterms 2020 – What You Need to Know; Trade Credit Programs: Tools to Minimize Financial Risks and Improve Cash Flow; Mitigating Global Supply Chain Challenges; International E-commerce Strategies for Growing Demand; Harmonized Tariff Schedule and Schedule B Classification; and Sustainability: The UN Global Compact and Your International Business Success.

Last year, 349 individuals attended Global U training sessions.

“ExporTech is a great opportunity to access knowledgeable experts, and especially for smaller companies it provides an excellent structure for developing a plan and staying on task during the process.  It’s easy to focus on the urgent rather than the important. The process, coaching, and cadence of the program really helped us get this done. This has been a great experience, and the process really helped with both our domestic and international marketing plans.”  

Ed Gervais, President, Cascon Inc. (Yarmouth, ME)

Future Global Leaders Internships

MITC has trained over 200 college students and recent graduates in our paid, part-time internship program Future Global Leaders.

mitc internship program future global leaders graphic of many photos of men and women

As a Research Assistant, MITC interns learn about international trade from Maine’s point of view, hone internet and other secondary research skills, and gain valuable insight into what real Maine companies doing business internationally need to know. In addition to an overview of the tools of international trade (Harmonized Tariff Schedule, International Market Reports, Tariffs and Taxes, and U.S. Census data), interns are encouraged to attend our Global U training, as well as meetings and networking events with our member companies.

Like the MITC staff, our interns worked remotely after mid-March. With the research work already being done online, we were able to continue providing a valuable experience for interns in 2020 through access to our Global U training webinars and inclusion in virtual meetings.

“As one of the first completely virtual MITC interns, I was welcomed aboard amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we were separated physically, I established connections with many of the staff members and now aspire to support Maine as they do every day. The warmth, curiosity, and extensive knowledge of the team was evident throughout my internship. After meeting with each of the team members one-on-one, my drive to pursue a career in Maine was reaffirmed. The research projects I supported were fantastically diverse, and my supervisor allowed me to pursue many of my professional interests. I would recommend this internship to any young person hoping to learn more about working in Maine, student hoping to apply their coursework, and Mainer searching for ways to engage globally within their home state.”

– Abigail Gray, former MITC Research Assistant, 2020