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August 12, 2020

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2020

Maine Partnering with Coursera to Provide 5,000 Unemployed Workers with Free Courses

AUGUSTA - The Maine Department of Labor has announced that Maine has partnered with Coursera, a leading online learning platform, in its Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative. This initiative is designed to support governments worldwide in providing unemployed workers with free access to 3,800 online courses.

The goal of this partnership is to help laid off workers develop the knowledge and skills to become re-employed more quickly. Up to 5,000 unemployed Mainers can sign up to take classes through the Coursera platform. Registration must occur by September 30th, 2020. Learners enrolled will have until the end of the year to complete the courses.

The 3,800 courses on Coursera are taught by the world's leading university and industry educators, covering critical business, technology, and data science skills. The initiative also includes Professional Certificates, like the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, designed specifically to train people for high-demand jobs.

For example, learning project management principles could help jobseekers connect to the 421 Maine JobLink postings identifying this as a skill. There are currently 82 IT jobs posted looking for training in Python, 1,086 jobs asking for strong writing skills, 3,354 jobs expecting that applicants are skilled with Excel, 303 jobs asking for experience/training related to nutrition, and 746 jobs that ask for training with electronics... all courses found on Coursera.

"The Department of Labor is committed to helping out-of-work Mainers maintain and enhance their skills during this pandemic," Commissioner Laura Fortman said. With work search requirements being reinstated this week, this new partnership with Coursera to provide job-relevant online learning is timely.

Individuals who are permanently separated from their employer must engage in work search activities beginning August 9, 2020 in order to continue receiving unemployment benefits. In response to the circumstances caused by the pandemic, the Department has expanded possible work search activities to include opportunities to enhance individuals marketability during these challenging economic times. For example, these classes through Coursera would count as work search activities.

Work search activities are: - Attending a job fair/virtual job fair hosted by a CareerCenter - Participating in CareerCenter virtual reemployment services - Participating in a CareerCenter virtual workshop - Applying for a job for which you are reasonably qualified - Interviewing for a job for which you are reasonably qualified - Contacting an employer to inquire as to whether the employer is hiring - Participating in professional job-related education or skills development - Participating in networking events related to a job or occupation for which you are reasonably qualified

Unemployed individuals interested in signing up to take classes through Coursera should make sure that they are registered on the Maine JobLink (MJL) and that their account is active and contact information up-to-date: Individuals with an active account in MJL will receive an invitation from their local CareerCenter to join the Coursera platform.

All unemployment claimants required to actively search for work must create an account on the Maine JobLink. JobLink is a free job search tool, where claimants can upload their resumes and employers can post their job openings.

MDOL is holding virtual JobLink workshops twice a week, at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These workshops walk participants through how to create and use a JobLink account. Information on how to register for a workshop can be found at

Individuals interested in Coursera classes can also contact one of the Maine CareerCenters to sign up. Contact information and an online chat option can be found at