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UMPI, Momentum Aroostook, MMG Insurance join forces to offer third Young Professionals Institute

Monday, 22 February 2010

Momentum Aroostook, MMG Insurance and the University of Maine at Presque Isle are teaming up for the third year in a row to provide the area's young professionals with a one-of-a-kind leadership development opportunity.

The three entities will host the Young Professionals Institute, a professional development short course designed specifically for emerging leaders looking to hone their professional skills. The program will be offered at the University during eight afternoon sessions between March and April. The Wednesday sessions will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and April 7, 14 and 21 in the Alumni Room, located on the second floor of the Campus Center.

Officials are pleased to be partnering again on this project and hope to build on the successes they realized during the 2008 and 2009 courses.

"Momentum Aroostook is very pleased to be partnering with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and MMG Insurance on this project," Rachel Rice, steering committee chair, said. Momentum Aroostook is a group of highly motivated Aroostook County young people connecting for career, social and community betterment. "Together through the Young Professionals Institute, we are helping to provide the area's young people with the skills they need to be successful in professional workplaces, whether they are in government fields, with non-profits, or in traditional office settings."

Participants in the Young Professionals Institute will learn through role-playing scenarios and hands-on activities how to write eye-catching proposals, deliver successful oral presentations, and work effectively with the media. Class activities and assignments will be based around the fictitious program Strong Communities, an organized and aggressive effort to inventory the region's resources and leverage them to spur economic, social and cultural development.

"The University is excited about our partnership with Momentum Aroostook and MMG Insurance and is very pleased with the fact that we're able to provide this unique professional development experience for the area's young professionals," President Don Zillman said. "As happened during the last two years, some of the outstanding professional leaders in our community will be joining us to teach rising young professional stars about key aspects of professional success. Our goal is to further connect and strengthen one of the County's greatest assets - its young professional community."

The Young Professionals Institute was created following talks University officials held in 2007 with many different local businesses. Officials received an overwhelming number of requests for more training opportunities, especially for the younger professionals in offices across the region. With Momentum Aroostook working toward many of the same professional goals for its members, the University found the perfect co-partner to establish the Young Professionals Institute. MMG Insurance saw the benefits of having a course like this available to its younger employees and whole-heartedly embraced the concept, lending the expertise of Matt McHatten, its Senior Vice President, to help with the planning and execution of the classes.

"We are excited about the University and Momentum Aroostook's efforts in bringing this unique approach to building the professional skills set in the County," McHatten said. "We feel it provides an excellent opportunity for our young professionals to learn more about very important aspects to success in the workplace. The convenient time and compressed curriculum assist in making it more accessible to many professionals unable to commit to traditional course work, and the creative case study and interactive approach make it much more motivating for those participating."

The Institute will be facilitated by University officials, members of Momentum Aroostook, several local business and community leaders, and graduates of the first and second Young Professionals Institutes. Previous sponsors of YPI participants include Acadia Health Education Coalition, ACE Rent-A-Car, The Aroostook Medical Center, Cary Medical Center, The County Federal Credit Union, DFAS-Limestone, F.A. Peabody Co., Farm Credit of Maine, Katahdin Trust Company, K-Pel Industrial Services, Inc., Loring Job Corps Center, MMG Insurance, University of Maine at Presque Isle, and Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community.

"We all see this as a way to build skills and encourage this younger generation of professionals to stay in the area," Clare Exner, university business professor and one of the course designers, said.

There are only 12 seats available in this third running of the course. Young professionals interested in taking the course must submit their name for nomination or have their business employer nominate them. The nomination deadline is Feb. 24. Selections will be announced Feb. 25. A $100 registration fee, paid by course participants or their business sponsors, is due by March 2.

For more information about the short course, which is not being offered for academic credit, contact the College of Professional Programs at 768-9740 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . To download a registration form, visit www.umpi.edu/ypi.