Sunday River, MDOL Partner to Create Culinary Apprenticeship Bookmark and Share

June 29, 2018


Media Contact: Laura Hudson, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009

NEWRY - Sunday River Resort and the Maine Department of Labor (MDOL) have partnered under the Maine Apprenticeship Program to establish a unique culinary apprenticeship at the iconic resort. The partnership was made official at a sponsor ceremony held at Sunday River on Thursday.

The ceremony was led by Cathy Witherspoon, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Boyne Resorts, which owns and manages Sunday River Resort. Witherspoon was responsible for initiating the program at Sunday River. At the ceremony, she articulated the need the program addresses and the value it would bring to Sunday River's culinary services.

"This partnership is an exciting opportunity for Sunday River and our entire resort portfolio, and we are thrilled to sign on as a sponsor of the Maine Apprenticeship Program," Witherspoon said. "MAP addresses our need for highly trained and skilled Team Members while also adding even more value to our Team Member's career path within Boyne Resorts."

The program will develop 10 culinary professionals who will receive on-the-job training at Sunday River to be supplemented by classroom instruction at Central Maine Community College and Southern Maine Community College. The apprentices are employed by the resort.

Sunday River's apprenticeship was made possible by the MDOL's Maine Apprenticeship Program (MAP). MAP assists employers (referred to as sponsors) in setting up structured, yet flexible training programs designed to meet their specific workforce needs through on-the-job training and related classroom instruction. MAP helps with sponsor-specific program development, identification of related instruction providers, federal registration, and pays up to 50 percent of the cost of classroom instruction.

At the event, John Butera, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor, spoke about the state's workforce challenges and championed the Maine Apprenticeship Program as an ideal way to "gain, train and retain" Maine workers. He urged employers to explore the opportunities and success that apprenticeship can bring to their businesses, "by participating in Maine's apprenticeship program, you are not only growing your workforce, but you are changing lives for the better by giving access to key skills. You are also ensuring that you have the skilled workers that you need, and in a 2.8 percent unemployment market, that is the most valuable commodity a business can have."

About Registered Apprenticeship

Registered Apprenticeship is a formal, industry-led, nationally-recognized, workforce training program for employees that provides in-house skill development through structured on-the-job learning supplemented with technical and theoretical course work. Through Registered Apprenticeship, sponsors can build a talent pipeline by upskilling their current workforce for the hard-to-fill positions, thus opening entry-level opportunities with a dedicated career path to job seekers from a much larger labor pool. Current industry sponsors include health care, manufacturing, building trades, and more.

Sunday River brings the total of current Registered Apprenticeship sponsors in Maine to 82.

About Maine Apprenticeship Program

Maine Apprenticeship Program assists employer sponsors in setting up structured, yet flexible, training programs designed to meet their specific workforce through on-the-job learning and related classroom instruction. Apprenticeship programs can be sponsored by the business or organization, employer associations, trade groups, or labor/management groups that can hire and train in a working situation. Support from MAP includes assistance with sponsor-specific program development, identification of related instruction providers, federal registration, and pays up to 50 percent of the cost of classroom instruction.

In 2017, Maine Apprenticeship Program served 1,056 apprentices with estimated gross wages paid by employers of $36,272,038, at a total cost to taxpayers of $388,991; a ratio of $93.25 gross wages earned per $1.00 tax dollars spent.

The Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.

About Sunday River Resort

A four-season destination, Sunday River Resort is home to eight interconnected mountain peaks of world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, and 20 miles of lift-serviced downhill mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, zipline tours and more in the summer. With the most slopeside lodging in the East, including two Resort Hotels, the Snow Cap Inn, Ski Dorm, and hundreds of nearby condominiums, Sunday River is a popular destination for vacationers, meetings and conferences, and weddings alike. Sunday River is a member of the Boyne Resorts family of resorts and attractions and is located in Newry, Maine amidst the scenic Mahoosuc Range.