Training virtual assistants to work from home in Maine
One-of-a-kind training program piloted by Kennebec Valley Community College
Kennebec Valley Community College has created and launched a one-of-a-kind training program for Virtual Assistants. An up-and-coming profession in the new world of remote work, virtual assistants support businesses and companies in marketing, administrative, and management tasks.
“Our goal is to train 45 virtual assistants here in Maine,” says Joe Musumeci, director of workforce training at Kennebec Valley Community College. “We hope to help fill hiring vacancies that many organizations are feeling, while also giving workers in rural areas a marketable skill and the ability to work remotely successfully.”
The training is part of the Remote Work for ME program through the Maine Community College System, which is also offering other occupational programs in jobs that can be done remotely. In addition to these occupational programs, Deputy Executive Director of Workforce Training and Remote Working Joshua Howe has created self-guided training around topics such as working in a remote environment and leading a team of remote workers.
“It’s anticipated that 30% of positions will continue to be remote even as we return to the office. Programs such as KVCC’s Virtual Assistant program allows Mainers access to good-paying jobs while balancing work and home more efficiently, and Maine employers get access to a much-needed workforce across Maine,” says Howe.
Through the Virtual Assistant Training program, trainees will receive a certificate in either project management or digital marketing. Trainees also gain experience in using a selection of modern web- based tools, communication techniques, and accessing business resources throughout Maine.
Each cohort of trainees is led through the 5-month training program by Monique Bouchard, who meets weekly with the group to provide support and expertise. Bouchard’s experiences as an entrepreneur, business mentor, and marketing communications consultant have given her an insider’s understanding of the skills needed to help support Maine’s business community.
“Programs like this are a triple win — providing opportunities for Mainers to learn and utilize needed, up-to-date skills that can not only support Maine’s startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem, and increase Maine’s overall economic potential,” says Bouchard.
Towards the end of the program, the virtual assistants will be tasked with completing a marketing or management project with a Maine-based business or start-up.
“We have opened an application to connect our virtual assistants to any local businesses with a project they would like completed,” says Musumeci. “We would love to help facilitate these connections and see it as a win-win for both the businesses and for the Mainers diving into work in this new field.”
Businesses and organizations can request help from a virtual assistant in KVCC’s training program at kvcc.me.edu/workforce.
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