(From Mainebiz) – Out of 14 immigrants who graduated from the New Mainer Teller Training Program in April, three quickly landed jobs with local financial institutions—two as tellers and one as a collections specialist.

That bodes well for the next installment of the 12-week program run by Portland Adult Education in partnership with the New Mainers Resource Center, six banks and credit unions, ProsperityME, the Center for Financial Training and Education Alliance, and the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Participating financial institutions are Bank of America, Bangor Savings, cPort Credit Union, Gorham Savings, Infinity FCU, and Norway Savings.
Members of the inaugural class, selected from 30 applicants, hailed from countries including China, Iraq, Namibia, and Uganda.

Half had worked in financial services before coming to the U.S., while others had worked in customer services or were university students.

“The goal of the program is to assist foreign-trained professionals with a background in banking and finance to reenter their field in Maine,” said Bridget Kahn, an instructor and project coordinator at Portland Adult Education.

“In our conversations with our employer partners in the financial industry, we learned that the teller position is an accessible entry point with potential for advancement,” she said. She also noted that a teller job provides an opportunity for growth, and that customer service skills are valuable elsewhere.

Courtney St. Amant, Norway Savings Bank’s talent acquisition business partner who was a classroom guest speaker, said she was impressed with the group and is certain they will all get great jobs.

“With their mindset and tenacity, they’re going to be such an amazing asset to our community and businesses,” she said.

The next cohort is scheduled to start in January 2022.

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