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Tree Street Youth launches Community Connections

Chris Delamater of Northeast Bank attends an LA Metro Chamber Breakfast with Tree Street intern Chris Suazo.

Tree Street Youth has launched a regional Community Connections initiative to support workforce development by providing service learning opportunities for local youth with project business partners. The effort will strive to engage the local business community by creating opportunities to connect with talented potential future employees, while supporting the civic engagement of the community’s youth and future leaders.

With promotional support from the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce and launch partners Northeast Bank, Hebert Construction, and Androscoggin Bank, Tree Street Youth will work to connect aspiring youth with local businesses. This will include facilitating monthly workforce development dinners to engage participants on important topics facing employers today. Topics covered will include workplace motivations across generations, diversity in the workplace, and visions for the community’s future.

In addition, Tree Street Youth and Community Connections business partners will provide support to current students and alumni through mentoring and workforce readiness training to ensure that local youth are connected to the local economy upon graduation. The initiative will also work to draw young people from elsewhere to come learn about Lewiston through service learning opportunities at Tree Street’s Geiger Center for Leadership and Learning. Finally, the initiative will promote the cultivation and sharing of visual and performing arts from youth and the broader community through monthly “Coffee House” events held at the Center.

“We are super excited to formally kick off this initiative,” said Julia Sleeper, Tree Street Youth Executive Director. “We have spent the last year really listening to both local employers and community youth about challenges everyone is feeling regarding workforce and economic development.

“What we realized was there is rich knowledge about this issue to be learned by all if we are intentional about taking the time to share it. If Tree Street can be a bridge to help facilitate these opportunities, then why not try to approach things a little bit differently?”

Tree Street Youth is seeking businesses interested in being on the cutting edge of a new approach to addressing workforce challenges. All Community Connections business partners will have year-long opportunities to engage local youth and facilitate workforce development discussions. The first Workforce Dialogue Dinner will take place at Androscoggin Bank on Wednesday, February 28 at 5:30 p.m. To learn how your business can become a Community Connections business partner, visit treestreetyouth.org.

Tree Street Youth’s mission is to support the youth of Lewiston-Auburn through programs rooted in academics, the arts, and athletics in a safe space that encourages healthy physical, social, emotional, and academic development while building unity across lines of difference. For more information, see www.treestreetyouth.org.

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