Customer, tourism training workshops Nov. 14 & 18

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Collaboration around training, business development, and sustainable tourism in Franklin County is forging new relationships with long-term benefits for local businesses and non-profits. The Franklin County Community College Network, Franklin County Tourism Network, and the organizations that each network is comprised of are working together to address education needs surfaced from conversations with local businesses.

The Franklin County Community College Network is sponsoring a Customer Service Training on Friday, Nov. 14 at Saddleback Mountain. Two, three-hour sessions are available, 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. As many businesses know, well trained employees are essential for success in today’s business world. Customers will call, email, post, and blog about a business is their expectations were not met and will share their experience with an average of seven people. Donna Fichtner will teach business owners and frontline staff about the importance of superior customer service in today’s world, help define good customer service, calculate the value of a customer, and discuss key communication issues. Saddleback Mountain, the Franklin County Tourism Network and the Opportunity Center of Northern Franklin County are co-sponsoring this training. Registration is required with a $10 charge payable at the workshop. Contact Liza Donald at or (207) 778-3460 to register.

A Tourism Marketing Workshop is being sponsored by the Franklin County Tourism Network, Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, and Maine Small Business Center. It will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in North Dining Hall B at the University of Maine at Farmington. Greg Gould, Maine SBDC and Dina Jackson, AVCOG will explore the fundamentals of marketing and marketing plans. This interactive workshop will talk about sustainable competitive advantages; how and where to do market research; and effective advertising strategies. Registration is required with a $10 charge for lunch and materials payable at the workshop. Contact Shaunacy Cobb at or (207) 779-6355 to register.

The Franklin County Community College Network, recent winner of the Elizabeth Noyce award by the Maine Community Foundation, is a gathering of 30 – 40 businesses, economic development, and education leaders who want to provide Franklin County with a skilled workforce – to sustain Franklin County families and the employment sector in our county. Since the fall of 2005, the Network has established four sites in Franklin County, and is working on two more sites in northern Franklin County for college courses, or industry-specific certificate programs. The courses are “live” courses from Central Maine Community College and adjunct faculty is hired from within Franklin County. So far, 266 students have taken a 3 credit course offered by CMCC in Franklin county. After taking community college courses, many students have entered degree programs at one of Maine’s community colleges, or have transferred to a four-year institution.

The purpose of the Franklin County Tourism Network is to create an effective set of working relationships among government agencies, non-profits, and businesses to support tourism development in Franklin County. The group promotes collaboration on education, research, and other business development and promotional activities required to produce and market seamless, high quality visitor experiences. The Network includes non-profits, resource owners and managers, government officials, tourism businesses, farmers, guides, and anyone else who holds knowledge on the place and has an interest in the economic sustainability of Franklin County.

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