5 Maine workforce training programs may get $4.6M in federal funds

Posted on October 20, 2021 | News


5 Maine workforce training programs may get $4.6M in federal funds

Five projects aimed at growing Maine’s workforce, in industries ranging from logging to wind turbine safety, may share $4.6 million in new federal funding.

The projects and funding amounts requested in a labor appropriations bill before Congress include:

  • $1 million for Northern Maine Community College to purchase equipment and develop curriculum for its mechanized logging operations program.
  • $1 million for the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center in Calais to create a training program at Washington County Community College and Southern Maine Community College for Maine’s seafood workforce. The curriculum would include seafood processing, logistics, transportation, marketing, and sales.
  • $996,000 to acquire a mobile welding training lab for use by the Maine Community College System through all seven colleges.
  • $600,000 for the Eastern Maine Development Corp. in Bangor to train agricultural workers with the latest technologies. 
  • $988,00 to expand technical and safety workforce training for wind turbine technicians by hiring additional faculty and acquiring and installing instructional technology and safety equipment. Through a collaborative effort with Maine Maritime Academy, Northern Maine Community College proposes to become an international training provider in the wind power industry. 

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, pushed to include the funding in the draft labor appropriations bill. It must still be voted upon by the full Senate and House of Representatives.

“Business owners throughout Maine have told me that they have jobs available but have difficulty finding qualified and trained workers to fill these vacant positions. Job training creates economic opportunities by aligning employees’ skills with employers’ needs, preparing individuals for a successful future in their chosen field,” Collins said.

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