Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC) has launched a free tool for area employers looking for local training opportunities. The email bulletin, which reaches an estimated 600 Washington County businesses and individuals per week, features free and low-cost trainings that the Council and its partners offer as part of a broader workforce development initiative.

“We’ve surveyed businesses from all over the county to find out what their needs are,” SCEC Assistant Director Jennifer Peters said. “Time and time again, training tops the list. One of the reasons is because small- and micro-businesspeople don’t have the time or the resources to travel for trainings. If we can offer a class in Calais, Machias, or Eastport, or if we can connect communities by videoconferencing technology and hold one big training, local employers are much more likely to participate – especially if the cost is reasonable and they don’t have to take extra time away from work for travel.”

SCEC Communications Manager Will Tuell, who publishes Sunrise’s training bulletin, added that with so many home-based, small- and micro-businesses in Washington County, getting the word out through conventional means can be challenging.

“We’ve been offering trainings and workshops for almost three years,” Tuell said. “Every year we step it up a notch. While that’s great, part of the challenge has been getting the word out to smaller businesses that are always out straight. This tool is great because you can access it anywhere you read your email, and a lot of times all you have to do is reply to sign up for a training. So it’s convenient, it’s easy to use, and it’s interactive.”

Tuell said that since the bulletin went into publication earlier this year, SCEC has received numerous requests for trainings.

“People get the messages and say, ‘When will there be an Excel class in Eastport?’ or ‘Have you thought about doing a social media training in Steuben?’, or even ‘Could you guys do a seminar on the Affordable Care Act?’ That’s great, because it helps us respond to what businesses are looking for, and keeps our offerings relevant. We welcome suggestions from everyone.”

Signing up for Sunrise’s training bulletin is simple. Anyone with an email address can contact Tuell at or by phone at 207-255-0983. Emails are generally sent out every one-to-two weeks. Registration for the bulletins is offered free of charge.