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Maine Development Foundation

Press Release

Maine Development Foundation opens Employer Nominations for 2016 the Next Step Maine Scholarship Program “Employees of Promise”


February 11th, 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        
Media Contact: Amertah Perman, 207-626-3113,

Nominations are now being accepted for the Next Step Maine Employees of Promise Scholarship Program.

Next Step Maine Scholarships are given to employees who are engaged in taking additional steps in their education and skill development and who are considered promising contributors to the organizations for which they work.  Scholarships are available for employees of Next Step Maine Employers – committed employers who have joined Maine Development Foundation’s statewide Next Step Maine Employers’ Initiative.

All current Next Step Maine Employers are listed on Maine Development Foundation’s Next Step Maine Website. View current listing.  Organizations already on this list are eligible to nominate an employee of promise today.  Organizations not yet on this list, can become a Next Step Maine Employer by completing an online employer enrollment form. Enrollment in MDF’s statewide employers’ initiative is free. Details are available online at:

“We strongly believe in the importance of building the skills of Maine’s incumbent workforce.” Says Amertah Perman, Maine Development Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer. When employers encourage and support degree attainment, employees are far more likely to complete their degree. Not all employers though, especially Maine’s small and micro businesses, are able to provide monetary support for degree attainment.

According to Perman, MDF launched the Next Step Maine Scholarship Program to address this gap. Perman says, “for committed employers enrolled in the statewide Next Step Maine Employers’ Initiative, this scholarship program provides a free way for them to honor and promote their employees of promise while providing the critical access to additional funding opportunities for their employees that they would not otherwise be able to afford to provide.”

Approximately 30% of current Next Step Maine Employers offer tuition reimbursement. For the 70% that do not, this scholarship goes a long way in supporting their workforce’s degree aspirations.

Since its inception, a total of $63,900 in scholarship funds has been awarded and demand for scholarship support has remained high. Throughout the past three years, 281 workers have been nominated by employers to receive scholarships; 50 scholarships were awarded. This year, MDF has received a generous grant from the Maine Community Foundation and from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “We are working to expand these funds and increase employer contributions to enhance the scholarship program and better meet the need” says Perman.

Past employer and philanthropic contributions include support from Bancroft & Company, Bangor Saving Bank, Cianbro, Disability RMS, Doyle & Nelson, Maine Community Foundation, Pratt & Whitney, Renys, Saint Joseph’s College, Skowhegan Savings Bank, The John T. Gorman Foundation, Unum, and WEX. Additional support was given by The University of Maine System, Maine Chapter Association for Talent Development, and Maine Society for Human Resource Management.

Learn more about the Next Step Maine Scholarship Program:

Learn more about the Next Step Maine Employers’ Initiative:

About the Maine Development Foundation (MDF)
MDF is a unique and trusted statewide nonpartisan, non-profit membership organization charged with fostering economic development. Created by the Governor and Legislature in 1978 with a broad mandate to promote the economy, current funding comes from a variety of sources including fee-for-service, private contributions, memberships, foundations and state government contracts. MDF delivers the highest quality fact-driven work through its programs and through economic research conducted by professional staff. MDF oversees seven programs with a variety of focuses ranging from community development, to leadership training and workforce development. MDF staff members conduct a range of economic research analysis for public and private interests on issues across the economy. All work serves as the basis for extensive and ongoing educational and outreach efforts. Additional information about the Maine Development Foundation can be found at or on Facebook.

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