The Institute was created following talks University of Maine at Presque Isle 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.
At around the same time, 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, one of its senior officials, to help with the planning and execution of the classes.
This team brought the region its very first Young Professionals Institute in the spring of 2008, with 14 area professionals learning about problem solving, teamwork, public speaking, writing skills, goal setting, and networking during a fast-paced, five-week course. Class activities and assignments were based around the fictitious business Aroostook Executive Adventures, a private business providing outdoor and team building experiences catered to organized professional groups.
Since then, the Institute has taken on a new theme each year (see below). While the size of the class has remained constant, the short course has grown to eight weeks to accommodate the number and wide range of topics and learning activities that get covered during YPI. In Spring 2017, organizers marked the Institute’s 10th anniversary.
YPI 1 (2008) – Aroostook Executive Adventures
YPI 2 (2009) – Talent Aroostook
YPI 3 (2010) – Strong Communities
YPI 4 (2011) – Innovation, Education and The Economy
YPI 5 (2012) – Influencing Today… Leading Tomorrow
YPI 6 (2013) – Navigating the Workplace of the Future
YPI 7 (2014) – Excelling in Times of Change
YPI 8 (2015) – Workplace Success in the Age of Information Overload
YPI 9 (2016) – Discover the Leader Within
YPI 10 (2017) – CONNECTING
YPI 11 (2018) – 21st Century Leadership
YPI 12 (2019) – Managing the Career Life Cycle
~No institute in 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic~
YPI 2021 – Resilient Leadership