- December 17, 2018
Credential of Value. It’s a fairly new term in the world of education and workforce development and can mean different things depending on where you live and what vocational opportunities you have access to. According to MaineSpark, a statewide workforce development initiative powered by a coalition of education and business leaders, a credential of value is training or education beyond a high school diploma that leads to a job in the current economy.
- November 30, 2018
Through its inter-island peer network, the community of the Outer Islands Teaching & Learning Collaborative (TLC) creates a lifeline of support for students and teachers in order to sustain Maine’s one- and two-room island schools. This support takes shape through teacher-to-teacher and teacher-to-student interaction, as well as student-to-student support and community outreach. As Ian Collins of our Education team writes, there are valuable lessons one can learn about the importance of connections, collaboration, and what it means to be a TLC student and teacher.
- November 30, 2018
By their nature, island communities are beholden to the ferries that serve them, and the ferry schedule, timing, number of trips, and cost all have an impact on island life. In 'The Working Waterfront' and the Island Institute blog, we have covered how changes in the Maine State Ferry Service (MSFS) are impacting Islesboro and the other islands served by them. With recent policy changes, new ferries coming online, and concerns over fare increases, it's important to recognize that the communities served by the ferry service are all unique and dependent on it in their own way, and that decisions about the future of Maine’s ferries should be based on a shared understanding.
- October 30, 2018
At the 2nd annual Great Lakes Islands Summit, held October 1-2, 2018 in Madeline Island, Wisconsin, islanders and leaders from around the Great Lakes region and beyond gathered to discuss the unique challenges of living, working, and playing on islands. This year’s summit focused on topics relevant to all island communities, including water levels, affordable housing, energy production, and economic survival. During the energy breakout session, energy experts and community members shared energy challenges as well as ideas and solutions for addressing them.
- October 29, 2018
In my role as director of Archipelago, the Island Institute's store and gallery, I’ve seen many artists come through the door wanting to know the nuts and bolts of starting or growing a business. Artists bring in their portfolio, product, or both, and want opinions on pricing, market, or feedback on their work. While this is great, sometimes I need to ask them to step back in order to move forward successfully. For me, one of the first things I notice is do they know who they are? Do they have a voice? For whatever product you’re selling and whatever business you’re starting or growing—you’ll need to find customers. Telling a good story draws like-minded customers to you, and that all starts with your voice.
- September 28, 2018
Recently, when talking about the Fellows program I was asked, “Just how do you prepare someone for a year of living and working in an island or rural community?” Since 1999, the Island Institute has supported over 120 Fellows, and in those years, we've learned a little about what it takes to support the work and life of a Fellow. Learn more about our process and goals, meet this year's Fellows, and read about the projects they're working on in their respective communities.
- August 30, 2018
With the upcoming election and impending change in the Governor’s office, it seemed like a good moment to reflect on the current state of one of the most important policy areas the Island Institute is working on— broadband. Our broadband policy work starts with the idea that in order for coastal communities to be connected at speeds that are above the national average by 2025, we need at least three things from the policy realm—an effective statewide broadband authority, support for the community broadband process in the regulatory realm, and funding from beyond the community.
- August 29, 2018
As the air starts getting cooler and the days grow shorter, we know that the dog days of summer are coming to an end—and that means students going back to school. For many students, their summers involved relaxation, catching up with friends, and not thinking about school, but four students in our MAP program gave up three of their summer vacation days to immerse themselves in all things college during our MAP Summer Leadership Intensive at Bowdoin College.
- August 6, 2018
It's no secret that Maine's coast and islands depend largely on two industries: the fishing economy and the tourism economy. With $4 billion in tourism spending along the coast, it's hard to ignore the potential for businesses and communities. Are dollars being left on the table? Is the spending happening in my community, or in my business? What can we do to better attract the tourists and visitors who contribute the most—not just dollars—to our local economy?