PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- While the downright freezing weather we are mired in might have people wondering who in their right mind would move to Maine, a group of residents in the state's largest city is working to provide insight and advice for people looking to makea move, either in their physical location or in their livelihood.
"We sort of say we are a 21st century welcome wagon," stated Sarah Delisle, community manager for 2 Degrees Portland. "The ultimate goal is really just wanting the entrepreneurs and innovators and everybody here to really thrive and really feel like they have that connection into the city."
Delisle explained that the name, 2 Degrees, is not a reference to the average high temperature this winter, but the fact that Portland is such a small city that rather than the normalsix degrees of separation between people, in Portland it is only two.
The program, which is overseen by Creative Portland, matches people looking for information with others with similar interests and backgrounds who call Portland home to help provide them with answers to their questions.
"I actually tried to move here a couple of times, and couldn't find a job," said Devin Green. "I just couldn't get a foothold in the market in the right place."
Green decided her best route to meeting her goal of moving to Maine was to create her own business and move it here.
"I think that a lot of people helped me understand the realities of some of the obstacles that I might bump up against, which was great because it managed my expectations," she explained.
"It is very difficult to move to a new place and to find a community, to find a job, to find a network from afar," she added. Bymakingconnections with people here, she was better able to design a plan and path to reach her goal.
"It is really about finding your own place here, and finding the way that you fit in and what really matters for you," she said. "But if you are meant to be here, you'll be here."
"It just seemed like it was the right time in my life. I was ready for a change," said Chris Papagni, who moved to Portland late last year.
"It was important for me to network a bit, to get to know people, because I am looking for a position right now in education," he said.
He reached out to 2 Degrees Portland, and has found other professionals to not only provide advice, but to bounce ideas off of and hang out with.
"It has just really helped me get acclimated to the city, and to learn more about what kinds of jobs are out there," he explained. "I think without 2 Degrees, I would have had a more difficult time meeting people."
2 Degrees is holding a networking event on Thursday January 30th from 5:30 to 7:30 in the evening at Running with Scissors. The event is an opportunity to meet new people and share ideas and is free to attend and open to the public.