SCARBOROUGH, Maine, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- PlumChoice today announced it has entered into a partnership with Southern Maine Community College and Maine Quality Centers, both part of the Maine Community College System, in an initiative to train and employ up to 350 Maine residents as work-at-home service technicians. The effort, facilitated by the non-profit economic development group Maine & Company, is funded by a $550,000 Maine Quality Center grant that will provide customer service and certified Microsoft and Apple systems training at no cost to accepted students.
Representatives of PlumChoice, Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) and Maine Quality Centers formalized the partnership through a grant signing ceremony today at PlumChoice's regional Center of Excellence in Scarborough. PlumChoice, the nation's leading remote technical services provider, opened its Center of Excellence in the Maine community last year to provide support and advanced training for its fast-growing U.S. operations.
Students accepted into the training program agree to complete a 72-hour course at SMCC's South Portland campus. At the end of the program, each graduate is guaranteed a hiring interview with PlumChoice; those who are hired and who complete at least six months of service in good standing will receive a signing bonus in addition to their normal pay.
The partnership agreement, which commences immediately, stipulates the hiring of up to 350 graduates over the course of the program.
"Beginning last year, PlumChoice made a commitment to the residents of New England to help build a trained workforce that is ready to compete in the 21st century economy. Today's grant signing is a significant next step forward in that commitment," said Rich Surace, Senior Vice President, Operations for PlumChoice. "Our company's business model is predicated on the idea that jobs with a future can be grown wherever there are individuals with a passion for excellence. We greatly value our new relationship with the Maine Community College System and look forward to leveraging this opportunity to create many, many high quality jobs for the people of Maine."
"Southern Maine Community College couldn't be more pleased to take part in this initiative which goes to the heart of what we do—helping Maine residents be part of building the businesses that will make up the economy of the future," stated James O. Ortiz, Ed.D., President of Southern Maine Community College. "We believe this program will help many people transition to more fulfilling and more productive lives."
By training and employing work-at-home technology service workers, PlumChoice and SMCC are giving new opportunities to Maine residents, many of whom live in rural areas, to participate in the digital revolution. Graduates of the program will not only be highly trained in delivering service and support for scores of Microsoft and Apple products via the phone and Internet, but also will gain the flexibility that work-at-home jobs provide.
PlumChoice's at-home employment program reduces commuting-related pollution—an important concern to many Maine residents. It also expresses PlumChoice's commitment to employing U.S. workers amid an industry that often focuses on offshore jobs.
"Maine Quality Centers is very pleased to partner with PlumChoice and Southern Maine Community College to provide in demand certified training to Maine residents supporting a new Maine business," said James McGowan, Director of Maine Quality Centers. "PlumChoice represents the type of emerging technology that is an important part of Maine's future economic success. The partnership that begins here has the potential to benefit future students at the college as well as other businesses seeking these skill sets."
"Maine & Company is all about helping companies establish successful operations in Maine," added Peter DelGreco, Vice President of Operations for Maine & Company. "This workforce training initiative is a great example of how businesses and Maine organizations can work together to help boost Maine employment, enhance the skill level of Maine's workforce, and help a company hire trained workers—a win-win in every sense of the term, and one of which Maine can be very proud."
Applications for the PlumChoice/SMCC technical training program are being managed by the Maine CareerCenter. Applications are now being accepted; for an application, contact your local CareerCenter or Steve Palmer at SMCC, (207) 741-5727 or [email protected].
PlumChoice is changing the way technology care is delivered. The company pioneered the remote technical services business in 2001, providing 24x7 online repair and assistance for digital devices through U.S.-based, industry-certified agents. More recently, PlumChoice has embarked on a reinvention of technology care through the addition of its patented SAFElink™ service delivery platform. SAFElink helps service providers and other business partners to stay in constant touch with customers, creating new revenue streams and building customized, lifetime service programs. PlumChoice's services can be offered under the partner's brand as a one-time fix, bundled, or subscriber-based solution. Covered devices include personal computers and laptops, Macintosh™ computers, networks, software, printers, peripherals, MP3 players, digital cameras, smartphones, iPhones and other devices. For more information, visit www.plumchoice.com/partner, call 1-866-811-3321 or email [email protected].
About Southern Maine Community College
Southern Maine Community College empowers students to respond to a changing world and enhances economic and cultural development in Southern Maine by providing a variety of educational opportunities and partnerships.
About Maine Quality Centers
The Maine Quality Centers was created in 1994 by the Maine Legislature as an economic development program within the Maine Community College System. The program provides customized training through Maine's community colleges to support job creation, workforce preparation and create partnerships. Since its creation the program has worked with over 220 Maine businesses, creating over 11,000 new jobs statewide.
About Maine & Company
Maine & Company provides free and confidential consulting services to businesses looking to relocate to Maine or expand within Maine. Our services include real estate site searches, data collection and analysis, incentives identification and valuation, site visit coordination, workforce analysis, and financing coordination. We are your one-stop shop for business relocation or expansion. Whether your business needs are driven by specific real estate requirements, labor force availability, incentive maximization, or any other criteria, Maine & Company can help you select the business location that best meets your needs.
Maine & Company is a private, non-profit corporation with members and a board comprised of senior executives from Maine's top businesses, the president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and the commissioner of Maine's Department of Economic & Community Development.