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New Workforce Development Director Hired

Monday, March 2, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kathleen Pierce
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AUGUSTA, Maine —  Gwen Perry has been named Education and Workforce Development Director for HospitalityMaine. 
 
The former business development specialist with Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development takes over for Terry Hayes, who left the trade group in January to head up the Maine Municipal Bond Bank. 
 
“Terry Hayes broke through walls and launched major programs,” says HospitalityMaine's CEO Steve Hewins. “Her groundbreaking work paves the way for our execution phase, which Perry will grow with impact.” 
 
Perry will lead the association’s continuing education programs for members, and expand HM's workforce plans which include: line cook and front line apprenticeships and CTE high school culinary training. She will foster partnerships with the Maine Department of Corrections, and blaze pathways to develop new employees for Maine’s hospitality industry.
 
At the DECD, Perry worked within the Office of Business Development to identify resources and opportunities for businesses across all sectors. There she zeroed in on workforce issues and job solutions. 
 
A large part of her career has been in hospitality.
 
The University of Maine Farmington grad worked her way up through the restaurant ranks on both coasts. She began as a busser at Portland's Street and Co, and honed her skills at some of the city's top spots: Hugo's, Petite Jacqueline and Central Provisions.
 
She also spent time in California working as a sommelier for San Fransisco celebrity chef Michael Tusk, and was a volunteer coordinator for Sen. Angus King's campaign.
 
“She will create and deliver a more robust continuing education series for members,” said Hewins.