BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Making sure all Maine students find the right path forward.
That's the goal of Bridge Academy Maine.
Business and education leaders gathered at United Technologies Center in Bangor Wednesday where they highlighted the program's goals.
The hope is to properly prepare students by giving them a jump start on post-secondary learning by allowing them to enroll in courses that give college credits or accreditations.
"It really does set up students for both going into community colleges, directly into the workforce as well as for your institutions," said Jason Judd, Executive Director of Educate Maine. "It still provides multiple pathways, but what it does is it helps students get credentials long before they graduate high school."
"I just see such an advantage of having kids who have gone through this level of training before they ever go to college, before they come into the business setting," said Deanna Sherman, President and CEO of Dead River Company. "It's not only the hard skills that they learn here. They were in the soft skills to. Communication, critical thinking."
"They may not believe they can do it" said Bridge Academy Maine Executive Director Brian Langley. "Students who come from families that have never gone to college. First generation college goers often times when we talk to them, they think well, I can't do that. I'm not good enough or smart enough. We know a lot different."
Bridge Academy Maine exists within seven of the state's technical centers, including in Bangor and Ellsworth.