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is the welfare employment and training program created by the  Governor and the Maine Legislature, to provide case management, education, training, support and employment services to help Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients in Maine find or create jobs in the local labor market.

In October 2013, Maine Medical Center's Department of Vocational Services (DVS) began work on a contract with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office for Family Independence to conduct Vocational Assessments for ASPIRE participants. DVS Employment Specialists conduct the assessment, which gathers information directly for the participants to identify potential barriers as well as strengths towards becoming employed.  The information is then translated into a report that identifies strategies for becoming employed.  The report is submitted to the DHHS ASPIRE Specialist working with the participant; the ASPIRE Specialist reviews the report with the participant and provides them with a copy.

Each report to the ASPIRE Specialist identifies recommended local services and resources to assist the ASPIRE Participant on their pathway to employment.  All participants receiving an assessment are recommended to utilize job search and/or support services from the best available resource:  Career Centers, Job Site Developers at Career Centers, Vocational Rehabilitation, Individualized Placement and Support at a mental health center or assistance from a specialized TANF Multiple-Barrier Employment Specialist.

In addition, AVAP Employment Participants completing the assessment has been overwhelmingly positive, with 95% stating that the assessment was helpful.  Some comments from the participants:

What was helpful?  What do you hope will happen next?

  • "I learned a lot about myself and where I might go from here. (I am) excited to use the Career Center to help me find a job."
  • "I remembered a lot more than I thought from high school and college. (It) gave me more confidence in my abilities."
  • "This was helpful to determine if you need a little more education to land a job and to also help you in the future."
  • The program to help me find different job matches was great.  I also like that it'll tell me what certifications I need (if any) and will tell me the closest city/town to get training."
  • "I am going to go home and get back on the website MY NEXT MOVE and hopefully get info on trainings and certifications and get started so I can go back to work!!"
  • "I am hoping to find the resources and confidence in myself to realize my potential and find a more meaningful job."
  • "I hope to further my career and studies. Build a better life for myself & son."
  • "I hope to re-enter the workforce with excitement and courage."
  • "To get myself in a  place--job & mentally."

 For More Information, contact the
Department of Vocational Services at (207) 662-2088.

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Maine Medical Center | 22 Bramhall Street | Portland, Maine 04102-3175 | (207) 662-0111