WATERVILLE — Dirigo Labs, Central Maine’s premier accelerator program, is excited to announce the Better Maine Conference: Building Inclusive Workplaces, a conference dedicated to educating, having conversations on, and taking actionable steps towards diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplaces. 

Dirigo Labs is very fortunate to partner with Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship to create the Better Maine Conference. “The Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship is proud to be a partner with Dirigo Labs in bringing the Better Maine Conference to our region,” elaborates Patric Moore, business relations manager at Maine Street Skowhegan. “The Center for Entrepreneurship strives to create a business ecosystem that empowers and includes all people who are entrepreneurs and small business owners. We view this conference as an opportunity to engage Central Maine in the important topics of diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility.”

Building Inclusive Workplaces is the first in a series of yearly conferences hosted by Dirigo Labs dedicated to DEIA practices. The conference will take place on Nov. 14 with sessions throughout downtown Waterville. The sessions will feature presentations, panels, and breakout conversations facilitated by expert speakers, including Laura Shen, the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at WEX, and Marwa Hassanien, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Northern Light Health. 

The conference aims to bring together those involved with and interested in local businesses across Maine to participate in conversations on inclusion, belonging, and accessibility in the workplace. Attendants will learn how to promote and extend supportive workplace values and practices through lectures and discussions. Furthermore, employers and employees can gain skills to create and implement more inclusive workplace practices at every level.

The Better Maine Conference would not have been possible without the sponsorship of  Kennebec Savings Bank. “[We are] pleased to support Dirigo Lab’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Conference,” said Andrew Silsby, president & CEO of Kennebec Savings Bank. “DEIA training is critical to building a safe and equitable workplace. This conference will help local businesses build awareness and skills to support marginalized employees and cultivate an environment where everyone feels valued.” 

Together with Kennebec Savings Bank, which believes in the importance of educating and training businesses in DEIA, Dirigo Labs anticipates that the Better Maine Conference will lead to open dialogues and growth in our local communities.

For more details about the Better Maine Conference, please visit www.dirigolabs.org/bettermaine. Tickets to the event are available here.

Dirigo Labs is a regional startup accelerator based in Waterville, Maine. With a mission to grow the greater Waterville area’s digital economy by supporting entrepreneurs building innovation-based companies, the Dirigo Labs ecosystem brings together people, resources, and organizations to ensure the successful launch of new startups. Dirigo Labs operates under Central Maine Growth Council and is supported by several organizations, academic institutions, and investment firms. To learn more about Dirigo Labs, please visit www.dirigolabs.org.

Kennebec Savings Bank is a $1.4 billion state-chartered community bank, part of a mutual organization, with a team of 193 employees and offices in Augusta, Farmingdale, Freeport, Waterville, and Winthrop, as well as “KSB Anytime” 24-hour electronic banking centers in Augusta, Farmingdale, Freeport, and Manchester. The Bank is proud that its involvement in the community as an employer, a business, and as a contributor has led to many other successes besides its own. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.