The Maine Community College System has unveiled a $6.2 million program designed to expand its reach into rural Maine.

The new program will enable the state's seven community colleges to provide greater access to college courses for high school students, create scholarships, assist college students with child care, and expand distance learning opportunities and work force training assistance to small business in the rural regions.

"I think it is a wonderful beginning in realizing the true potential of rural Maine," Gov. John Baldacci said of the program.

John Fitzsimmons, president of the community college system, announced the program at the Burton M. Cross

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