From left, Megan Dichter and Amy Poland of the State Office of Adult Education, Gov. Janet Mills, Kayla Sikora, director of Augusta Adult Education and MAEA board member, and Jeremy Lehan, director of RSU 54 Adult Education and MAEA president. (Courtesy photo)

Maine Adult Education Association is pleased to recognize Gov. Janet Mills with the Champion of Adult Education Leadership Award due to her leadership in addressing literacy, career, and other educational needs of adult learners in Maine. Gov. Mills has proclaimed the week of Sept. 18-24, 2022 as Adult Education and Family Literacy Week in Maine to show her support and dedication to Maine’s citizens.

“I am honored to receive this award in recognition of my Administration’s efforts to expand access to adult education in the State of Maine,” said Gov. Mills. “Supporting life-long learning gives families the skills they need to succeed, strengthening our workforce and our economy at the same time.”

As Gov. Mills knows, adult education provides numeracy, literacy, digital literacy, work readiness, soft skills, high school equivalency, and numerous wraparound services to thousands of Maine citizens. Each year, just over 5,800 adults in the state of Maine are currently attending adult education classes in WIOA Title II funded programs. We know, however, that the need is far greater as more than 53,233 adults in our state do not have a high school credential and that there are over 12,654 multilingual learners in need of services.

The funding, support and visibility that Gov. Mills brings to adult education programs in Maine is absolutely critical to ensure that our programs can serve adult students in a high-quality manner. To thank Gov. Mills for her efforts, Maine Adult Education Association is excited to honor her with this distinguished award during Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. We look forward to continuing to work together to support the needs of Maine’s adult learners, teachers, and programs.

“Gov. Mills has been an advocate for adult education during her career and has been working to support funding needs of programs across the state.  We are so pleased to honor her with this award,” said Shirley Wright, executive director of Maine Adult Education Association.

“It is through the Governor’s efforts and support that additional funds were finally allocated to serving the educational needs of adults in Maine communities across this great state. She sees the value in adult education’s important role in meeting workforce training needs for Maine. As a result, adult education programs are elevating their status as an important and invaluable entry point on an adult’s educational or career pathway,” said Tom Nash, director Windham Raymond Adult Education and board member, Maine Adult Education Association.

“Students who are oftentimes overlooked are now able to better access their educational needs thanks to the Governor’s efforts to support adult education,”  said Kayla Sikora, director of Augusta Adult and Community Education and board member, Maine Adult Education Association.

“We appreciate Gov. Mills’ unwavering support of adult education. She recognizes that with over 70 locations from Fort Kent to Kittery, adult education programs offer a gateway to opportunity for many Maine people,” said Jeremy Lehan, director of MSAD 54 Adult and Community Education and president, Maine Adult Education Association.