New Interactive Learning Space in Aroostook County Officially Opened

“The Work Shop” is a collaborative effort between Husson University, MMG Insurance and Maine School Administrative District #1 (SAD 1)


Husson University announced that it entered into a partnership with MMG Insurance and the Maine School Administrative District #1 (SAD 1) to open “The Work Shop,” a new interactive learning space in Aroostook County. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new space took place on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at SAD 1 Adult & Community Education. The building is located in Presque Isle, Maine.

“This new multi-purpose facility offers Aroostook County residents easier and greater access to higher education learning opportunities,” said Marie Hansen, JD, PhD, SHRM-SCP, dean of the College of Business and New England School of Communications (NESCom) at Husson University. “Husson is a longtime supporter of higher education in Aroostook County. This new space is now being used for day and evening classes. It is also providing access to leadership training and other smaller credential opportunities.”

“The Work Shop” is designed to provide high school students, college students and professionals with access to education and training. Leadership Aroostook, a talent development program designed to increase leadership skills and community, recently begun its yearlong training program at this location. In addition, college level classes for high school students and adult learners are being delivered by Husson University throughout the year at “The Work Shop.” Guest speakers and networking opportunities at this location will engage the future workforce of “The County.”

The facility includes new video conferencing technology that helps take the distance out of distance learning. Students in Aroostook County can now participate in a variety of face-to-face Husson University coursework and professional development opportunities without the need for travel. The technology purchased by MMG Insurance includes ViewSonic visual displays, camera equipment and microphones.

“Area high school students will be able to use this facility to earn college credits through Husson University’s Early College Access Program (ECAP),” said Ben Greenlaw, superintendent for SAD 1. “This will save County students time and money as they pursue their undergraduate degrees.”

Providing County students with facilities like this will also make it easier for them to complete their undergraduate degrees. Husson and SAD 1 both agree that creating a well-educated, highly trained workforce helps to meet the needs of existing and future employers. Successful employers provide job creation and economic growth. Growing economies help slow the out-migration of local residents. Making Aroostook County a vibrant economic community all starts with education.

“Employers interested in relocating also appreciate having access to a highly-educated local workforce,” said Hansen. “It’s one of the important factors that determines whether a company will move into a specific geographic area.”

Matt McHatten, the chief operating officer for MMG Insurance expects many positives for established businesses as well. “The technology at The Work Shop is facilitating corporate training and education,” said McHatten. “Access to education allows the County’s workforce to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment. At MMG Insurance, we believe that by investing in education, we are opening the door to a wide range of opportunities for our employees and our community.”

LeRae Kinney, the director of adult education for SAD 1 sees benefits for students of all ages. “SAD 1 provides Aroostook County students with access to quality education through our K-12 schools and our adult education,” said Kinney. “The Work Shop makes it easier to provide adult learners with personal attention at times that conveniently fit into their individual schedules. This gives adult learners the opportunity to balance their professional and family obligations with their educational commitments as they work to improve themselves.”

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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Ribbon Cutting at "The Work Shop" The Work Shop

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