Blizzard over the weekend, snowstorm coming tomorrow night….. Are you up to your ears in the white stuff? I’m guessing this little guy definitely saw his shadow and will be burrowing back down to a warm den for another month. I would if I could!!
Happy Ground Hog Day!
New this week:
The Downeast Business Boot Camp & Pitch-Off is a collaborative effort of resource partners in Washington and Hancock counties designed to encourage, engage and create community for Downeast entrepreneurs. A six-day intensive (non-consecutive) training + prep program for early-stage business owners leading up to a final pitch for prize money (meet online as a cohort on the afternoons from 2 – 5 p.m. of March 4th,15th,18th,22nd,24th, and the final Pitch event on March 25th). Young enterprises in operation from 1- 3 years will strengthen their business confidence in a collaborative atmosphere as they compete in a final judged pitch event. Each enterprise team will work with an assigned mentor to hone their business and presentation skills needed to grow a sustainable business. Any small business in Hancock or Washington county in operation for 1 – 3 years with less than 10 employees and a revenue cap of $500,000. Six businesses will be chosen to participate with two participants from each enterprise. (Owner +1). The Boot Camp culminates with a live online Pitch competition. A combination of cash and in-kind services will be awarded to two winners chosen by a panel of judges, and one audience choice. ($5,000 first prize, $3,500 second prize & $1,000 Audience Choice). This year’s business boot camp is hosted by CEI, Inc., CEI/Women’s Business Center, Maine SBDC, and SCEC/MaineStreet Business Building (sponsored by Machias Savings Bank and Maine Community Foundation). Apply now.
Introduction to Radon Gas in Homes
The Environmental Protection Agency invites you to a short, 30-minute webinar on radon, a a naturally occurring radioactive gas that that can enter homes from the ground and build up to dangerous levels. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. It is both colorless and odorless, so the only way to know if you have high levels in your home is to test. This webinar will provide an overview of the key basic facts of radon – what it is, what it does to us, how we measure it, how we reduce our exposure, and resources for additional information. Join us on Tuesday, February 8th, from 2-2:30 pm. Register here.
Partners in Healthcare Occupations Pathways
Washington County Community College has room for up to 25 students in the first cohort of this new, exciting program, but has not received many applications. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone in the healthcare field wanting to pursue further training or anyone not in the healthcare field wanting to explore those careers and/or enter the field, such as nursing or allied health programs statewide, as well as the chance to get a head start, for FREE! This program is an incredible value with the ability to earn 30-36 credit hours depending on the track. In addition, we offer the ultimate in student convenience. All courses have some online component with many offering asynchronous (at your own time) formats, live ZOOM options for courses needing some sort of face to face modality, and hybrid courses where a portion of the course is online (at your own time) and a portion has an in-person lab experience for those necessary hands-on components. All courses requiring a lab component are strategically placed later in the summer and early fall to coincide with the (hopeful) delivery of our mobile health sciences lab that will have the ability to deliver those hands-on labs in communities – closer to students. Also included in this course sequence is a choice of short-term training options, with either Certified Nursing Assistant or Phlebotomy. Successful completion of either course will allow students to enter the field and remain employed while they pursue higher education and move along the pathway into higher wage jobs. Download the program flyer. Learn more the on our website.
Community Health Worker Study
The the University of Maine System and partners need your help with a community-engaged research project to understand the challenges, opportunities and resources needed to support implementation of the Community Health Worker (CHW) model and enhance professional development opportunities for the CHW workforce. Goals for this study include:
- understanding the experiences and professional development needs of CHWs
- identifying barriers and opportunities for sustainably implementing the CHW model
- developing policy recommendations to strengthen the CHW workforce
- informing health systems and policy interventions to impact health inequities
We aim to conduct in-depth interviews with 30 CHWs working in a diverse range of communities and contexts. Full study information is available on the study website. Study participants will receive a $50 gift card to compensate them for their time. CHWs may express their interest in participating via this link. The study is funded by the University of Maine System Research Reinvestment Fund and the Partnership for Children’s Oral Health. We have included a sample email invitation for CHWs, a study info sheet, and a Study Flyer.
Wild Blueberry Conference
University of Maine Cooperative Extension will host a virtual wild blueberry conference with 14 biweekly sessions from 4–6 p.m. Feb. 1–March 17. Conference topics include weed, pest and disease management; water use and drought planning; pollinators, production and research updates; marketing and business management; updates from the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission; and a certification panel discussion. UMaine Extension and University of Maine educators, researchers and industry experts will lead the sessions. The conference fee is $0–$50 sliding scale; registration is required. Register and find the agenda on the event webpage. Pesticide credits will be available. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Mary Michaud, 207-581-3175; firstname.lastname@example.org. More information also is available on the conference website.
Mushroom Cultivation for Home Gardeners
University of Maine Cooperative Extension will offer a webinar for home gardeners about mushroom cultivation from noon–1:15 p.m. Feb. 25. “Spring Has Spawned: Getting Your Garden Ready for Mushroom Cultivation” topics include basic fungal biology and growing methods, necessary tools and materials, culinary and ecological benefits, suitable mushroom species and best times to prepare, plant and expect harvests. Louis Giller, North Spore education and events coordinator, Westbrook, leads the workshop. Registration is required; a sliding scale fee is optional. Register on the event webpage to attend live or receive the recording link. This is the first in a five-part spring gardening webinar series offered through April for Maine gardeners. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Pamela Hargest, 207-.781-6099; email@example.com.
Maine’s Mysterious Marshlands
University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H will offer an online workshop for youth ages 12–18 years about marshlands and climate change from 1:30–2:45 p.m. Feb. 23. “Maine’s Mysterious Marshlands: Using eDNA to Understand Climate Change” will explore Maine’s salt marshes and their environmental DNA to understand this habitat’s role in the midst of a changing climate. Hands-on games and demonstrations will give participants an in-depth view of the science of eDNA and salt marsh ecology. University of Maine graduate student Heather Richard will lead the workshop. The workshop is free; participation is limited to 15. Required registration closes Feb. 11. Register on the event webpage to receive the link and at-home materials. This workshop is supported by Maine EPSCoR at UMaine. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact 207-581-8206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
11 Ways to Use Home Canned Foods
Now that the calendar has turned to 2022, it’s time to make sure you’re on track to use up last year’s canned goods. Whether you’re a novice or veteran canner, it’s important to use your home canned goods within one year for best quality. Foods older than one year are still edible, but may lose color, texture, and nutritional value over time. Some food you preserved last year might have obvious uses like pickles, tomato sauce, and salsa, but there are also plenty of creative ways to use these homemade canned goods. So if you’re stumped on how to use all that relish or are just looking for some fresh ways to use your favorite canned foods, check out our ideas for some delicious ways to use homemade canned foods in this article dated January 22nd from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension blog, Spoonful.
Virtual Grief Support Group
The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation is accepting applications for 2022 Healthy People Healthy Places grants. The application deadline is March 1, at 5 pm. Funding decisions will be made in April and grants will be paid by May 1. Organizations may apply for support for work that aligns with one of these focus areas: Food Systems, Katahdin Region, Keystone, Lewiston-Auburn, Nature-Based Education, Wabanaki Communities and Tribal Governments, and Washington County. Please visit the 2022 Healthy People Healthy Places Grants page for focus area priorities, review considerations, and the application link. Feel free to reach out to the focus area staff for further guidance; their contact information can be found in the “2022 Application Information” section of the above link. The foundation is also offering an informational webinar about our Healthy People, Healthy Places grants. The webinar will be an opportunity to meet Sewall Foundation staff and get more detailed information and guidance for your application. We will specifically be covering our new online portal, and orient you to using this system. This webinar will take place on Thursday, February 3rd [that’s tomorrow!] from 10-11:30 am via Zoom. Register here.
There has been some confusion and questions on best ways for your clients/customers to connect with the CareerCenters around Maine due to COVID. These are the best ways to connect:
- Your clients could do the survey on our Customized Connections Link; and someone will reach out within a couple days.
- They can email the Consultant of the Day at MaineDOL.CareerCenter@maine.gov
- Live Chat is available on our CC website www.mainecareercenter.gov from 8 – 4:00 M-F
- Or they can contact the Maine CareerCenter hotline at 207-623-7981 or 888-457-8883 from 8 – 4:00 M-F
- Finally, each CareerCenter has their own email address that are checked daily by staff. You can find these email addresses at: https://www.mainecareercenter.gov/locations/index.shtml and click on the link for the CareerCenter closet to you.
Yes, CareerCenters are meeting people in person, but by appointment only at this time and generally only on specific days. Please do not send your clients/customers over with an expectation that they will be able to walk right in, this may not be the case for all centers as the center may not be open at all. Thank you.
Shared by Rep. Jared Golden: Given that the tax filing season starts earlier this year than last year, my team and I wanted to reach out to you with some key information and resources for this tax season. The tax filing season will open for Mainers this year on Monday, January 24 and close on Monday, April 19. You must file your taxes by April 19, 2022. Up-to-date information on how to file your taxes is available here. We know that taxes can be a frustrating and confusing process. To help, our casework team has put together a list of tips for this tax season. Download it here. If you’re looking for some more helpful information, an additional document outlining tips and tools for taxpayers is available here.