Franklin Countys First News

Sixty legislators tour Foster Tech Center

Legislators listen as Adult Education Director Glenn Kapiloff describes the Automotive program at Foster Technology Center.

FARMINGTON - Roughly 60 legislators toured the Foster Career and Technical Education Center Friday, as part of an biannual tour that chose this year to spend two days in the Farmington area.

Maine Development Foundation runs bus tours through its Policy Leaders Academy, working with the Maine State Legislature to avoid scheduling conflicts and support the effort. Legislators get to see different parts of the state, Maine Development Foundation President Yellow Light Breen said Friday, as well as get to know their fellow lawmakers. This two-and-a-half-day tour brought 60 legislators to the Lewiston/Auburn area to review the downtown area, the Bates Mill project, Central Maine Community College and the Good Shepherd food bank.

From there, the buses came to Farmington yesterday to visit Franklin Memorial Hospital, the University of Maine at Farmington and, as part of UMF's Outdoor Recreation Business Administration program, Titcomb Mountain. Legislators toured UMF's biomass plant and attended a dinner on campus with Governor Janet Mills.

"A ton of stops have been education related," Breen said. "There's a lot of interest in that right now."

Friday morning, the buses came to the Mt. Blue Campus. Legislators first attended an introductory event in the forum, listening to students that participated in the Bridge Academy describe earning college credits while still in high school. Joseph Crandall, who now attends Rochester Institute of Technology, said that he left Mt. Blue with 24 college credits and experience in both composites and computer technology. That knowledge gave him a huge advantage over other students, Crandall said.

Other students said that experiencing programs and discovering they didn't like that potential career could be just as valuable. Brian Langley, the Executive Director of the Bridge Academy Program, pointed out that changing majors once a student was attending post-secondary courses could be an expensive proposition.

From there, legislators broke into groups and toured the school, led by Foster Tech students and district staff.

Rod Spiller, the Forestry program instructor, describes his program to legislators.

Melissa Williams, director of Foster Career and Technical Education Center, welcomes legislators Friday morning.

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3 Responses »

  1. Wow, this article is actually about Maine politics and there's no negative partisan political comments? Go figure?

  2. Good for them!

  3. Foster Tech, is what EVERY high school across the country should be, face facts, not everybody is cut out to go to college around 70% actually. Everybody does need to eat. There are tons of jobs out there that say "experience required", how do we fill those jobs if there is no way for people to get experience? I personally, would rather see tax money used to fund these programs over language or music classes, knowing how to play "Tequila" on a trumpet is not going to get people a job in hotel management or carpentry.