Work it Up was established in January, 2009 as a social entrepreneurial enterprise created to address the massive challenges of the broken economy that followed the collapse of the global equities market in September, 2008.
Two constituent groups were identified by the organization as being especially adversely impacted by the economic climate of Maine at the time: professionals who had decades of education and experience in specific industry sectors who suddenly found themselves without employment for the first time in many years; small businesses whose survival was threatened by the pervasive trend among traditional sources of capital and funding assistance away from making loans that would support business growth agendas.
The answer for both seemed plain - the organization would collaborate with businesses to determine professional skill sets needed to support a company's growth agenda and match those requirements with volunteer member professionals. The volunteers would be trained to work with the client businesses and help each company grow enough to create a job.
From this basic vision the mission of the organization began to emerge. This found expression in our claim, We Are Professionals Lending Our Expertise to Help Maine Businesses Grow and it became the first step towards building the sense of common unity between our growth-oriented client companies and our volunteers.
Five years later Work it UP has served dozens of companies and nonprofit organizations in seven counties across Maine, trained more than 500 member professionals and donated an average in excess of $ 500,000. per year (2010-2012) of volunteer professional services to the small business community of Maine.
Today the negative economic conditions prevail. Maine ranks 46th in Job creation among states in our country; projects a 0.02% job growth rate in 2012, will produce less than 270 net new jobs for the year and as of July, 2012 had an unemployment rate of 7.8%.
Work it UP has identified several key factors that may contribute further to meeting the challenges of our constituent groups:
Ultimately, economic development that leads to job creation in Maine can only begin when businesses, students and professionals become educated to and actively engage in the central dynamic for success which the distributed workplace environment demands - Collaboration. We understand this as, the art and science of working together with others towards a common goal. Throughout its history, in every training and on all its projects Work it UP was born from, stands for, practices and teaches this skill. We invite you to volunteer with us and join the work.