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UMPI, Momentum Aroostook join forces to offer second Young Professionals Institute

Momentum Aroostook and the University are teaming up for the second year in a row to provide the area’s young professionals with a one-of-a-kind leadership development opportunity.

The two 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 4, 11, 18, and 25 and April 1, 8, 15 and 22.

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

“Momentum Aroostook couldn’t be more pleased about partnering for a second time with the University of Maine at Presque Isle on this project,” Nathan Berry, board chairman, said. Momentum Aroostook is a group of highly motivated Aroostook County young people between the ages of 20 and 40, connecting for career, social and community betterment. “The Young Professionals Institute will provide the area’s young people with the skills they need to be successful, whether they work in government settings, for non-profits, or in traditional offices.”

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 business Talent Aroostook, a private recruiting company that assists in professional employment, with a focus on young professionals in The County.

“The University is excited about our partnership with Momentum Aroostook and 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 last year, 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.

“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.

The Institute will be facilitated by President Don Zillman, members of Momentum Aroostook, several local business and community leaders, and graduates of the first Young Professionals Institute. Business and community leaders in particular are excited to see the course return.

“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,” said MMG Insurance’s Senior Vice President Matt McHatten. “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 will assist in making it more accessible to many professionals unable to commit to traditional course work, and the creative case study and interactive approach should make it much more motivating for those participating.”

There are only 16 seats available in this second 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. 23. Selections will be announced Feb. 24. A $100 registration fee, paid by course participants or their business sponsors, is due by March 3.

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