• May 30, 2019

    Last week I was fortunate to experience my first ever TLC field trip. The Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative, or TLC, is a group of one- and two-room school houses whose teachers support each other on curriculum and problem solving and whose students meet for virtual reading groups, student council, and science classes. Based on my experiences the past few months, the highlight of the TLC is the biannual field trip. Each fall and each spring, the TLC schools join together for multi-day field trips off island, a chance for socialization and off-island experiences, not to mention overstimulation, play, packed schedules, and possibly a college campus dining hall buffet (dessert, anyone?).

    Education & Leadership

  • May 30, 2019

    According to the Center for Workforce Research and Information, Maine sees a 3% spike in employment for June, July, and August. To put a number on it, Maine’s seasonal businesses are employing around 20,500 more people each month in the summer. As anyone who runs a seasonal business in Maine knows, that number is not high enough.

    Economic Development

  • Susan Beebe
    May 14, 2019

    If you spend enough time in Rockland, Maine, you may have seen a woman of medium stature walking up and down Main Street, tending the pollinator garden by the harbor, or sipping a cappuccino at Rock City Coffee. She is artist, gardener, educator, and Rockland resident, Susan Beebe. This past winter, I asked Susan if I could interview her at her “studio” space. While her true studio space is outdoors and she knew I wouldn’t get an authentic view into her working space during one of Maine’s coldest months, she agreed, and we spent a little time talking about art and midcoast Maine.

    Archipelago Store & Gallery

  • The Island Institute’s large conference room served as home base for the 30+ island high school students and teachers during Career Day on March 29, 2019.
    April 25, 2019

    If you were out and about in Rockland on Friday, March 29th, you might have seen groups of students from Islesboro, North Haven and Vinalhaven visiting different area businesses and organizations to learn about available career options and educational opportunities. From the arts and retail to marine trades and finance, students got an in-person look at some familiar and new ideas about work options in the Midcoast during the Career Day event.

    Education & Leadership

  • April 18, 2019

    As a small business owner you try to do it all: producing a product or service, marketing to attract new clients, running a retail operation, and keeping on top of the books and financial reporting. It’s a lot, and there never seem to be enough hours in the day. However, the important part of any small business strategy should be the ability to step back and look at your business as a separate entity, not simply an extension of your life—that’s a strategy for burnout. The key, to quote Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth, is to learn how to “work on our business, not in your business.”

    Economic Development

  • March 28, 2019

    Maine has food festivals dedicated to the clam, oyster, salmon, lobster—even the lobster roll. Don’t you think it’s time that seaweed got its own? Seaweed can hold its own tastewise, it's packed with a wide array of minerals and vitamins, farmed seaweed is a zero-input crop—plus, Maine is leading the nation in the number of kelp farms, which support shellfish growers, lobstermen, and others on the working waterfront. There’s a lot to celebrate, and that's why Josh Rogers created Seaweed Week.

    Events, Economic Development, Aquaculture & Marine

  • March 27, 2019

    For quality of life, businesses and career opportunities, and access to education and health services, the Town of Roque Bluffs is proposing a community-wide broadband project that would bring fiber internet service to every premise in the town. At an informational meeting at the Town Hall on April 15th at 6:30 p.m., the Select Board and its citizen Broadband Committee will seek approval from residents to fund this project and pursue grant funding support.

    Economic Development

  • March 19, 2019

    Success in our Island Fellows program comes from many different areas. One such area is our intentional integration of Fellows as full members of the communities in which they live and work. We all understand that this process takes time, requires patience, and that it looks and feels different for each fellow in each community. We support the fellows in this community integration by helping them focus on it as a goal in the first quarter of their fellowship. Fellows reflect, in writing, about that experience at the end of their first three months on their island. Learn more about what becoming a part of these communities means to three Fellows as they reflect on their experiences.

    Community Engagement

  • March 13, 2019

    Most small business owners feel isolated—there is rarely an opportunity to share questions, concerns, or ideas around what works for others in a non-competitive environment. At the Island Institute, one of our goals is to connect island and coastal business owners with peers so that they can have those conversations. Connecting with peers and colleagues is one of the many ways we help address this and other challenges these new small business owners face. A good example of this type of networking is the annual "Industry Day" event that our ABD program hosts for its participants. This marketing-focused day provides an opportunity for these aspiring aquaculturists to establish relationships with buyers, wholesalers, restaurants, and retailers.

    Economic Development, Aquaculture & Marine